In the forthcoming book Core Concepts and Contemporary Issues in Privacy, Professor of Philosophy Steven Lee examines “the scope of privacy and its relation to other values” in a chapter titled “The Nature and Value of Privacy.”
“Personal information privacy is a widely-shared value in our society, but it clearly has some significant drawbacks (such as facilitating criminal conspiracy), as well as benefits,” Lee explains. “Given the drawbacks, how do we explain its wide-spread appeal? I argue that there is a benefit of privacy that is not often explicitly recognized that explains its appeal. This is the importance of privacy in promoting individual identity (and autonomy) because our identities are forged by our power to exclude information about ourselves from others.”
The book in which the chapter will appear is edited by Mark Navin and Ann E. Cudd and will be published by Springer Verlag later this year.
Lee, who joined the HWS faculty in 1981, holds a Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, and a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Delaware. His scholarship focuses on, among other issues, ethics, social and political philosophy, and critical thinking. In addition to legal paternalism, social and economic justice, and democracy, his work examines how social and technological changes, including the advent of nuclear weapons, “require alterations in our moral understanding of areas of human activity such as warfare, environmental stewardship, and medicine.”
Lee is the author of several books, including Ethics and War; What Is the Argument? Critical Thinking in the Real World; and Morality, Prudence, and Nuclear Weapons. He has also edited several volumes, including Intervention, Terrorism, and Torture: Contemporary Challenges to Just War Theory and Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction (co-edited with Sohail Hashmi).