names and numbers

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Mon Oct 22 05:47:00 CDT 2001

> Thanks! Actually, on a related issue, some very helpful off-list exchanges
> I've been having (particularly with Martin Pullan) have helped me clarify in
> my own mind the subtle but important distinction between what I am calling
> an "Assertion", and what people think of as a "Circumscription". I had
> casually equated the two concepts in earlier Taxacom posts, but I now have a
> clearer understanding that the latter represents a very specific subset of
> the former.

The big question is, would you model and build them differently, say
as separate entities, in a database sense...

The determination assertion (specimen identification) is obviously quite
a different beast to a taxon assertion (taxon circumscription or
concept), although the latter can be thought of as the totality of the

Both are subjective and can only be expressed objectively in the context
of a reference to a person making an assertion in a particular place and
at a particular time...


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