March 26, 2013

Kent Greenfield to deliver Charles Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If you are interested in learning why you make the choices you do --such as whether to attend the Charles D. Tenney University Honors lecture at SIU Carbondale -- you will just have to show up.

According to Kent Greenfield, author and this semester’s Charles D. Tenney lecturer, a wide variety of factors we don’t choose, can’t control, and may not even recognize influence our choices, dear as they are to us.

Greenfield, author of “The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits,” presents his discussion about choice, society, and how we interpret them at 7:30 p.m., April 17, in the SIU Student Center Auditorium.  Greenfield is a professor of law and a Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, where his areas of specialization include Constitutional law, corporate law, legal theory, and economic analysis of law.

The lecture is free, open to the public, and sign language interpreted.

Greenfield tackles the American perception of choice by drawing attention to how our ideas about choice and free will affect our system of government and our legal system.  He blends scholarship gleaned from brain science, economics, sociology and more with personal anecdotes and stories culled from legal decisions and newspapers to challenge us to think about how we make choices, and what circumstances limit these choices.  He also asks that we consider how responsibility and choice intersect, particularly when choices are less optional or informed than they may at first seem.

Greenfield’s awards include several teaching and scholarly activity awards from Boston College Law School.  His professional background includes teaching at the University of Connecticut and the University of Hawaii law schools, and political science at Brown University.  He was a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the Center on Corporations, Law and Society at the Seattle University of Law in 2007-08.

A book signing and reception will follow Greenfield’s lecture.