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Moral Education in and for Virtual Spaces

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Book chapter

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Robertson, Rachel Siow 
Johnson, Matthew Kuan 


This chapter describes and expands upon virtue ethical and virtue theoretical approaches to moral education in and for virtual spaces. Building on existing claims that virtual spaces call for new kinds of virtues, we argue that structural constraints make risks and vices especially hard to overcome in these contexts. We organise these constraints around a three-fold approach to integrity, according to how they hinder knowledge, self-efficacy, and self-unity. We then turn to positive recommendations for removing these barriers. We outline implications for end users by exploring the need for the development of the “burdened virtues”, applying ideas from Lisa Tessman (2005). We also consider what it would look like for this kind of moral development to be supported by educators, policy-makers, and other leaders within the tech ecosystem. We suggest that the way forward will be to educate for and build spaces in which the online and offline worlds are drawn into closer alignment, supporting integrity in all its forms.



Moral Education in and for Virtual Spaces


Burdened virtues, integrity, moral education, online, virtual, virtue ethics, virtue theory

Is Part Of

Moral Education in the 21st Century

Book type

Edited volume


Cambridge University Press