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Enigmas of Identity$
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Peter Brooks

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151588

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151588.001.0001

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“Inevitable Discovery”: Searches, Narrative, Identity

“Inevitable Discovery”: Searches, Narrative, Identity

(p.117) 5 “Inevitable Discovery”: Searches, Narrative, Identity
Enigmas of Identity

Peter Brooks

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how the question of searches and seizures in the law, and the legal doctrines both protecting the individual and providing for his or her capture by social institutions, images a kind of standoff between the self and knowledge of it. To the extent that individual identity is bound up with the notion of privacy, the issue of searches and seizures very much reflects central tenets of modern identity. There must be rules laid down to protect the individual's inner sense of identity against the state's need to know, classify, and inventory that identity. If courts often interpret this as a balancing act, attempting to draw lines and establish rules about where and what can be searched and seized and in what manner, fundamentally it represents a conflict and a clash, in which the internal sense of “inviolate personality” and the state's external need to know persons are at a standoff.

Keywords:   searches, seizures, individual identity, privacy, modern identity, inviolate personality

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