Exploring Friendship, Past and Present: The Compatibility of Aristotelian Friendships and Friendships on Social Networking Sites (SNSs) 公开

Seth, Madhavi (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/4j03d062q?locale=zh
Published

Abstract

Exploring Friendship, Past and Present: The Compatibility of Aristotelian Friendships and Friendships on Social Networking Sites (SNSs)


As they have grown and taken on varied forms within the past decade, Social Networking Sites (SNSs) have become a significant part of an increasingly technologically advancing world, reflected primarily by their popularity and frequent usage, as well as appearance as discussion topics within the news and scholarship. Several news sources highlight the positive and negative attributes of the usage and prevalence of sites like Facebook and Google Plus (G+). Though there is scholarship within the social sciences on this topic, the impact of SNSs on contemporary definitions of friendship has remained an unexplored topic within philosophic literature. Shannon Vallor (2011), however, is one of a handful of scholars in the field who has recently taken up the question of new social media and its relationship to classical Aristotelian notions of friendship. Vallor's article, titled "Flourishing on Facebook: Virtue Friendship and New Social Media," highlights that there is a need for philosophical inquiry into the subject of SNSs and friendship, as these technological innovations have implications for the concept of not only contemporary friendship but human "flourishing" (Vallor, 2011,p 1).

This thesis seeks not only to expand on Vallor's argument that Aristotelian friendships of utility and pleasure are cultivated through SNSs, notably Facebook and G+, but to argue against her claim regarding the cultivation of Aristotelian virtue friendships through SNSs. Particularly, I will argue that, although SNSs do serve to cultivate and promote Aristotelian friendships of utility and pleasure, they do not suffice in facilitating those of character. This is because SNSs are inadequate forums for such friendships as they do not serve in providing the appropriate knowledge associated with the character and moral aptitude of their users.

Table of Contents

Introduction..............................................................................................................................................................................1


I. Love, Virtue, and Shared Activity within Virtue Friendships..............................................................................................................6
A. What makes an Aristotelian friend? Unanimity, Goodwill, and Love as Characteristics of Aristotelian Friendships........................................7
B. The Role of Love within Aristotelian Friendships...........................................................................................................................10
C. The Role of Virtue within Aristotelian Friendships.........................................................................................................................14

D. The Role of Shared Activity within Aristotelian Friendships............................................................................................................20
E. The Impact of Love, Virtue, and Shared Activity on Duration of and Number of Friends within Virtue Friendships.....................................25
F. Conclusion...........................................................................................................................................................................27

II. Friendship within Social Networking Sites (SNS), notably Facebook and Google Plus (G+)...................................................................29
A. The History of Facebook and Google Plus (G+)...........................................................................................................................30
B. Technical Features of Facebook and Google Plus (G+).................................................................................................................31
C. Purpose and Effects of SNSs: Enable Easy and Effortless Networking between Individuals..................................................................34
D. Purpose and Effects of SNSs: The Creation of a Digital Community and Promoter of Social Capital.......................................................37
E. Conclusion: Facebook and Google Plus (G+)'s Definitions of Friendship............................................................................................39

III: Are Aristotelian Friendships and SNS Friendships Compatible? Are Friendships of Character cultivated through SNS?..............................42
A. Points of Compatibility between Aristotelian and SNS Definitions of Friendship.................................................................................43
B. Points of Incompatibility between Aristotelian and SNS Definitions of Friendship...............................................................................48
C. Conclusion: SNSs Show Potential, but are Limited and Insufficient in Cultivating Virtue Friendships.....................................................55

Concluding Judgments.............................................................................................................................................................56

Works Cited and Consulted......................................................................................................................................................60

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
关键词
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
最新修改

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files