Towards a Science of Emerging Media

In J. E. Katz & J. Floyd (eds.), Philosophy of Emerging Media: Understanding, Appreciation and Application. Oxford University Press. pp. 29-48 (2015)
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If media studies are to become established as a genuine science, then it needs to be determined what the subject matter of this science is to be. I propose a specification of this subject matter as consisting in: 1. the new sorts of digital entities that have been added to social reality through the invention of the digital computer, and 2. the new sorts of interactions involving human beings which such entities make possible. I support this proposal by examining examples of some of the ways in which the digital products of emerging media differ from entities of other sorts. I then draw consequences from this examination to demonstrate how these products mark out a new realm within the larger domain of social ontology.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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