An action-oriented perspective changes the role of an individual from a passive observer to an actively engaged agent interacting in a closed loop with the world as well as with others. Cognition exists to serve action within a landscape that contains both. This chapter surveys this landscape and addresses the status of the pragmatic turn. Its potential influence on science and the study of cognition are considered (including perception, social cognition, social interaction, sensorimotor entrainment, and language acquisition) and its impact (...) on how neuroscience is studied is also investigated (with the notion that brains do not passively build models, but instead support the guidance of action). A review of its implications in robotics and engineering includes a discussion of the application of enactive control principles to couple action and perception in robotics as well as the conceptualization of system design in a more holistic, less modular manner. Practical applications that can impact the human condition are reviewed (e.g., educational applications, treatment possibilities for developmental and psychopathological disorders, the development of neural prostheses). All of this foreshadows the potential societal implications of the pragmatic turn. The chapter concludes that an action-oriented approach emphasizes a continuum of interaction between technical aspects of cognitive systems and robotics, biology, psychology, the social sciences, and the humanities, where the individual is part of a grounded cultural system. (shrink)
Projecting essence onto a social category means to think, talk, and act as if the category were a discrete natural kind and as if its members were all endowed with the same immutable attributes determined by the category's essence. Essentializing may happen implicitly or on purpose in representing ingroups and outgroups. We argue that essentializing is a versatile representational tool that is used to create identity in groups with chosen membership in order to make the group appear as a unitary (...) entity, that outsiders often draw on a group's essentialist self-construal in their judgements about the groups, that judgements about members of forced social categories are often informed by essentialist thinking that easily switches to discrimination and racism, and that under certain historical and political conditions members of social categories and groups may contest their essentialized identity, such as parts of the feminist movement, or that they may attempt to reconstruct an essentialized identity, such as parts of the homosexual movement or the largely defunct European nobility. Besides explicit political and power interests, we see communication processes and language use as a tacit force driving essentialization of social categories. (shrink)
A survey on the knowledge and attitudes towards the Austrian organ donation legislation (an opt-out solution) of selected groups of the Austrian population taking into account factors such as age, gender, level of education, affiliation to healthcare professions and health related studies was conducted.
Care-dependency constitutes an important issue with regard to the approval of end-of-life decisions, yet attitudes towards assisted suicide and euthanasia are understudied among care-dependent older adults. We assessed attitudes towards assisted suicide and euthanasia and tested empirical correlates, including socio-demographics, religiosity, physical illness, psychological distress and social isolation. A nationwide cross-sectional survey among older care allowance recipients in private households in Austria was conducted in 2016. In computer-assisted personal interviews, 493 respondents were asked whether or not they approved of the (...) availability of assisted suicide and euthanasia in case of long-term care dependency and whether or not they would consider using assisted suicide or euthanasia for themselves. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the impact of potential determinants of attitudes towards assisted suicide and euthanasia. About a quarter of the sampled care-dependent older adults approved of the availability of assisted suicide and euthanasia respectively indicated the will to make use of assisted suicide or euthanasia. Attitudes towards assisted suicide were most favourable among care-dependent older adults living in urban areas, those who did not trust physicians, those who reported active suicide ideation, and individuals with a strong fear of dying. With regard to euthanasia, living alone, religiosity and fear of dying were the central determinants of acceptance. Positive attitudes towards and will to use assisted suicide and euthanasia were expressed by a substantial minority of care-dependent older adults in Austria and are driven by current psychological suffering and fear of the process of dying in the future. Community-based psychosocial care should be expanded to address psychological distress and fears about end-of-life issues among care-dependent older adults. (shrink)
The human self model comprises essential features such as the experiences of ownership, of body-centered spatial perspectivity, and of a long-term unity of beliefs and attitudes. In the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, it is suggested that clinical subsyndromes like cognitive disorganization and derealization syndromes reflect disorders of this self model. These features are neurobiologically instantiated as an episodically active complex neural activation pattern and can be mapped to the brain, given adequate operationalizations of self model features. In its unique capability of (...) integrating external and internal data, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) appears to be an essential component of the neuronal implementation of the self model. With close connections to other unimodal association cortices and to the limbic system, the PFC provides an internally represented world model and internal milieu data of the organism, both serving world orientation. In the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, it is the dysfunction of the PFC that is suggested to be the neural correlate for the different clinical schizophrenic subsyndromes. The pathophysiological study of psychiatric disorders may contribute to the theoretical debate on the neuronal basis of the self model. (shrink)
First, ranking functions are argued to be superior to AGM belief revision theory in two crucial respects. Second, it is shown how ranking functions are uniquely reflected in iterated belief change. More precisely, conditions on threefold contractions are specified which suffice for representing contractions by a ranking function uniquely up to multiplication by a positive integer. Thus, an important advantage AGM theory seemed to have over ranking functions proves to be spurious.
The paper critically examines an objection to epistemic contextualism recently developed by Elke Brendel and Peter Baumann, according to which it is impossible for the contextualist to know consistently that his theory is true. I first present an outline of contextualism and its reaction to scepticism. Then the necessary and sufficient conditions for the knowability problem to arise are explored. Finally, it will be argued that contextualism does not fulfil these minimal conditions. It will be shown that the contrary (...) view is based on a misunderstanding of what contextualists are claiming. (shrink)
Ns2 is an open-source communications network simulator primarily used in research and teaching. Ns2 provides substantial support for simulation of TCP, routing, and multicast protocols over wired and wireless networks. Although Ns2 is a widely used powerful simulator, it lacks a way to measure networks that are used to assess reliability and performance metrics and it does not analyse the trace files it produces. The data obtained from the simulations are not straightforward to analyse. Ns2 is still unable to provide (...) any data analysis statistics or graphics as requested. Moreover, the analysis of the Ns2 trace file using any software scripts requires further steps by a developer to do data processing and then produce graphical outputs. Lack of standardisation of tools means that results from different users may not be strictly comparable. There are alternative tools; however, most of them are not standalone applications, requiring some additional libraries. Also, they lack a user-friendly interface. This article presents the architecture and development considerations for the NsGTFA tool, which intends to simplify the management and enable the statistical analysis of trace files generated during network simulations. NsGTFA runs under Windows and has a friendly graphical user interface. This tool is a very fast standalone application implemented in VC++, taking as input an Ns2 trace file. It can output two-dimensional and 3D graphs or data sets, whatever the trace file format. It is also possible to specify the output of standard network performance metrics. NsGTFA satisfies most user needs. There is no complex installation process, and no external libraries are needed. (shrink)