Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship

B. Fröding, M.B. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
JournalEthics and Information Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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