Information Artifact Ontology

Last uploaded: February 26, 2021
Preferred Name

role

Definitions

A realizable entity the manifestation of which brings about some result or end that is not essential to a continuant in virtue of the kind of thing that it is but that can be served or participated in by that kind of continuant in some kinds of natural, social or institutional contexts.

ID

http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/BFO_0000023

BFO CLIF specification label

Role

BFO OWL specification label

role

definition

A realizable entity the manifestation of which brings about some result or end that is not essential to a continuant in virtue of the kind of thing that it is but that can be served or participated in by that kind of continuant in some kinds of natural, social or institutional contexts.

editor note

BFO 2 Reference: One major family of examples of non-rigid universals involves roles, and ontologies developed for corresponding administrative purposes may consist entirely of representatives of entities of this sort. Thus ‘professor’, defined as follows,b instance_of professor at t =Def. there is some c, c instance_of professor role & c inheres_in b at t.denotes a non-rigid universal and so also do ‘nurse’, ‘student’, ‘colonel’, ‘taxpayer’, and so forth. (These terms are all, in the jargon of philosophy, phase sortals.) By using role terms in definitions, we can create a BFO conformant treatment of such entities drawing on the fact that, while an instance of professor may be simultaneously an instance of trade union member, no instance of the type professor role is also (at any time) an instance of the type trade union member role (any more than any instance of the type color is at any time an instance of the type length).If an ontology of employment positions should be defined in terms of roles following the above pattern, this enables the ontology to do justice to the fact that individuals instantiate the corresponding universals – professor, sergeant, nurse – only during certain phases in their lives.

elucidation

b is a role means: b is a realizable entity & b exists because there is some single bearer that is in some special physical, social, or institutional set of circumstances in which this bearer does not have to be& b is not such that, if it ceases to exist, then the physical make-up of the bearer is thereby changed. (axiom label in BFO2 Reference: [061-001])

example of usage

the student role

the role of a building in serving as a military target

the priest role

John’s role of husband to Mary is dependent on Mary’s role of wife to John, and both are dependent on the object aggregate comprising John and Mary as member parts joined together through the relational quality of being married.

the role of subject in a clinical trial

the role of a stone in marking a property boundary

the role of a boundary to demarcate two neighboring administrative territories

has associated axiom(fol)

(forall (x) (if (Role x) (RealizableEntity x))) // axiom label in BFO2 CLIF: [061-001]

isDefinedBy

http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/bfo.owl

label

role

prefixIRI

BFO:0000023

prefLabel

role

subClassOf

http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/BFO_0000017

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