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Trust and Virtual Worlds

Contemporary Perspectives

Charles Ess and May Thorseth

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.
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Trust and Virtual Worlds

Contemporary Perspectives

Charles Ess and May Thorseth

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.
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represent landmarks on the map of virtuality. Including virtuality in the postmodern paradigm is also due to a historic argument, as even Baudrillard points out, considering modernity to be prolonging in the period after World War II until the emergence of the Internet. In fact, the development of the Internet and the new media is constituted of means that contoured the postmodern, contemporary period, together with the new forms of art and culture, the new types of social relations and the new forms of education, factually and historically. From the epistemological

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- ognizes, shrunken to the size of an apple, the wrinkles and hair of the adult.” For the toy industry, like children’s publishing, always interacts with contemporary values and mores, instrumentalizing the psyche. (Warner, 2009, p. 15) The move to the development of online play facilities for young children in recent years can, therefore, be viewed as another indication of this phenomenon. In this chapter, I look at children’s playful engagement with an online Disney product, the virtual world Club Penguin. Virtual worlds offer important contexts for early socialisation

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head,” he writes, “in which one recognizes, shrunken to the size of an apple, the wrinkles and hair of the adult.” For the toy industry, like children’s publishing, always interacts with contemporary values and mores, instrumentalizing the psyche. (Warner, 2009, p. 15) The move to the development of online play facilities for young children in recent years can, therefore, be viewed as another indication of this phenomenon. In this chapter, I look at children’s playful engagement with an online Disney product, the virtual world Club Penguin. Virtual worlds offer

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, retrieved 20.02.2016 from http://www.nber.org/papers/w19029 . Catterberg, Gabriela and Moreno, Alejandro: “The individual bases of political trust: trends in new and established democracies”. Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Association 18(1) 2005, pp. 31–48. ← 148 | 149 → Cohen, Jean: “Trust, voluntary association and workable democracy: the contemporary American discourse of civil society”. Democracy and Trust, Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 208–248. Dahl, Robert A.: ”The Past and the Future of Democracy”. Revised version of the lecture held at

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, 2013, pp. 39–41). From this perspective, trust is considered to be fundamental to how people generally experience relatedness and how they communicate with each other. Following this rhetoric, trust has seemingly become a permanent part of how individuals process their social environment in an increasingly globalized world. 2.1 Theoretical Assumptions on the Functionality of Trust Judging by the cultural and semantic shifts, it seems evident that the etymological progression of the word “trust” has resonated with the changing public understanding of what

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unchanging trait, a process, or an emergent state� As a consequence, there has been a considerable rise in discourses concerning trust from a range of academic disciplines and perspectives since the 1990s� The term trust is used in a variety of distinct, and not always compatible ways within social sciences research� Aydemir Okay16 The concept of trust has been approached from various theoretical frameworks such as transaction cost theory, social exchange theory, agency theory, the re- source-based view of the firm, system theory, attribution theory etc� (Hassan and

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our intimate information online through the concept of nudity, re-placing the physical body where it is often forgotten in virtual interactions. By drawing on bodily vulnerability, individuals are urged to reconsider their online values and behaviour from an embodied perspective, more often associated with the offline world. The fast accelerating direct and indirect generation of data that identifies us as individuals, and the lack of ability to control it, is a problem that requires further debate because it stands in tension with norms of integrity and privacy

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make it different? Invention, urbanization, technology—all these have obliterated most of the tidiness of living only with people like us. Like it or not, we repeatedly encounter diversity in its very many forms—people who don’t talk like us, dress like us, believe what we believe, raise their children by our values. We can’t even see or hear or touch many of these people—they’re only part of our virtual environ- ment, populating the World Wide Web. Exciting—but anxiety produc- ing. How do we know what to do next? xiv voices of early childhood educators