Ethics and Information Technology 14 (3):221-230 (2012)
AbstractAristotle’s account of friendship has largely withstood the test of time. Yet there are overlooked elements of his account that, when challenged by apparent threats of current and emerging communication technologies, reveal his account to be remarkably prescient. I evaluate the danger that technological advances in communication pose to the future of friendship by examining and defending Aristotle’s claim that perfect or character-friends must live together. I concede that technologically-mediated communication can aid existing character-friendships, but I argue that character-friendships cannot be created and sustained entirely through technological meditation. I examine text-based technologies, such as Facebook and email, and engage a non-text based technology that poses the greatest threat to my thesis—Skype. I then address philosophical literature on friendship and technology that has emerged in the last decade in Ethics and Information Technology to elucidate and defend my account by contrast. I engage Cocking and Matthews (2000), who argue that friendship cannot be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, Briggle (2008), who argues that friendship can be created and sustained entirely through text-based contact, and Munn (2012), who argues that friendship cannot be created and entirely sustained through text-based contact but can be created and sustained entirely in immersive virtual worlds. My account discusses a certain kind of friendship, character-friendship, and a certain kind of technology, Skype, that these accounts do not. Examination of these essays helps to demonstrate that character friendship cannot be sustained entirely by technologically-aided communication and that character-friends must live together
Similar books and articles
Friendship in the Shadow of Technology.Laurence Thomas - forthcoming - In Steven Scalet (ed.), Morality and Moral Controversies: Readings in Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy. Abebooks.
The Advantages of Civic Friendship.Joyce L. Jenkins - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
Can and should businesses be friends with one another and with their stakeholders.Daryl Koehn - 1998 - Journal of Business Ethics 17 (15):1755 - 1763.
Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (3):201-207.
Thinking about friendship: historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives.Damian Caluori (ed.) - 2012 - Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Real friends: How the internet can Foster friendship. [REVIEW]Adam Briggle - 2008 - Ethics and Information Technology 10 (1):71-79.
Confucius and Aristotle on friendship: A comparative study. [REVIEW]Yuanguo He - 2007 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (2):291-307.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
The Philosophical Case for Robot Friendship.John Danaher - forthcoming - Journal of Posthuman Studies.
Excellent online friendships: an Aristotelian defense of social media.Alexis Elder - 2014 - Ethics and Information Technology 16 (4):287-297.
Using Aristotle’s theory of friendship to classify online friendships: a critical counterview.Sofia Kaliarnta - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (2):65-79.
Online Aristotelian Character Friendship as an Augmented Form of Penpalship.Kristján Kristjánsson - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (2):289-307.
On Friendship Between Online Equals.William Bülow & Cathrine Felix - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (1):21-34.
References found in this work
Aristotle on the Forms of Friendship.John M. Cooper - 1977 - Review of Metaphysics 30 (4):619 - 648.