1,214 research outputs found

    The distinction between semantics and pragmatics: The point of view of semiotics

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    In this paper I will try to outline the reasons why, in order to understand the life and the nature ofmeaning, the semiotic tradition has always thought that it was better not to separate semantics and pragmatics. I will first reconstruct the history of this idea, grounded in Pragmatism and in Structural Linguistics. Later, I will deal with its first formulation in A Theory ofSemiotics by Umberto Eco. In the second part of the paper, I will work on the idea by Ferdinand de Saussure that meanings are values, that is, indeterminate entities whose identity is determined only through reciprocal determination. I will claim that this idea is the importation in linguistics of Leibniz’s principles of the differential calculus. In the final part of the paper, I will apply this idea to the distinction between semantics and pragmatics, claiming that meanings are better understood through a theory ofmodes of existence. If we understand the differential nature of meaning, we can see that meanings live only through the using of the expressions and these variations contribute to offer stability within the transformations, without creating a stable object defined by its properties and e

    Phase-tunable Josephson thermal router

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    Since the the first studies of thermodynamics, heat transport has been a crucial element for the understanding of any thermal system. Quantum mechanics has introduced new appealing ingredients for the manipulation of heat currents, such as the long-range coherence of the superconducting condensate. The latter has been exploited by phase-coherent caloritronics, a young field of nanoscience, to realize Josephson heat interferometers, which can control electronic thermal currents as a function of the external magnetic flux. So far, only one output temperature has been modulated, while multi-terminal devices that allow to distribute the heat flux among different reservoirs are still missing. Here, we report the experimental realization of a phase-tunable thermal router able to control the heat transferred between two terminals residing at different temperatures. Thanks to the Josephson effect, our structure allows to regulate the thermal gradient between the output electrodes until reaching its inversion. Together with interferometers, heat diodes and thermal memories, the thermal router represents a fundamental step towards the thermal conversion of non-linear electronic devices, and the realization of caloritronic logic components.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figure

    Pre-Truth: Fake News, Semiological Guerrilla Warfare, and Some Other Media and Communication ‚ÄúRevolutions‚ÄĚ

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    In this article, I will work on the idea of Pre-Truth (as opposed to post-truth) and Semiological Guerrilla (as opposed to fake news), claiming that these two concepts are better equipped to explain what is happening in our contemporary societies, especially if we take into account the world of media and communication. In the first part of the article, I will frame the problems of fake news and post-truth within the dynamics characterizing the relationships between knowledge and power. Taking into account Foucault and Latour‚Äôs perspectives, I argue that the problem of fake news can be understood as a new kind of relationship between these two instances, previously stably coupled and in the hands of institutional power. Later, I will deal with three different meanings of ‚Äúfake news,‚ÄĚ that are usually blended and confused: (a) serendipity, (b) false belief, and (c) mendacity. Consequently, I will deal with the problem of ‚ÄúSemiological Guerrilla Warfare,‚ÄĚ arguing that the new shape of the ‚Äúknowledge-power relationship‚ÄĚ rendered alternative and non-institutionally certified interpretations the norm. Eventually, I will identify the deep cause of this effect in the machinic production of documents provided by new technologies, causing a return of the medieval sense of ‚Äútruth‚ÄĚ as ‚Äútrust,‚ÄĚ independent from knowledge and strictly related to anecdotes and personal experiences. Finally, I will work on the concept of ‚Äútruth‚ÄĚ connected to technology, trying to reveal its genealogy with the aim of explaining some misleading contemporary beliefs on ‚Äúpost-truth.

    Sentido y cognición : la narratividad entre semiótica y ciencias cognitivas

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    En este art√≠culo, comparo desde un punto de vista epistemol√≥gico las teor√≠as se mi√≥ticas de la narratividad elaboradas en el marco semi√≥tico con las que han surgido en el de las ciencias cognitivas. Al examinar el lugar cada vez m√°s central que la narratividad ha tomado en estas √ļltimas, demuestro que la noci√≥n misma de narratividad tiene un impacto espectacular sobre ellas, en tanto que esta noci√≥n es susceptible de modificar sus posiciones epistemol√≥gicas.In this article, I compare from an epistemological point of view the semiotic theo ries of narrativity elaborated in the semiotic framework with those that have emerged in the cognitive sciences. By examining the increasingly central place that narrativity has taken in the latter, I show that the introduction of the very notion of narrativity has a spectacular impact on them, likely to modify their epistemological positions

    Overground walking training with the i-Walker, a robotic servo-assistive device, enhances balance in patients with subacute stroke: a randomized controlled trial

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    Background: Patients affected by mild stroke benefit more from physiological overground walking training than walking-like training performed in place using specific devices. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of overground robotic walking training performed with the servo-assistive robotic rollator (i-Walker) on walking, balance, gait stability and falls in a community setting in patients with mild subacute stroke. Methods: Forty-four patients were randomly assigned to two different groups that received the same therapy in two daily 40-min sessions 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Twenty sessions of standard therapy were performed by both groups. In the other 20 sessions the subjects enrolled in the i-Walker-Group (iWG) performed with the i-Walker and the Control-Group patients (CG) performed the same amount of conventional walking oriented therapy. Clinical and instrumented gait assessments were made pre- and post-treatment. The follow-up observation consisted of recording the number of fallers in the community setting after 6 months. Results: Treatment effectiveness was higher in the iWG group in terms of balance improvement (Tinetti: 68.4 ¬Ī 27.6 % vs. 48.1 ¬Ī 33.9 %, p= 0.033) and 10-m and 6-min timed walking tests (significant interaction between group and time: F(1,40) = 14.252, p = 0.001; and F (1,40) = 7.883, p = 0.008, respectively). When measured, latero-lateral upper body accelerations were reduced in iWG (F= 4.727, p= 0.036), suggesting increased gait stability, which was supported by a reduced number of falls at home. Conclusions: A robotic servo-assisted i-Walker improved walking performance and balance in patients affected by mild/moderate stroke, leading to increased gait stability and reduced falls in the community.Peer ReviewedPostprint (published version

    Development of highly sensitive nanoscale transition edge sensors for gigahertz astronomy and dark matter search

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    Terahertz and sub-terahertz band detection has a key role both in fundamental interactions physics and technological applications, such as medical imaging, industrial quality control and homeland security. In particular, transition edge sensors (TESs) and kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs) are the most employed bolometers and calorimeters in the THz and sub-THz band for astrophysics and astroparticles research. Here, we present the electronic, thermal and spectral characterization of an aluminum/copper bilayer sensing structure that, thanks to its thermal properties and a simple miniaturized design, could be considered a perfect candidate to realize an extremely sensitive class of nanoscale TES (nano-TES) for the giga-therahertz band. Indeed, thanks to the reduced dimensionality of the active region and the efficient Andreev mirror (AM) heat confinement, our devices are predicted to reach state-of-the-art TES performance. In particular, as a bolometer the nano-TES is expected to have a noise equivalent power (NEP) of 5√ó10‚ąí205\times10^{-20} W/Hz\sqrt{\mathrm{Hz}} and a relaxation time of ‚ąľ10\sim 10 ns for the sub-THz band, typical of cosmic microwave background studies. When operated as single-photon sensor, the devices are expected to show a remarkable frequency resolution of 100 GHz, pointing towards the necessary energy sensitivity requested in laboratory axion search experiments. Finally, different multiplexing schemes are proposed and sized for imaging applications.Comment: 12 page, 7 figure

    Psychological treatments and psychotherapies in the neurorehabilitation of pain. Evidences and recommendations from the italian consensus conference on pain in neurorehabilitation

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    BACKGROUND: It is increasingly recognized that treating pain is crucial for effective care within neurological rehabilitation in the setting of the neurological rehabilitation. The Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation was constituted with the purpose identifying best practices for us in this context. Along with drug therapies and physical interventions, psychological treatments have been proven to be some of the most valuable tools that can be used within a multidisciplinary approach for fostering a reduction in pain intensity. However, there is a need to elucidate what forms of psychotherapy could be effectively matched with the specific pathologies that are typically addressed by neurorehabilitation teams. OBJECTIVES: To extensively assess the available evidence which supports the use of psychological therapies for pain reduction in neurological diseases. METHODS: A systematic review of the studies evaluating the effect of psychotherapies on pain intensity in neurological disorders was performed through an electronic search using PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Based on the level of evidence of the included studies, recommendations were outlined separately for the different conditions. RESULTS: The literature search yielded 2352 results and the final database included 400 articles. The overall strength of the recommendations was medium/low. The different forms of psychological interventions, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, cognitive or behavioral techniques, Mindfulness, hypnosis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Brief Interpersonal Therapy, virtual reality interventions, various forms of biofeedback and mirror therapy were found to be effective for pain reduction in pathologies such as musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Central Post-Stroke pain, Phantom Limb Pain, pain secondary to Spinal Cord Injury, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating syndromes, diabetic neuropathy, Medically Unexplained Symptoms, migraine and headache. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological interventions and psychotherapies are safe and effective treatments that can be used within an integrated approach for patients undergoing neurological rehabilitation for pain. The different interventions can be specifically selected depending on the disease being treated. A table of evidence and recommendations from the Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation is also provided in the final part of the pape
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