The value of privacy in a deliberative democracy / Thomas J. Sullivan.
vii, 269 p. ; 29 cm.
- Local subjects:
- Penn dissertations -- Philosophy.
Philosophy -- Penn dissertations.
- This dissertation explores the function and value of privacy within the political ideal of a deliberative democracy. The motivating insight of the dissertation is that the right to privacy--- decisional, informational, and physical---is among the rights that promote and maintain the equal standing of citizens within the political ideal of a deliberative democracy.
By rooting an analysis of the value of privacy within the political ideal of a deliberative democracy, the dissertation proceeds from a different starting point than conventional discussions of privacy's value. The conventional view holds that privacy is a right that is valuable to individuals. While this dissertation does not reject the insight that privacy has value for individuals, the dissertation explores the argument that privacy is among the rights that are necessary for individuals to achieve equal standing among other citizens in the political community of the deliberative ideal.
The dissertation examines many of our privacy practices to determine whether they are consistent with the role of privacy under the deliberative ideal. The dissertation focuses especially closely on the legal practices in the United States that directly or indirectly bear on the right to privacy. Many of these practices lack a consistent justification or rationale. Accepting the political ideal of a deliberative democracy, and equipped with an understanding that the function and value of privacy is to promote and enhance equal standing, we have the resources to justify consistently our legal practices. At the least, the theory developed here, by focusing on the value that privacy has for a particular (deliberative) understanding of political community, provides a starting point for more consistent reflection on the point of our privacy practices. Finally, this discussion of the value of privacy is of added importance in light of the increasing threats to privacy posed by advances in technology and responses to the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
- Supervisor: Samuel Freeman.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Philosophy) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references.
- Local notes:
- University Microfilms order no.: 3095949.
- Freeman, Samuel, advisor.
University of Pennsylvania.
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