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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | The Private Sphere - An Emotional Territory and Its Agent

The Private Sphere

An Emotional Territory and Its Agent

Hansson, Mats G.

2008, IX, 179 p.

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  • Integrates evolutionary biology, psychology and philosophy to show how humans and social animals navigate between the private and the social
  • The first lucid account of a concept often used but seldom understood
  • Develops methods which could be applied to other classes of paraconsistent logic

The non-interference perspective is common when theorizing about the protection of the private life of individuals and their families. However, this accepted way of looking at things, leads our thoughts astray. It fails to do justice to the interests both in being left in peace but at the same time participating in a community together with other people. New methods of communications interception, video and even satellite surveillance allow insight and an entry into personal matters, but they can also be used to satisfy people's need for protection, safety and security in public places. A theory about the respect for the individual's right to a private sphere and its protection ought therefore to incorporate both these interests.

In The Private Sphere it is suggested that an emotional territory, which forms the individual's own sphere of action and experience, has developed in the course of evolution in pace with the individual's conditions of life, brought about by challenges in the natural and social environment. The starting point is the insight that the behaviour of human beings with respect to their privacy reflects in a fundamental way patterns of behaviour among social animals. The emotional territory allows a readiness to act along different lines and to maintain a multiplicity of different social relations.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Biobanks - Ethics - Evolution - Evolutionary Biology - Integrity - Privacy - justice - morality - will

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Value Theory

Table of contents 

Foreword Introduction • A new approach to understanding the concepts of privacy and integrity • Four literary contributions as an introduction to understanding the concept of integrity • The private sphere from a historical and cultural perspective • Integrity as an emotional territory – a psychological and evolutionary perspective • Integrity as something worthy of moral protection • Respect for the individual as a person with moral and political authority-integrity from a philosophical perspective • Balancing seclusion and participation-integrity from the perspective of moral philosophy, jurisprudence and the law • Integrity as a quality worthy of esteem and respect 1. The private sphere from a historical and cultural perspective 1.1 In the supposed seclusion of the home 1.2 What will the neighbours say? 1.3 Power over spiritual life and thought- the private sphere from a religious perspective 1.4 To retire with a book - the private sphere from a literary perspective 1.5 To participate in distinguishing between what is public and what is private 2. The private sphere as an emotional territory – a psychological and evolutionary perspective 2.1 Emotions which are constitutive for a person's private sphere 2.2 The emotional territory’s significance in evolutionary development 2.3 Integrity - a complex property of the individual 2.4 Three candidates: fear, embarrassment and pride 2.5 The role of the emotions in the establishment of social order - dominance and submission 2.6 The experience of self 3. Integrity as something which is morally worthprotecting 3.1 A teleological perspective with regard to integrity 3.2 The moral value of protection from the viewpoint of the individual's capacity for sentient experience 3.3 The moral value of protection from the viewpoint of the individual's capacity for action 3.4 Integrity as a socially significant property- the starting point for moral integrity 4. Respect for the individual as a person with moral and political authority - integrity from a philosophical perspective 4.1 Individual freedom meaningful first in a social context 4.2 Individual freedom exhibited at different social levels 4.3 A new approach to self determination 4.4 Social recognition: from separation to participation 4.5 Respect for integrity as social recognition 4.6 The individual as a person with moral and political authority 4.7 Participating with knowledge, insight and influence 5. Balancing seclusion and participation - integrity from the perspective of moral philosophy 5.1 Is the protection of private life adequately covered by other rights? 5.2 Social conventions shift the boundaries 5.3 The basic interest in avoiding certain types of insight and invasion 5.4 The value of a differentiated social life 5.4 Non-interference does not solve the dilemma of balancing interests 5.5 Basis for balancing interests 6. Legal protection – privacy and integrity from the perspective of jurisprudence and the law 6.1 The Declarations set the basic tone 6.2 The significance of the private sphere for democracy 6.3 The right to protect what is one's own 6.4 Legislation arrives at the same result but in different ways 6.5 Focussing on a careful legal process

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