Social networking technology and the virtues

Ethics and Information Technology 12 (2):157-170 (2010)
This paper argues in favor of more widespread and systematic applications of a virtue-based normative framework to questions about the ethical impact of information technologies, and social networking technologies in particular. The first stage of the argument identifies several distinctive features of virtue ethics that make it uniquely suited to the domain of IT ethics, while remaining complementary to other normative approaches. I also note its potential to reconcile a number of significant methodological conflicts and debates in the existing literature, including tensions between phenomenological and constructivist perspectives. Finally, I claim that a virtue-based perspective is needed to correct for a strong utilitarian bias in the research methodologies of existing empirical studies on the social and ethical impact of IT. The second part of the paper offers an abbreviated demonstration of the merits of virtue ethics by showing how it might usefully illuminate the moral dimension of emerging social networking technologies. I focus here on the potential impact of such technologies on three virtues typically honed in communicative practices: patience, honesty and empathy.
Keywords Aristotle   Communicative virtues   Empirical turn   Social capital   Social networking technology   Virtue ethics   Well-being
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10676-009-9202-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Neil Kenneth McBride (2014). ACTIVE Ethics: An Information Systems Ethics for the Internet Age. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 12 (1):21-44.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Diane P. Michelfelder (2000). Our Moral Condition in Cyberspace. Ethics and Information Technology 2 (3):147-152.
Kari Väyrynen (2001). Virtue Ethics and the Material Values of Nature. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (2):137-148.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

142 ( #13,805 of 1,725,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #72,206 of 1,725,873 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.