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  1. Ethics of Parasocial Relationships.Alfred Archer & Catherine Robb - forthcoming - In Monika Betzler & Jörg Löschke (eds.), The Ethics of Relationships: Broadening the Scope. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we analyse the nature and ethical implications of parasocial relationships. While this type of relationship has received significant attention in other interdisciplinary fields such as celebrity studies and fan studies, philosophers have so far had very little to say about them. Parasocial relationships are usually defined as asymmetrical, in which a media-user closely relates to a media-personality as if they were a friend or family member, and where this connection is mostly unreciprocated. We focus on the most (...)
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  • The Affective Scaffolding of Grief in the Digital Age: The Case of Deathbots.Regina E. Fabry & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Contemporary and emerging chatbots can be fine-tuned to imitate the style, tenor, and knowledge of a corpus, including the corpus of a particular individual. This makes it possible to build chatbots that imitate people who are no longer alive — deathbots. Such deathbots can be used in many ways, but one prominent way is to facilitate the process of grieving. In this paper, we present a framework that helps make sense of this process. In particular, we argue that deathbots can (...)
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  • Love, Grief, and Resilience.Songyao Ren - 2023 - Philosophies 8 (4):74.
    This paper defends resilience in bereavement by way of responding to two prominent objections in the contemporary philosophical literature. Resilience in bereavement pertains to the ability to return to one’s functional and emotional baselines in a comparatively short period after the death of a loved one. Contrary to what Moller thinks, resilience is compatible with having a deep appreciation for the deceased loved one. Appealing to the example of Zhuangzi’s grieving of his wife, I argue that the agony of grief (...)
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  • Communing with the Dead Online: Chatbots, Grief, and Continuing Bonds.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (9-10):222-252.
    Grief is, and has always been, technologically supported. From memorials and shrines to photos and saved voicemail messages, we engage with the dead through the technologies available to us. As our technologies evolve, so does how we grieve. In this paper, we consider the role chatbots might play in our grieving practices. Influenced by recent phenomenological work, we begin by thinking about the character of grief. Next, we consider work on developing “continuing bonds” with the dead. We argue that for (...)
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  • The Sense of Someone Appearing There: A Philosophical Investigation into Other Minds, Deceased People, and Animated Persona.Masahiro Morioka - 2023 - Human Studies 46 (3):565-582.
    We sometimes feel the presence of a person-like something on a non-biological object, such as a memento from a deceased family member or a well-engineered, human-shaped robot. This feeling—the sense of someone appearing there—has not been extensively investigated by philosophers. In this paper, I employ examples from previous studies, my own experiences, and thought experiments to conduct a philosophical analysis of the mechanism of the emergence of this person-like something by using the concept of an animated persona. This animation process (...)
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  • Grief and the Inconsolation of Philosophy.Dominic J. C. Wilkinson - 2023 - Philosophy 98 (3):273-296.
    Can metaphysics yield the consolations of philosophy? One possibility, defended by Derek Parfit, is that reflection on the nature of identity and time could diminish both fear of death and grief. In this paper, I assess the prospect of such consolation, focussing especially on attempts to console a grieving third party. A shift to a reductionist view of personal identity might mean that death is less threatening. However, there is some evidence to suggest that such a shift does not necessarily (...)
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  • Embracing grief in the age of deathbots: a temporary tool, not a permanent solution.Aorigele Bao & Yi Zeng - 2024 - Ethics and Information Technology 26 (1):1-10.
    “Deathbots,” digital constructs that emulate the conversational patterns, demeanor, and knowledge of deceased individuals. Earlier moral discussions about deathbots centered on the dignity and autonomy of the deceased. This paper primarily examines the potential psychological and emotional dependencies that users might develop towards deathbots, considering approaches to prevent problematic dependence through temporary use. We adopt a hermeneutic method to argue that deathbots, as they currently exist, are unlikely to provide substantial comfort. Lacking the capacity to bear emotional burdens, they fall (...)
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