RE [crm-sig] Have endurance!

martin martin at
Fri Apr 1 13:07:59 EEST 2005

Hi Edmund,

I agree with you completely. My point was however the opposite:
Practitioners distinguish clearly between things and events, but
the philosophers seem not to have found so far a clear understanding
of what the difference between the two is. So some propose not to
distinguish between both, whereas in the CRM we declare that there is
no common instance of Persitent Item and Temporal Entity. If two concepts
are not well-distinguished, one would however expect to find instances in the
"grey zones" in between. So either they don't exist, or we have not encountered
them in the practical scope of the CRM, or the generalization of the
psychological difference between things and events is based on other essential
properties than those discussed by the respective philosophers.

So, either the distinction is real, and our psychology supports it due to
innate biological experience, or we are deceived by our psychology, and there is no
difference, or, the nature of the difference is different from the one
discussed (e.g. "being wholy present at each point in time).

I would not exclude the case that certain very high abstraction levels
have no logical justification. I am no philosopher, but I have the impression
that Aristotle and Feyerabend support this idea, which does not mean that
this case is already at this level of abstraction.

I like this discussion for methodological reasons, because the AI and
Semantic Web community attempts to declare everything logically, which
poses the question of where the limits of logical explanation are.



LEE, Edmund wrote:
> Hello folks,
>>Anyhow it seems, that practitioners do not have any problem
>>with the perdurant-endurant distinction, independent of how it puzzles
>>logic-driven thought. To which degree should an ontology be
> I've been fascinated by this on an intellectual level, but I think
> Martin has it exactly right. If practice does not require us to make
> this distinction, then our tool for conceptualising the world (the CRM)
> need not be concerned.
>>Another idea could be, that nature gave us an intuitive understanding
> of
>>the difference, but not the means to describe it...
> I'm reminded of theories (of which I know little) that suggest that we
> (i.e. humans) only put as much effort into perception as will be useful
> for the task in hand. A car driver will be familiar with the experience
> of driving a very familiar route and not being able to recall a few
> minute later what the traffic conditions were at a particular junction
> although it was crossed without a problem. Compare this to driving in an
> unfamiliar city, where a much greater level of perception is used.
> Not really on topic, but I thought I'd chip in
> Best wishes
> ed


  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
                                |  Email: martin at |
                Center for Cultural Informatics               |
                Information Systems Laboratory                |
                 Institute of Computer Science                |
    Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)   |
  Vassilika Vouton,P.O.Box1385,GR71110 Heraklion,Crete,Greece |
          Web-site:               |

More information about the Crm-sig mailing list