Scope note for the class Physical Feature – S20  Back

Scope note

This class comprises identifiable features that are physically attached in an integral way to particular physical objects. An instance of S20 Physical Feature also represents the place it occupies with respect to the surrounding matter. More precisely, it is the maximal real volume in space that an instance of S20 Physical Feature is occupying during its lifetime with respect to the default reference space relative to which the feature is at rest. In cases of features on or in the surface of earth, the default reference is typically fixed to the closer environment of the tectonic plate or sea floor. In cases of features on mobile objects, the reference space is typically fixed to the geometry of the bearing object. Instances of E26 Physical Feature share many of the attributes of instances of E19 Physical Object. They may have a one-, two- or three-dimensional geometric extent, but there are no natural borders that separate them completely in an objective way from the carrier objects. For example, a doorway is a feature but the door itself, being attached by hinges, is not. Instances of E26 Physical Feature can be features in a narrower sense, such as scratches, holes, reliefs, surface colors, reflection zones in an opal crystal or a density change in a piece of wood. In the wider sense, they are portions of particular objects with partially imaginary borders, such as the core of the Earth, an area of property on the surface of the Earth, a landscape or the head of a contiguous marble statue. They can be measured and dated, and it is sometimes possible to state who or what is or was responsible for them. They cannot be separated from the carrier object, but a segment of the carrier object may be identified (or sometimes removed) carrying the complete feature. This definition coincides with the definition of "fiat objects" (Smith and Varzi, 2000, pp.401-420), with the exception of aggregates of “bona fide objects”.