Monday, 21 July 2014

Hello blog

I've been away from this blog for far too long. Much has happened. Most notably Privacy and Philosophy has been published. This has been in the pipeline for some time as I got the contract at the same time as my earlier book, Creativity and Advertising. The idea behind Privacy and Philosophy is to explore what mean by privacy. 

Less about a search for the definition, my aim instead was to explore a variety ways that it might be conceived. Too often we use the word as if it had a stable meaning and that we all had a common sense of what the word refers to. If my conversations with students is anything to go by, we have quite different ways of thinking about the meaning of the word – not to mention different forms of privacy-related behaviour. So, in sum, this book is an exploration of privacy in relation to a range of philosophical world-views and the grounding of these with concrete media examples. Thanks go to Joe Turow, Mark Andrejevic, Jo Pierson and Clare Birchall for the generous reviews. Blurb and links to Chapter 1 and the appendix of "new theory" below. Do get in touch if you'd like me to come and give a talk.

What can philosophy tell us about privacy? Quite a lot as it turns out. With Privacy and Philosophy: New Media and Affective Protocol Andrew McStay draws on an array of philosophers to offer a refreshingly novel approach to privacy matters. Against the backdrop and scrutiny of Arendt, Aristotle, Bentham, Brentano, Deleuze, Engels, Heidegger, Hume, Husserl, James, Kant, Latour, Locke, Marx, Mill, Plato, Rorty, Ryle, Sartre, Skinner, Spinoza, Whitehead and Wittgenstein, among others, McStay advances a wealth of new ideas and terminology, from affective breaches to zombie media. Theorizing privacy as an affective principle of interaction between human and non-human actors, McStay progresses to make unique arguments on transparency, the publicness of subjectivity, our contemporary techno-social condition and the nature of empathic media in an age of intentional machines. 
Reconstructing our most basic assumptions about privacy, this book is a must-read for theoreticians, empirical analysts, students, those contributing to policy and anyone interested in the steering philosophical ideas that inform their own orientation and thinking about privacy.

Sample chapter 1:
Appendix of new theory:

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.