The Nature Of Virtue Friendship And The New Frontier Of Social Media

779 Words Apr 25th, 2016 4 Pages
In this paper, I defend social media’s potential to facilitate Aristotelian virtue friendship. I begin with a brief overview of Aristotle’s discussion of the nature of virtue friendship and then apply his concept of the shared life to the new frontier of social media. I will argue that virtue friendships can be found and maintained using social media, considering the mechanisms through which social media preserves the valuable portions of friendship: conversation and shared experience. Followers of Aristote should therefore conclude that this highest tier of friendship is attainable through the use of social media. Aristotle separates friendship into three distinct categories: those based on use, those based on pleasure in each other’s company, and those based on a mutual value of the good in each other (or virtue friendships). Aristotle understands virtue friendships as the highest form of friendship, but posits that they take the most time to develop, and are just as hard to come across as good people are. According to Aristotle, a key element to these virtue friendships is the “shared life.” When friends share their lives with one another, each becomes “another self” to the other. (1171b32-34), This expansion of oneself allows an individual to experience more good life than is attainable on one’s own. (1170a) The concept of shared life is therefore crucial to an Aristotelian understanding of the highest form of friendship. At first glance, social media may seem to…

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