[Crm-sig] New Issue: Non-human Actors

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Mon Oct 11 18:58:26 EEST 2021


...I'd like to add that behavioral studies with birds and mammals may be 
a reasonable scope, but, experts need to speak I think!

Best,

Martin

On 10/11/2021 6:50 PM, Martin Doerr via Crm-sig wrote:
> Dear George, Robert,
>
> This makes generally sense to me as a discussion starting point. 
> However, I‘d like to remind you that our methodology requires first a 
> community practice of doing documentation about such things, and 
> second domain experts for concepts that are not our primary knowledge.
>
> To my best knowledge, there does not exist any reliable concept of 
> what individuality means across the animal kingdom, nor what a 
> collective of such individuals is. There is an unbelievable complexity 
> to these questions. We know from experience that any global widening 
> of scope can blur all distinctions ontology enginerring relies on. 
> Therefore I'd regard it as most important to find the experts first 
> and let them speak.
>
> The reasons why we did not model animal actors is precisely the lack 
> of an experts group to communicate with.
>
> Best,
>
> Martin
>
>
> On 10/11/2021 4:28 PM, George Bruseker wrote:
>> Dear all,
>>
>> In preparation for the discussion of non-human actors as related to 
>> use cases arising in Linked.Art (inter alia), Rob and I have sketched 
>> some ideas back and forth to try to find a monotonic was to add the 
>> agency of animals in the first instance into CRM (proceeding in an 
>> empirical bottom up fashion) and then see where else we might also 
>> get added in (searching for the sibling class that Martin suggests 
>> and the generalization that it would need).
>>
>> The linked sketch provides a proposal for discussion. The background 
>> is given already in this issue.
>>
>> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RtKBvAH1N0G8yaE_io6hU2Z8MTBmH_8-/view?usp=sharing 
>> <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RtKBvAH1N0G8yaE_io6hU2Z8MTBmH_8-/view?usp=sharing> 
>> (draw.io <http://draw.io>)
>>
>> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aCEBtXjW8M0W7qCGe9ozSMeYAH7tJ3Wr/view?usp=sharing 
>> <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aCEBtXjW8M0W7qCGe9ozSMeYAH7tJ3Wr/view?usp=sharing> 
>> (png)
>>
>>
>> Here is some argumentation.
>>
>> Up to now, CRM takes its scope as related to documenting intentional 
>> acts of human beings. Its top level class then has been E39 Actor 
>> which gives properties which allow the assigning of 
>> responsibility for an intentional activity. It has two subclasses, 
>> E21 Person and E74 Group. These two kinds of being have different 
>> behaviour, therefore properties, therefore classes.
>>
>> If we expand the scope (in base or in sci or wherever) to include 
>> animal agency in the first instance, then we must have a way to 
>> monotonically generate this extension (we don't want to just expand 
>> the scope of E39 Actor because then we will end up with rabbits being 
>> responsible for financial crises and murders and all sorts of nonsense).
>>
>> So we want to introduce a sibling class for E39 Actor. Call this 
>> biological agent. Instances can be anything biological. This would 
>> obviously be some sort of a superclass of E21 Person, since all 
>> persons are biological actors as well. It would be a subclass of 
>> biological object since all biological agents must be biological. 
>> (but not all things biological are biological agents)
>>
>> Then we would want a general class that subsumes the agency of purely 
>> human actors and biological agents. This would be our top class. Here 
>> we come up with a more general notion of agency. Whereas E39 Actor 
>> was declared in order to account for a 'legal persons notion' of 
>> agency common to Western legal systems etc. (and is perfectly 
>> adequate for the scope of CRM Base), this would be a broader notion 
>> of agency.
>>
>> In order to avoid impossible philosophical arguments around self 
>> consciousness, we can give a more externalist scope note / 
>> intension to this class. Agency has to do with those entities which 
>> display self organization and action towards an end from an external 
>> perspective. This way we avoid having to know if the other really has 
>> a self. If it looks like it is acting intentionally and people 
>> document it as such, then so it is.
>>
>> This now gives us a super class (and eventually super properties) for 
>> all agents.
>>
>> But wait... we need more.
>>
>> CRMBase distinguishes between persons and groups. Whereas persons 
>> must have both agency and be individuated corporeal beings, groups do 
>> not. Persons are atomic and irreducible (can't be made up of more 
>> persons, can't be spread over multiple bodies / time zones). Groups 
>> are composed of persons and groups. Groups are inherently collective.
>>
>> If we wish then to have this same distinction reflected into the 
>> biological domain we would need a class for individual biological 
>> agents parallel / sibling to person and a class for collective 
>> biological agents, parallel / sibling to group.
>>
>> Doing this one would then need the superclasses to subsume these 
>> divisions. Hence:
>>
>> Individual Agent: subclass of Agent, superclass of individual 
>> biological agent
>>
>> Collective Agent: subclass of Agent, superclass of collective 
>> biological agent and human group
>>
>> This finally allows us to have:
>>
>> Individual Biological Agent: subclass of Biological Agent and 
>> Individual Agent: used for individual birds, trees, and other 
>> biological actors
>>
>> Collective Biological Agent: subclass of Biological Agent and 
>> Collective Agent: used for flocks, forests and other group biological 
>> actors (unlike human groups, such groups are inherently corporeal)
>>
>> And at that point we might consider renaming our existing classes to 
>> 'human' xxx
>>
>> So
>>
>> E39 Human Agent: subclass of agent, no real change in intension, the 
>> kind of entity that can take action for which legal responsibility 
>> can be attributed within human cultures societies
>>
>> E21 Human Person: no real change in intension but its superclass 
>> becomes individual biological agent and human agent (ie an animal 
>> that can be held legallly responsible for its actions)
>>
>> E74 Group no real change in intension, but it gains a super class 
>> Collective Agent so it can be queried together with other agent groups.
>>
>> This analysis does not get into the properties which are, of course, 
>> fundamental but sketches a possible path for creating the structure 
>> necessary to create this extension of scope in such a way that it 
>> would respect the principle of monotonicity in revising the model 
>> while allowing the growth of the model to handle the many use cases 
>> of documented animal agency that fall within CH institution's 
>> documentary scope.
>>
>> Hope this is a good starting point for a constructive discussion!
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> George
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> -- 
> ------------------------------------
>   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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-- 
------------------------------------
  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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