The Myth of Choice

The Myth of Choice

Personal Responsibility in A World of Limits

Book - 2011
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Americans are fixated on the idea of choice. Our political theory is based on the consent of the governed. Our legal system is built upon the argument that people freely make choices and bear responsibility for them. And what slogan could better express the heart of our consumer culture than "Have it your way"? In this book, the author poses unsettling questions about the choices we make. What if they are more constrained and limited than we like to think? If we have less free will than we realize, what are the implications for us as individuals and for our society? To uncover the answers, he taps into scholarship on topics ranging from brain science to economics, political theory to sociology. His discoveries, told through an array of news events, personal anecdotes, crime stories, and legal decisions, confirm that many factors, conscious and unconscious, limit our free will. Worse, by failing to perceive them we leave ourselves open to manipulation. But he offers useful suggestions to help us become better decision makers as individuals, and to ensure that in our laws and public policy we acknowledge the complexity of choice.
Publisher: New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9780300169508
Branch Call Number: 153.83 Greenfie 11/2011
Characteristics: vii, 244 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.


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Apr 14, 2015

I do not agree with this author, although many, I'm sure, will read this book without the proper analytical mindset, and acquiesce to the author's beliefs. The author frames the limited choices presented us as if they were framed by nature and/or biology, as opposed to framed by the environment, mostly artificial, that we now inhabit - - which could change in the blink of an eye! He discusses Milgram's [famous] shock experiments, but there is some controversy as to the final analysis of those - - just as Stanley Milgram's other two major studies - - degrees of separation, and flash mobs, are frequently misrepresented. The reader will have to draw their own conclusions. [In 2016, it appears the American chooser will //choose\\ between Hillary Bush or Jeb Clinton, who have been preselected for us by the oligarchy. Either way, they win and we lose.]


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