I would agree that "spirits" should be treated the same way as computers, animals and fictional characters--but probably wouldn't handle any of them quite as FRBR-LRM does. To me, a "medium" who attributes a work to Edgar Cayce (and I actually knew two children of a woman who was rather famous for channeling Cayce) is about as credible as one who attributes a work to Clifford the Big Red Dog or a canned peach. Is there reason to judge otherwise?
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of McDonald, Stephen
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 8:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Excessive simplification / was: FRBR-LRM: "agent" as an entity
Ted Gemberling said:
>Maybe that's a question that bears analysis, what does
>"personalization" entail bibliographically? It seems at least part of
>it is when we begin to think of something as having an independent
>agency and goals of its own. As a computer scientist or philosopher we
>might question the reality of that independent agency, but as
>consumers of the resource, it might still make sense to think of the
>entity as personal. As Allyson said, if we had to believe in the
>reality of every author in a fully factual/historical sense, spirit
>communications might be as questionable as Racter as an author. Yet we decided a long time ago to be non-judgmental and accept spirits as identities.
Unfortunately, comparison to spirit communications does not help in the argument against FRBR-LRM. I believe that the intent of FRBR-LRM is that spirit communications are invalid as Agents, exactly like computers, animals, and fictional characters. FRBR-LRM specifies that Person must be "real persons who live or are assumed to have lived." I think the intent is that the Person must have lived _at the time the Work was created_. The text is ambiguous, so perhaps I am wrong. But given their express dissociation of Person from fictional characters, I think the authors of the model do not intend to include supposed spirits as Agents, and would instead count the medium as the Agent.
This is definitely an aspect of the model that IFLA needs to clarify.
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