[Crm-sig] NEW ISSUE: Scope Note of E77 Persistent Item needs revision

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Fri Nov 8 20:18:40 EET 2019


Dear All,

In preparation of version 7.0 of the CIDOC CRM, the next official 
release, we have encountered that the scope note of E77 Persistent Item 
violates fundamental principles of modelling in the CRM.
It, wrongly, referred that E77 does not carry an identity criterion.

This was a confusion of the richer identity conditions for subclasses of 
E77 with the identity condition of E77 itself. A class in the CRM must 
have an identity condition for its instance.

This excludes, for instance, common cumulus clouds.....

Here my attempt to be more specific about such an abstract thing. My new 
understanding is that structural characteristics and a notion of 
integrity are the essentials on which their identity builds. This is a 
very difficult exercise. Your opinions *much* appreciated!!

*NEW* scope note:


      E77 Persistent Item

Subclass of: E1 <#_E1_CRM_Entity> CRM Entity

Superclass of: E39 <#_E39_Actor> ActorE70 <#_E70_Thing> Thing

Scope note: This class comprises items that have persistent 
characteristics of structural nature substantially related to their 
identity and their integrity, sometimes known as “endurants” in 
philosophy. Persistent Items may be physical entities, such as people, 
animals or things, conceptual entities such as ideas, concepts, products 
of the imagination or even names.

  Instances of E77 Persistent Item may be present or be part of 
interactions in different periods or events. They can repeatedly be 
recognized at disparate occasions during their existence by 
characteristics of structural nature. The respective characteristics 
need not be exactly the same during all the existence of an instance of 
E77 Persistent Item. Often, they undergo gradual change, still bearing 
some similarities with that of previous times, or dissappear completely 
and new emerge. For instance, a person, from the time of being born on, 
will gradually change all its features and acquire new ones, such as a 
scar. Even the DNA in different body cells will develop defects and 
mutations. Nevertheless, relevant characteristics use to be sufficiently 
similar to recognize the instance for some substantial period of time.

The more specific criteria that determine the identity of instances of 
subclasses of E77 Persistent Item may vary considerably and are 
described of referred to in the respective scope notes. The decision 
about which exact criteria to use depends on whether the observable 
behaviour of the respective part of reality such confined conforms to 
the reasoning the user is interested in. For example, a building can be 
regarded as no longer existing if it is dismantled and the materials 
reused in a different configuration. On the other hand, human beings go 
through radical and profound changes during their life-span, affecting 
both material composition and form, yet preserve their identity by other 
criteria, such as being bodily separated from other persons. Similarly, 
inanimate objects may be subject to exchange of parts and matter. On the 
opposite, the identity of a (version of a) text of a scientific 
publication is given by the exact arrangement of its relevant symbols.

The main classes of objects that fall outside the scope the E77 
Persistent Item class are temporal objects such as periods, events and 
acts, and descriptive properties.

An instance of class E77 Persistent Item does not depend on whether 
actual knowledge about identity of an instance of this class exists. 
There may be cases, where the identity of an instance of E77 Persistent 
Item is not decidable by a certain state of knowledge.

Examples:

§  Leonard da Vinci (Strano, 1953)

§  Stonehenge (Richards, 2005)

§  the hole in the ozone layer (Hufford and Horwitz, 2005)

§  the First Law of Thermodynamics (Craig and Gislason, 2002)

§  the Bermuda Triangle (Dolan, 2005)

In First Order Logic:

E77(x) ⊃ E1(x)[MD2]

*OLD scope note:*

This class comprises items that have a persistent identity, sometimes 
known as “endurants” in philosophy.

They can be repeatedly recognized within the duration of their existence 
by identity criteria rather than by continuity or observation. 
Persistent Items can be either physical entities, such as people, 
animals or things, or conceptual entities such as ideas, concepts, 
products of the imagination or common names.

The criteria that determine the identity of an item are often difficult 
to establish -; the decision depends largely on the judgement of the 
observer. For example, a building is regarded as no longer existing if 
it is dismantled and the materials reused in a different configuration. 
On the other hand, human beings go through radical and profound changes 
during their life-span, affecting both material composition and form, 
yet preserve their identity by other criteria. Similarly, inanimate 
objects may be subject to exchange of parts and matter. The class E77 
Persistent Item does not take any position about the nature of the 
applicable identity criteria and if actual knowledge about identity of 
an instance of this class exists. There may be cases, where the identity 
of an instance of E77 Persistent Item is not decidable by a certain 
state of knowledge.

The main classes of objects that fall outside the scope the E77 
Persistent Item class are temporal objects such as periods, events and 
acts, and descriptive properties.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please comment!

Best,


Martin

-- 

------------------------------------
  Dr. Martin Doerr
               
  Honorary Head of the
  Center for Cultural Informatics
  
  Information Systems Laboratory
  Institute of Computer Science
  Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
                   
  N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
  GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
  
  Vox:+30(2810)391625
  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
  Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl

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