Trust and Virtual Worlds

Contemporary Perspectives

by Charles Ess (Volume editor) May Thorseth (Volume editor)
©2011 Textbook XXX, 193 Pages
Series: Digital Formations, Volume 63


Trust is essential to human society and the good life. At the same time, citizens of developed countries spend more and more time in virtual environments. This collection asks how far virtual environments, especially those affiliated with «Web 2.0», challenge and foster trust?
The book’s early chapters establish historical, linguistic, and philosophical foundations for key concepts of trust, embodiment, virtuality, and virtual worlds. Four philosophers then analyze how trust – historically interwoven with embodied co-presence – may be enhanced through online environments. Final contributions tackle the specific challenges of virtual child pornography and democratic deliberation online.
This is the first collection devoted exclusively to the philosophical dimensions of trust and virtual worlds. It helps bring the reader up to date on the relevant concepts and issues, and on ways in which widely ranging insights and approaches may nonetheless cohere into a reasonably comprehensive account of trust.


XXX, 193
ISBN (Hardcover)
trust virtual worlds artificial agents virtue ethics Kant phenomenology deliberative democracy pornography computer-mediated communication phronesis reflective judgment information ethics
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XXX, 193 pp.

Biographical notes

Charles Ess (Volume editor) May Thorseth (Volume editor)

Charles Ess is Professor MSO in the Department of Information and Media Studies at Aarhus University (2009-2012). Recent publications include Digital Media Ethics (2009) and, with Mia Consalvo as co-editor, The Blackwell Handbook of Internet Studies (2010). With Fay Sudweeks, he co-founded and co-chairs the biennial conference series Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication (CATaC). May Thorseth is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, director of the Programme for Applied Ethics, and also part of the management group of NTNU’s Globalisation Programme. Most of her recent work has focused on deliberative democracy, in particular related to online communication and virtual environments, and also on democracy and fundamentalism in view of global communication ethics.


Title: Trust and Virtual Worlds