Invited talk by Uriah Kriegel (Rice)

Friday 10th June

Title: Phenomenal Privacy: What It Is and Why We Value It

Abstract: A certain type of privacy characterizes our stream of phenomenal consciousness. Moreover, this “phenomenal privacy,” as I will call it, is something that we value, indeed value dearly – there are few goods we would trade for it. What does this phenomenal privacy consist in and what is so important to us about it? One option is that we value phenomenal privacy simply because we are embarrassed by much of what goes on in our mind; another is that phenomenal privacy is necessary for sustaining interpersonal relations at any level. I argue that such interests, while relevant to why we value phenomenal privacy, do not exhaust what we value in it; and that we also value phenomenal privacy because it is partly constitutive of our sense of dignity, in a sense I elucidate toward the end of the paper.