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This fine collection of essays on privacy crosses disciplinary and national boundaries, bringing together 13 scholars from law, philosophy, political theory, and film studies to consider “various aspects of the problematic of the private.” As the editor, Beate Rössler, explains this “problematic,” current debates about the value and limits of privacy—such as the reach of information technology or the private lives of public figures—pose afresh more fundamental philosophical questions about privacy: What is the normative grounding for a right to privacy? How does such a right relate to identity and integrity? What is the demarcation in persons’ lives between the private and the public? And why should privacy be valued?


This is a book review written by Linda McClain, regarding Privacies: Philosophical Evaluations. Edited by Beate Rössler. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004. 231p. $55.00 cloth, $22.95 paper.

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