This book is about privacy, not all itself but in a context that includes such thing as the public/private distinction and privatization. The author is trained in both law and philosophy, and draws on both fields (as well as others) to show how society favors public power over personal and interpersonal privacy. Noting how public power in United States is dominated by business interests, the author urges people to develop and participate in organizations that can make participatory democracy happen, thereby changing the power relationships in our society. To make this case he first discusses learning to live with public power. Then, two chapters are devoted to analyzing how and why theorists have separated the private and public (Part One). Three chapters explore how business interests have co-opted public power, especially by buying public officials and benefiting from privatization (Part Two). Finally, three chapters describe how people, including especially women, are learning to share public power. In this timely analysis of the place of privacy in a world dominated by public power, Byrne shows ample respect for privacy but more for grass roots organizations, in and through which people look after their best interests collaboratively. Along the way, he takes time to criticize individualistic versions of liberalism and to defend what some call discourse ethics.
About the Author
Edmund F. Byrne has earned doctoral degrees in both philosophy (1966) and law (1978). He was a Fullbright Scholar in Belgium, 1963 - 1965, and a Research Fellow at the Centric for the Study of Democracy. University of Westminster, London, England, 1996 - 1997. Dr. Bryne has published four books, as well as numerous articles and book reviews. His best known book is Work, Inc.: A Philosophical Inquiry (Temple University Press. 1990). This book, like many of his articles, examines the impact of technology on people's lives. He taught philosophy for over thirty years, mostly at Indiana University-Indianapolis, and served as department chair for eight years. His principle areas of teaching were social and political philosophy, philosophy of technology, and ethics. Now retired from his university position, he is Section Editor: Work for The Journal of Business Ethics, and is a volunteer Legal Intern the Senior Law Project of the Indianapolis Legal Services Organization. He has a son and a daughter, both married.