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

Régine Vignes Lebbe regine.vignes_lebbe at upmc.fr
Fri Jul 15 10:01:28 CEST 2011

"explicit inclusion vs. implicit inclusion of members ". I agree it is 
fundamental. We have here the two classical definitions of a "set" 
(mathematical) :
- extensional definition it means by the explicit list of its elements 
or instances
- intensional definition it means by properties (implicit inclusion of 
the members having these properties)

"taxa" and "population" are set of living organisms. The two can be 
defined implicitly or explicitly. The term "class" or "living_set" could 
be prefered for extensional definition (and "living_unit" or 
living_instance" for the members). The term "living_concept" for 
abstract concept with intensional definition.


Le 15/07/2011 08:52, Richard Pyle a écrit :
> I think the key point is that “taxa” represent a set of individuals implicitly (i.e., a taxon definition exists without the need to define or enumerate the complete set of individuals contained within it); whereas the class that I think we need to add to DwC is one that deals with *explicitly* defined or enumerated members.  These sets of explicitly defined or enumerated members can be assigned as implicit members of a single taxon (via an instance of dwc:identification), but the difference, I think, is in is the explicit inclusion vs. implicit inclusion of members. This may seem trivial, but I believe it to be fundamental.
> The problem with “populations” is that they can be defined either way (either implicitly or explicitly).  If you think of them from the implicit perspective, they seem more like taxa.  If you think of them from the explicit perspective, they seem more like an extension of an “Organism” instance.  In a way, populations are the exception that proves the rule. Or….the exemplar that illustrates the distinction.
> Aloha,
> Rich
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Régine Vignes Lebbe
Laboratoire Informatique et Systématique
Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris6
CR2P UMR 7207

MNHN Département Histoire de la Terre
Bâtiment de Géologie
57 rue Cuvier
F-75005 Paris (France)

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