Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship

Ethics and Information Technology 14 (3):201-207 (2012)
Abstract
Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The upshot of our discussion is that virtual friendship is what Aristotle might have described as a lower and less valuable form of social exchange.
Keywords Virtual friendship  Aristotle  Virtue ethics  Facebook
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    Dean Cocking & Steve Matthews (2001). Unreal Friends. Ethics and Information Technology 2 (4):223-231.
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