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Following Searle on Twitter : How Words Create Digital Institutions (Hardcover) (Adam Hodgkin)
About this item
In 2009, philosopher of language John Searle composed his first tweet, ?writing books”. It would be the first of 7 tweets total; Searle gave up Tweeting by February 18, 2010. But for someone who doesn’t himself tweet actively, he has an incredible presence on Twitter, with his name mentioned nearly every day. While twitter metrics are open for much analysis and skepticism, Adam Hodgkin instead sees it as terrain ripe for a conceptual and theoretical analysis of one form of digital language. He deploys Searle’s own philosophy of language and parses out speech acts of 140 characters to show how this new form of language is being used. The speech act theories of Searle provide a framework for illuminating how Twitter membership arises, how users of Twitter relate to each other, and particularly how followings are created. And ultimately, each Tweet is an individual speech act, and form a new institution that users can observe as it is being assembled. The fit between the development of Twitter, its growth and evolved complexity, and Searle’s theory is surprisingly close. The actions with which we do things in Twitter have the shape predicted by Searle’s account. Twitter is an institution built and renewed by Status Function Declarations, Searle’s crucial insight, and Twitter’s constitution and operation can be best explained through this concept. Ultimately Searle’s philosophical theory provides a framework for explaining and understanding Twitter and its evolution.
Number of Pages: 198
Genre: Philosophy, Language + Art + Disciplines
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Adam Hodgkin
Street Date: February 21, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-32-4125
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