Identity and Distinctness in Online Interaction: Encountering a Problem for Narrative Accounts of Self



(2015) Identity and Distinctness in Online Interaction: Encountering a Problem for Narrative Accounts of Self. Ethics and Information Technology.

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Abstract

This paper examines the prevalent assumption that when people interact online via proxies—avatars—they encounter each other. Through an exploration of the ontology of users and their avatars we argue that, contrary to the trend within current discussions of interaction online, this cannot be unproblematically assumed. If users could be considered in some sense identical to their avatars, then it would be clear how an encounter with an avatar could ground an encounter with another user. We therefore engage in a systematic investigation of several conceptions of identity, concluding that in none of these senses can users and avatars be identified. We go on to explore how current accounts of identity-as-selfhood online might resolve this problem by appealing to narrativity or authorship, ultimately concluding that as these accounts stand they are unable to provide grounds for the claim that users encounter each other online and so supplementary work is required.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 08:20
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:21
URI: http://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2015800

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