ABSTRACT. 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 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 including 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 perspective of cultural studies, and analyses digital reading in the context of cybercultures, 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. pp. 153–170

Keywords: digital reading; radical concordance of media; natural memory; artificial memory; cognitive capitalism; digital cultures; cyberculture

How to cite: Peters, Michael A., and Petar Jandrić (2016), “Digital Reading: From the Reflective Self to Social Machine,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 15: 153–170.

Received 17 April 2016 • Received in revised form 22 May 2016
Accepted 22 May 2016 • Available online 15 July 2016

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University of Waikato;
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Zagreb University of Applied Sciences;
Global Center for Advanced Studies
(corresponding author)

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