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Is there a way to discern which name authority records represent
individual people and which are just generic catch-all records for all
authors who have that name?

For example, there are four books and a sound recording listed for
Mahoney, James (n 80139750), but it seems unlikely they were all
authored by the same person, so I'm assuming this is just a generic
record for all people of this name who have not been otherwise
disambiguated, ie it represents a name, not a person.

On the other hand, a record like "Mahoney, James, 1862-1915" is pretty
clearly a single person.  Is there an automated way of telling these
two types of records apart other than just eyeballing them?

Tom