Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

October 2, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs

Editor's note: If you are looking for the news release on Professor Alexander George's new book What Would Socrates Say? please click here.

AMHERST, Mass.—Barry Schwartz, the Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, will lecture on “The Tyranny of Freedom: Psychological Perspectives on Choice” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College.

Organized by the Amherst College Department of Philosophy and funded by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, Schwartz’s talk is free and open to the public.

Schwartz’s work explores the social and psychological effects of free-market economic institutions on moral, social and civic concerns. In his book The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life, Schwartz finds that market values undermine morals and community-building. More particularly, Schwartz suggests that the much-cited and much-maligned hostility that characterizes American public debates is related to the erosion of community-oriented values in the market-obsessed society. His more recent work, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, examines the often-paralyzing effects on consumers of a marketplace offering a bewildering array of choices.

Schwartz, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, has been awarded several grants by the National Science Foundation over the last three decades. In addition, he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

The Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science was established in 1983 by Carol Micken and John I. Forry ’66 to promote the study of philosophical issues arising out of new developments in the sciences, including mathematics, and issues in the philosophy and history of science.