2017 Abstracts Stage 3

The Right to Privacy: A philosophical investigation in to the notion of a right to privacy in contemporary society; looking at the ways in which this right is upheld/struck down

Edward Rory Scott Cobb, 2017, Stage 3

“To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world”

Anthony Burgess

We live in a society today in which privacy concerns seem to be cropping up more and more frequently. This essay basis its’ notion of a right to privacy on Warren and Brandeis’s article for the Harvard Law Review titled The Right to Privacy, and investigates the ways in which the culture today strikes down this right.

My essay focuses on the primary ways in which the notion of privacy has been struck down in the post 9/11 society that we live in. In doing this, I was able to use the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and John Rawls, among many other philosophers, to formulate a response to this abolition of privacy in the society we live in. Their philosophies provide us with a thoughtful response to the factors affecting our right to privacy, and henceforth allows for a thorough investigation into the notion of privacy from a perspective not entirely common.

‘Perhaps the most striking thing about the right to privacy is that nobody seems to have any very clear idea what it is.’
– Judith Jarvis Thomson

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