From a deterministic viewpoint, the individual is not the single source wellspring of knowledge and progressive thinking that we often praise her for. Thought leadership is the aggregate of all things societal, with the swirls of influences all contributing to an apex of opinion and psychology. Great thinkers, the giants of our common humanity are the fossil record of humanity's psyche at various points in our lineage as a species on this planet.
George Steiner defines Grammar as,
"The articulate organization of perception, reflection, and experience, the nerve structure of consciousness when it communicates with itself and with others."
For me, the nervous system is the nerve structure of consciousness. Language is our common esthétique. Readers will pull vast amounts of information from this title if they spend the time to discover the hidden gems within. We diligently dissect various aspects of the book with weighted emphasis on posthumous references, interpretations, and citations.
In part, because these historical schemas define our history and partly because we don't want to alienate the readership with excessive deterministic abstractions, we consistently refer to the individual authorship as the lens through which we capture our cultural and historical "history". However incomplete, the summation of our Giants and regurgitation of our history is more than the summation of the individual. The individual is artificially personified by the summation of our ever-changing group schema.