The Philosophy of Online Speech Acts and Communication

Description: Language use has changed a lot with the advent of ICT media. Philosophers of language have yet to explore whether these changes demand adjustments to traditional frameworks. Do they? And if so, what kind of adjustments? One possibility is that these changes have only brought about differences in scale, not in kind, and so don’t demand any fundamental changes to our theoretical approaches. Another possibility is that there are differences in scale and/or in kind that do demand big changes. Or maybe it is something in between. If it is time to revisit fundamental approaches, how much revision is required? Which phenomena might require new approaches? Is online communication more continuous with offline in terms of its basic nature, or is it moving towards a very different kind of thing?


Relatedly and more specifically, how well do actions, such as sharing, tweeting, liking, etc., fit into existing taxonomies of speech acts? What implications do they have for various theories of speech acts? Has social media changed the taxonomy of speech acts and the nature of those acts to such an extent as to require wholesale revision of speech act theory?



Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University

Organised by Eliot Michelson (KCL), Jessica Pepp (Uppsala) and Rachel Sterken (Oslo)

Sponsored by an NFR SAMKUL Network grant


Thursday 7 February

13.30-13.45 opening

13.45-15.00 Torfinn Huvenes (Umeå) 

15.15-16.30 Nat Hansen (Reading)


Friday 8 February

11.15-12.30 Gunnar Bjornsson (Stockholm) (w Eliot Michaelson, Jessica Pepp and Rachel Sterken)

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.45 Peter Pagin (Stockholm)

15-17.00 Panel Discussion: Jonas Åkerman (Stockholm), Jessica Keiser (ANU), Elmar Unnsteinsson (Iceland and Dublin), Åsa Wikkfors (Stockholm)

Friday evening dinner



Rachel Sterken, Jessica Pepp and Eliot Michelson
Published Jan. 14, 2019 1:51 PM - Last modified Jan. 14, 2019 1:51 PM