Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Paul Hurley

Reader 2

Rivka Weinberg

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Contemporary debates about the right to privacy were inaugurated by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis’ article on the topic. While Warren and Brandeis understand the right to privacy as a stand-alone right, J. J. Thomson interprets it as a cluster of rights that itself intersects with other rights. Despite such disagreement, both accounts point to a deep connection between property rights and one’s right to herself. A close examination of the Lockean and Kantian concepts of property confirms this. In particular, Arthur Ripstein’s Kantian account of innate right and property rights suggests that property rights are derived from the innate right one has in herself. Building on this account, I suggest that one’s innate right and property rights grant one the exclusive control to herself and to her property. Such exclusive control can be conceptualized as the basis for one’s privileged space, any unauthorized access to which and any unauthorized use of what lies within which constitute violation of one’s right to privacy.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.