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  • Andrew Oberg

Security cameras have become a ubiquitous part of everyday life in most major cities, yet each new camera seems to come with cries of foul play by defenders of privacy rights. Our long history with these cameras and CCTV networks does not seem to have alleviated our concerns with being watched, and as we feel ourselves losing privacy in other areas the worry generated by security cameras has remained. Our feelings of disquiet, however, are unnecessary as they stem from an erroneous view of the self. The following argues that this view of an autonomous and atomistic self is both detrimental and inaccurate.

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1 ‘Britain is “surveillance society”’, BBC News, 02 November 2006. <>. Accessed 05 October 2012.

2 A New York Times opinion piece on the matter here: David Brooks, ‘Thurston Howell Romney’, The New York Times, 17 September 2012. <>. Accessed 08 October 2012.

3 An examination of each of these three categories in detail, arguments against them, and a compelling alternative view can be found here: Simmons, A. John, ‘Political Obligation and Authority’ in The Blackwell Guide to Social and Political Philosophy, ed. Simon, Robert L. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., 2002), 1737.

4 For an account of how some super-rich philanthropists view their giving, see: Shanaz Musafer, ‘What motivates philanthropists?’, BBC News: Business, 15 October 2012. <>. Accessed 17 October 2012.

5 For more on innate morality and moral priorities, see the excellent paper by Haidt, Jonathan, ‘The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment’, Psychological Review, vol. 108 no. 4 (2001), 814834.

6 Christopher Hope, ‘1,000 CCTV cameras to solve just one crime, Met Police admits’, The Telegraph, 25 August 2009. <>; and Jennifer 8. Lee, ‘Study Questions Whether Cameras Cut Crime’, The New York Times, 03 March 2009. <>. Both articles accessed 20 October 2012.

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  • ISSN: 1477-1756
  • EISSN: 1755-1196
  • URL: /core/journals/think
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