Is attraction always viewed as some kind of exchange of particles?
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the exchange of virtual particles during interactions is an interpretation of what is happening, originally devised to make the math easier to visualize I believe. It is equally valid to simply view the interaction as a force field. (Not the star trek kind)
as i understand it this depends on whether your actually talking about forces and which field of physics? I mean in relativity gravity is geometry and not particles while quantum physics says gravity is particles. And my understanding is that at that level forces are indeed mediated by particles as information must be exchanged. its not just a way of visualising it, its real. Fields are also particles anyway are they not?
To my knowledge either way is "correct" in the sense that they reach the same conclusion when you do the math. The view of whether it is a field or virtual particles or if the field is made of virtual particles is just interpretations. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I have seen multiple threads arguing this subject and it looks to me to be true. Don't take my word for it, I'm sure a search here on PF for "virtual particles" would find plenty of threads on it.
Separate names with a comma.