On Freedom

Cass R. Sunstein. Princeton Univ, $12.95 (136p) ISBN -978-0-691-19115-7
Law professor and behavioral scientist Sunstein (Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness) offers a short treatise on the appropriate ethics for trying to influence behavior. He starts from two premises: that it is proper for institutions, health plans, government agencies, corporations, and so on to seek to influence individuals’ behavior—to “nudge” individuals in a particular direction—and that they should only do so in a way that preserves people’s freedom of choice. Some of the simpler nudges Sunstein covers are warnings about smoking, driving while texting, and eating unhealthily, but he also tackles complex situations that raise conundrums, such as those in which the free will of an individual has already been compromised by, for example, an addiction, willpower deficits, or other real-world obstacles. Sunstein considers a host of intriguing questions, perhaps most pointedly who should decide what behaviors are good for a person—that person or the “nudger.” This slip of a book can be quickly read, but puts forth important concepts. Its ideas will stay with readers a long time. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2018
Release date: 02/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 136 pages - 978-0-691-19202-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-68457-005-8
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