Issue 433: Scope note of E77 Persistent Item

ID: 
433
Starting Date: 
2019-10-07
Working Group: 
3
Status: 
Open
Background: 

Posted by martin on 7/10/2019

Dear All,

This  scope note violates CRM principles: Of course E77 must have clear cut identity criteria. The question is only, how subclasses will refine those.

The fact that a particular constellation of matter can be regarded to be instance of different classes, which would extend the identity of the respective constellation in different ways in time and space, is a general methodological concern, and not a decision of the observer. The documentalist has to chose which of these describe the intended form of continuity correctly for the intended reasoning.

I propose to revise.

E77 Persistent Item

Subclass of:         E1 CRM Entity

Superclass of:      E39 Actor

                          E70 Thing

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 [CSO1] 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.

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)

 [CSO1]Can a class take a position, consider to reformulate the sentence.
 

Current Proposal: 

Posted by Martin o 8/11/2019

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 CRM Entity

Superclass of:      E39 ActorE70 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!

Posted by Steve on 8/11/2019

May I make a suggestion for a minor language amendment:

Change:

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.

To Read

An instance of E77 Persistent Item does not require actual knowledge of the identity of the instance being currently known. There may be cases, where the actual identity of an instance of E77 Persistent Item is not decidable at a particular state of knowledge.

I think this captures the intent of the previous formulation but is a little easier to comprehend.

Posted by Martin on 9/11/2019

Hi Steve,

May be we can make it even better, or may be even ommit it. It is a general idea of ontology.

There are two aspects: firstly, to be an instance of a class does not depend on knowledge about it.

To be an instance of E77 is not a question of someone having identified it.

Secondly, we can instantiate a class in a knowledge base, talking about a potentially distinct item following our knowledge. E.g., we can create two B.Traven, discussing that our current knowledge includes a likelihood that we talk about two distinct authors, and ascribe different properties to them.

May be this should go to the principles, if not already there.