[Crm-sig] E21 Person, E67 Birth

Franco Niccolucci franco.niccolucci at gmail.com
Mon Sep 23 17:38:33 EEST 2019

Dear Martin, I agree with you. I tried to suggest a solution with what we have, of course introducing new entities/properties may be even better.

However, when stating that a birth event may not end in a new E21 Person we must be very careful. According to the doctrine of Catholic Church, a Person exists since the very first moment of conception, when the first cell comes into existence and starts splitting. Such cell or assembly of cells is assumed, for example, to have a soul since the very beginning of its existence. Maybe also the Orthodox Church has the same belief.

I am just mentioning the above without taking part in favour or against, of course. 

Thus end of pregnancy should not be opposed to Birth unless we formulate the scope note of the latter very carefully. I mean that what distinguishes a Birth from an end of pregnancy which is not a Birth should be stated without offending anybody.

On a different but related note, I think that a clear distinction among the different cases of end of pregnancy where the baby is not born alive is unlikely to be documented in historical documents, so a generic category would probably suit better this particular case.



Prof. Franco Niccolucci
Director, VAST-LAB
PIN - U. of Florence
Scientific Coordinator

ACM Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH) 

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> Il giorno 23 set 2019, alle ore 15:51, Martin Doerr <martin at ics.forth.gr> ha scritto:
> Dear Franco, All,
> I agree, we have typically no coming into existence, or it is quite undefined. This is a nice case to discuss the border cases we encounter with all concepts.
> Typically, the biological process is that of birth or alike. The stillborn baby may be buried without social identity given. We could have a type of Birth, with all except the coming into existence. We could agree that ontologically, there is some coming into existence, but a birth event does not necessarily end in a new E21 Person.
> The methodologically important question is which states of ignorance do we encounter? Are the typical historical documents, in which the outcome of a document birth may be unknown as it is in reality before it happens? Or are the stillborn or miscarriage clearly distinct, because we normally describe birth as secondary information about a Person?
> I assume the typical document uncertainty is between abortion, miscarriage, stillborn or dying at birth, but clearly separated if the baby lives. As an independent event, it is alternative to Birth. That would rather suggest a superclass of Birth, ending pregnancy.
> Best,
> Martin
> On 9/23/2019 12:58 PM, Franco Niccolucci wrote:
>> As already explained I would better avoid Birth, and even Coming into existence.
>>  Birth has two properties P96 by mother and P97 by father, the former being of course more important. Using E5 Event does not allow this, so you can only use P11 had participant. If I remember well there is no P11.1 in the role of, but perhaps this may be harmlessly added. If not, a dirty solution is giving a Type to the Actor involved like
>> P11 had participant E39 Actor ‘Mary Doe’ P2 has type “mother”
>> Maybe colleagues can find a more elegant solution; type in this case is a role, not a property of the lady. But in my opinion only a *P11.1 in the role of ‘mother’ would work.
>> Best
>> Franco
>> Il giorno lun 23 set 2019 alle 11:34 athinak <athinak at ics.forth.gr> ha scritto:
>> Dear Franco,
>> your comments are very useful and I think you are right, maybe this is 
>> about a more general concept or we may miss something with the 
>> definition of E67 Birth(?). And what about the parents? they are 
>> participants in this biological event? Especially the mother who acts, 
>> performs intentionally, especially in cases of stillborn, the procedure 
>> is to start labour. I am concerned with the definition of the birth 
>> event.
>> Thank you for the feedback
>> Athina
>> Στις 2019-09-23 11:45, Franco Niccolucci έγραψε:
>> > My suggestion would be to avoid being involved in ethical and
>> > religious discussions (when does the ‘person’ start to be such?)
>> > and go one step up in the entity hierarchy so:
>> > * instead of E21 Person use E20 Biological Object (superclass of E21)
>> > qualified with P2 has type
>> > * instead of E67 Birth use E5 Event qualified with P2 has type. In my
>> > opinion using instead E63 Beginning of existence (superclass of E67)
>> > is risky because applying the identity criteria to a fetus is
>> > uncertain and subject to ethical discussion, so the only safe solution
>> > is to record when it manifests to the world with a birth or
>> > miscarriage.
>> > 
>> > Best
>> > 
>> > Franco
>> > 
>> > Il giorno lun 23 set 2019 alle 10:21 athinak <athinak at ics.forth.gr> ha
>> > scritto:
>> > 
>> >> Dear all,
>> >> 
>> >> I am working on a project relating to historical information
>> >> (sources)
>> >> on Seafaring lives and Maritime Labour in 19th-20th century - we map
>> >> the
>> >> raw data to CIDOC CRM (or an extension of it). Historians collect
>> >> data
>> >> from various records, such as Civil Registers, which are records
>> >> documenting persons born or dead - basically, they register the
>> >> deaths.
>> >> So I have this case: they register as  persons the miscarriages or
>> >> the
>> >> stillborn or the abortions, and they assign attributes such as the
>> >> number of registration,  personal information (name,surname,etc. )of
>> >> the
>> >> parents, the place of residence (which is the parents address, of
>> >> course) and the sex of the aborted or still born (something they
>> >> knew
>> >> afterwards). I suppose this is a difficult ethical and biological
>> >> subject- my question is how would you model the miscarriage or the
>> >> still
>> >> born or the abortion? It is not exactly defined as E21 Person and if
>> >> it
>> >> is a case of still born, it can be a kind of a E67 Birth Event, but
>> >> if
>> >> it is a miscarriage, I believe it is not a birth event, it is a
>> >> different biological process, so what is it?
>> >> 
>> >> Any thoughts that would help?
>> >> 
>> >> thanks,
>> >> 
>> >> Athina Kritsotaki
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