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.