• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Is everything personal also private? The modern world is neatly compartmentalized into the private and the public, and the personal is often used interchangeably with the private as if they are the same. But are they? The book starts a new discourse by distinguishing the two and analyzing existing discourses of history, culture, politics, ethics, and law, asserts that the underlying theory is vastly different, often antagonistic. It radically changes the notions of the public, private, and personal by introducing the public–private–personal “triad,” challenging the modern binary of the public and private. This original and insightful book will provoke readers to rethink their use of the personal and the private as two different notions for the same thing.

Universal and Cultural Histories of the Personal
Universal and cultural histories of the personal
I

Today, the lexical presence of public/private has become a part of our everyday, implicit vocabulary, so much so that their meaning seems self-present (self-evidence that shows itself without a corresponding sign chain) and equipmentally ready at hand. Public means all the citizens of a state and also “unconcealed, not private” (S. 8, expln. 2, Indian Evidence Act [1 of 1872]). The operative principle here is, “everything that appears in public can be seen and heard by everybody and has the widest possible publicity.”1 Etymologically meaning “of the people,” the public is strongly built into the optic of the “public sphere”—where public opinion evolves among people who are political equals (no distinction ...

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