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Following Searle on TwitterHow Words Create Digital Institutions$
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Adam Hodgkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438351.001.0001

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Since We Make These Digital Institutions …

Since We Make These Digital Institutions …

(p.173) 11 Since We Make These Digital Institutions …
Following Searle on Twitter

Adam Hodgkin

University of Chicago Press

If the Searle/Tomasello/Hodgkin model of digital institutional development is correct, we need to consider the ethical situation of members/users, which means our ethical situation. Since we are all now users of digital language through the use of which digital institutions are evolving. The theory of institutional development that we have identified is various and not simply deterministic since historical and cultural factors are involved, nor need it be relativist since there are obvious constraints on the ways that digital institutions can be built: broadly speaking engineering constraints. But also the constraint that we impose as members, users and makers of digital action, through our acceptance and recognition of Status Function Declarations. There is also some plausibility in the idea that digital institutions make their own shape of trouble and have a moral character (Twitter, Google, Uber, Facebook, and Reddit are cited), in many cases tripping up over their own mission statements. The bottom line remains: digital institutions, like all institutions depend on the acceptance and recognition shown by their members and users. Institutional failings should be identified and addressed, if the problems are unavoidable or cannot be addressed it is likely and appropriate that the institution will fail.

Keywords:   evolution, deontology, acceptance, recognition, trolling, harrasment, Status Function Declaration

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