The Myth of Choice by Kent Greenfield
Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits

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Synopsis

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 provocative book, Kent Greenfield 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, Greenfield taps into scholarship on topics ranging from brain science to economics, political theory to sociology. His discoveries—told through an entertaining 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 Greenfield 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.

 

About Kent Greenfield

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Kent Greenfield is professor of law at Boston College Law School and served as a law clerk under Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.
 
Published October 11, 2011 by Yale University Press. 253 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Myth of Choice

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More importantly, though Greenfield acknowledges that brain function affects choice, he focuses more on the seen (such as societal factors that convince us to eat fast food) than the unseen (such as how fast food alters brain chemistry and therefore influences all decisions—not just whether we ea...

Oct 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

The Boston Globe

Two new books, “The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits’’ by Kent Greenfield and “Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy’’ by Martin Lindstrom, are worthy additions to the growing body of work debunking our flawed model.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

Oregon Live

Informative, lively and provocative, "The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits" has important implications for the decisions we make in our everyday lives.

Oct 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

We Love This Book

In The Myth of Choice, Kent Greenfield draws on his own field of law, as well as a wide range of research in the social sciences, to explore the reasons why people make the choices they do.

Jun 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

Boston.com

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Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

Bookmarks Magazine

But Greenfield 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.

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Myth of Choice: Personal ...

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