In the United States privacy is a hot topic, not least because of the current administration's desire to have unbridled access to its citizens' overseas conversations. But in what follows I do not plan to deal directly with any legal or policy concerns. Instead, I am interested in the philosophical foundations,- if any there be, of privacy as something to which individuals and other groups may be entitled. Because much of the discussion of "privacy rights" has revolved around matters sexual, I shall key the discussion to individual access to sexually explicit publications and what limits, if any, moral reflection should place on such access. Specifically, I am going to discuss a view - perfectionism - which has notable proponents in moral, political, and legal philosophy, sketch its response to pornography as a test case, and then suggest an Aristotelian alternative which, I'll maintain, has all of the virtues and none of the vices associated with its perfectionist rival.
Copyright © 2007 Cambridge Scholars Publishing. This chapter first appeared in Freedom of Expression: Counting the Costs.
Please note that downloads of the book chapter are for private/personal use only.
Purchase online at Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Davis, G. Scott. "Aristotelian Privacy: Perfectionism, Pornography, and the Virtues of the Polis." In Freedom of Expression: Counting the Costs, edited by Glen Newey, 54-73. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.