The SAMKUL network project, New Frontiers of Speech: Remaking Philosophy of Language for the Information Age, put together a network of researchers to investigate novel research themes in applied philosophy of language and the ethics of speech in the context of the rapid changes in information technology over the last several decades. This research network facilitates a new, two-way exchange of questions and ideas between philosophers and other relevant disciplines and stake-holders in the public and private spheres. The development of this network has generated several funding applications for the network to continue its research and activities. The activities of the project have been directed at five ?target areas? of research where rapid changes in communicative environments push us to rethink some basic philosophical assumptions about these phenomena: (i) lying; (ii) silencing; (iii) the foundations of meaning; (iv) meaning change; and (v) authorship. The research activities of the project included the publication of two journal articles on fake news and three workshops bringing together members of the research network to discuss research on the five project themes.
The achieved outcomes and impacts of the project are (i) the establishment of a research network on the five target research areas of the project, (ii) the submission of five funding applications on the target research areas of the project, (iii) the publication of two scholarly journal articles, (iv) editorship of a special issue of the journal Inquiry on semantics and epistemology in the digital age, (v) hosting of three workshops on the project research areas bringing together researchers within the network, and (vi) five meetings of the core group which strengthened research and activity planning.
The further potential outcomes and impacts are (i) success in securing funding to continue the research and other activities of the network, (ii) further scholarly publication in journals by the core group, (iii) more substantial media and public engagement through popularization of results, especially in the form of media articles.
The project aims to better connect philosophical theorizing on language and communication with the social reality of the information age, in two directions. In one direction, we aim to nuance, revise, or reconceive theories in philosophy of language in response to new research on how information and communication technologies (ICT) have altered the nature of language use. In the other direction, we aim to apply the theoretical resources of philosophy to help address pressing conceptual and ethical problems in the ICT sphere.
ICT enables continuous, instantaneous communication among vast numbers of people and as a result, the nature of communication is changing. We're moving from a world dominated by direct interpersonal spoken conversation, written words on paper and fixed one-way communication channels such as television and newspapers, to one where we have modes of communication that are radically different along many dimensions. This raises both foundational theoretical questions and large-scale practical challenges ? it's a field where philosophical theory can speak directly to pressing social and political concerns.
Accordingly, we plan to develop a network of researchers with whom to investigate two new research areas in philosophy: (a) applied philosophy of language and (b) the ethics of speech, in the context of the rapid changes in information technology over the last several decades. This network will promote a new, two-way exchange between philosophers and policymakers in the public and private spheres. The network will be directed at researching five 'target areas' where changes in the ICT environment demand that we rethink some basic philosophical assumptions about these phenomena: (i) lying; (ii) silencing; (iii) the foundations of meaning; (iv) meaning change; and (v) authorship. In particular, we anticipate significantly refining the questions philosophers are asking with the help of our colleagues from other fields and from outside the academy.