Privacy and lack of knowledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two sorts of connections between privacy and knowledge (or lack thereof) have been suggested in the philosophical literature. First, Alvin Goldman has suggested that protecting privacy typically leads to less knowledge being acquired. Second, several other philosophers (e.g. Parent, Matheson, Blaauw and Peels) have claimed that lack of knowledge is definitive of having privacy. In other words, someone not knowing something is necessary and sufficient for someone else having privacy about that thing. Or equivalently, someone knowing something is necessary and sufficient for someone else losing privacy about that thing. In this paper, I argue that both of these suggestions are incorrect. I begin by arguing, contra Goldman, that protecting privacy often leads to more knowledge being acquired. I argue in the remainder of the paper, contra the defenders of the knowledge account of privacy, that someone knowing something is not necessary for someone else losing privacy about that thing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalEpisteme
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science

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