[tdwg-content] New terms need resolution: "Individual" [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Steven J. Baskauf steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Tue Jul 12 14:36:24 CEST 2011

I forgot to mention in my earlier email that I would like to see the 
definition of BiologicalEntity include clarification of whether the 
"single taxon" is required to be taxonomically homogeneous or if it is 
allowed to be taxonomically heterogeneous.  I have expressed a 
preference in the past that it be restricted to taxonomically 
homogeneous entities, but I believe that in the extended discussion that 
took place about six months ago, a definition such as the one currently 
on the table was understood to allow taxonomic heterogeneity.  I believe 
that as a practical matter, allowing taxonomic hetergeneity introduces 
some significant complications, but I'm willing to live with it if 
that's what it takes to get this issue resolved.  See
for my attempt to summarize the history of the extended discussion which 
took place on this subject and what I believe to be the implications of 
allowing "individuals" to be taxonomically heterogeneous or not.


On 7/11/2011 9:03 PM, Paul Murray wrote:
> On 11/07/2011, at 11:58 PM, Richard Pyle wrote:
>>   I don't like the word
>> "Individual", because I would like to see it applied up to at least the
>> level of a group of individuals, if not a population
> Another difficulty is that "Individual" is a term-of-art in RDF/OWL: an individual is any instance of a class. "Individual", in OWL, means pretty much the same thing  as "entity" or "object" in other spaces.
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Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

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