Ghosts in the machine : do the dead live on in Facebook?

Stokes, Patrick 2012, Ghosts in the machine : do the dead live on in Facebook?, Philosophy and technology, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 363-379, doi: 10.1007/s13347-011-0050-7.

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Title Ghosts in the machine : do the dead live on in Facebook?
Author(s) Stokes, PatrickORCID iD for Stokes, Patrick
Journal name Philosophy and technology
Volume number 25
Issue number 3
Start page 363
End page 379
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2012-09
ISSN 2210-5433
Keyword(s) personal identity
online social networks
Summary Of the many ways in which identity is constructed and performed online, few are as strongly ‘anchored’ to existing offline relationships as in online social networks like Facebook and Myspace. These networks utilise profiles that extend our practical, psychological and even corporeal identity in ways that give them considerable phenomenal presence in the lives of spatially distant people. This raises interesting questions about the persistence of identity when these online profiles survive the deaths of the users behind them, via the practice of ‘memorialising’ social network profile pages. I situate these practices within a phenomenology of grief that accounts for the ways in which the dead can persist as moral patients, and show how online survival in this case illuminates an important difference between persons and selves within contemporary philosophy of personal identity. Ultimately, the online persistence of the dead helps bring into view a deep ontological contradiction implicit in our dealings with death: the dead both live on as objects of duty and yet completely cease to exist.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0050-7
Field of Research 220311 Philosophical Psychology (incl Moral Psychology and Philosophy of Action)
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2012
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Created: Wed, 20 Mar 2013, 14:32:41 EST by Patrick Stokes

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