Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Epistemic and Pragmatic Actions

A handy terminological distinction...


Epistemic Actions alter the world so as to aid and augment cognitive processes such as recognition and search. Examples include leaving things by your door that you want to remember to take with you, entering information into a calendar, and tagging blog posts.


Pragmatic Actions are those actions that alter the world because some physical change is desirable for its own sake. Examples include turning the heating on because it is cold, and shutting the door to enclose a space.


This came to me via Clark and Chalmers (1998) The Extended Mind. They got it via Kirsh and Maglio (1994) On Distinguishing Epistemic from Pragmatic Action (which I've not yet read).

1 comment:

  1. can u give me an example of a game or problem solving task where there are some opportunity of both epistemic and pragmatic action which can be played by both young and old people??

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