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Digital reading: From the reflective self to social machine

Using the form of dialogue, this paper analyzes reading in the digital age. The paper reveals the history of reading from Augustine to Wittgenstein as a changing and evolving set of practices such as the cultural invention of silent reading, mass reading, and rise of specialized reading publics. It analyzes various 153  changes to these practices in the age of digital technologies, and links digital reading practices to the bundle of related practices such as writing, viewing, listening, and surfing the Web. The paper shows that digital reading is a fundamental question in education at all levels. Situated within radical concordance of various media, digital reading expands human artificial memory and causes profound changes in human natural memory. The paper inquires these changes from various perspectives includ- ing neuroscience and psychology, and concludes that digital reading is predominantly a social phenomenon. It looks into the relationships between digital reading and cognitive capitalism, and shows that the theory of digital reading should recognize the topology and dynamics of the Web. It inquires this dynamics using the per- spective of cultural studies, and analyses digital reading in the context of cyber- cultures, community cultures, and algorithmic cultures. Finally, it develops the view to digital reading as a cybercultural concept which understands reading as a cultural behavior that emphasizes an ecosystem of digital practices.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Peters, M. A., & Jandric, P. (2016). Digital reading: From the reflective self to social machine. Review of Contemporary Philosophy, 15, 153–170.
Addleton Academic Publishers
This article is published in the Journal: Review of Contemporary Philosophy. Used with permission.