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eBook Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures, 2003) download

by Cass R. Sunstein

eBook Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures, 2003) download ISBN: 0674012682
Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (September 26, 2003)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1232 kb
Fb2: 1806 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: lrf azw mbr rtf
Category: Different
Subcategory: Social Sciences

Why Societies Need Dissent displays Cass Sunstein's keen eye for the interesting question, his boundless intellectual energy, and his ability to bring theoretical sophistication to bear on pressing contemporary problems. I always read and benefit from reading Sunstein's work.

Why Societies Need Dissent displays Cass Sunstein's keen eye for the interesting question, his boundless intellectual energy, and his ability to bring theoretical sophistication to bear on pressing contemporary problems. Why Societies Need Dissent offers a welcome opportunity to learn anew from one of the nation's leading intellectuals. Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School, and author of Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption).

It took me a couple of years to get to this book, but I am glad I did. Interestingly, it is dedicated to Judge Richard Posner, who has become quite a celebrity in writing and talking, from a legal point of view, about secret intelligence, in addition to his many other works. The author’s position is not completely new (see for instance Elizabeth Janeway’s 1987 classic, IMPROPER BEHAVIOR: When and How Misconduct Can be Healthy for Society, and the more standard but still seminal The Social Construction of Reality.

In this timely book, Cass R. Sunstein shows that organizations and nations are far more likely to prosper if they welcome dissent and promote openness. Attacking "political correctness" in all forms, Sunstein demonstrates that corporations, legislatures, even presidents are likely to blunder if they do not cultivate a culture of candor and disclosure. The Value of this Book is that it Shows Both the Value and Cost of Dissent. com User, April 2, 2007. If all we needed was dissent, then we could dissent all day! The problem is that we need something: 1) the right answer, and 2) with a limited amount of information to make the decision we want it 3) quickly and cheaply.

Why Societies Need Dissent book. Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures) by Cass R. Sunstein (2003). Jan 25, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it.

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Why Societies Need Dissent. Download with Google. Why Societies Need Dissent. 341880 Preliminary draft 10/30/02 All rights reserved Conformity and Dissent Cass R. Sunstein Abstract Much of the time, human beings do what others do. This is perfectly sensible, because the actions and statements of other people convey valuable information about what should be done. In addition, most people want the good opinion of others, and this desire promotes conformity. But conformity can lead both groups and institutions in unfortunate and even catastrophic directions.

In this timely book, Cass R. He shows that unjustified extremism, including violence and terrorism, often results from failure to tolerate dissenting views. The tragedy is that blunders and cruelties could be avoided if people spoke out.

by Cass R. Sunstein · Book Why Societies Need Dissent. Harvard University Press · 2003. Why Societies Need Dissent (Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures). Reddit Digg Google+ Tumblr Stumbleupon. In his latest work, Why Societies Need Dissent, Professor Sunstein casts new light on the fundamental importance of freedom of speech and shows us that nations are far more likely to prosper if they allow their citizens the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and dare to challenge the unchallengeable. This book is an expanded version of the Oliver Wendell Holmes lectures Professor Sunstein delivered at Harvard Law School. In this analysis he examines how the suppression of free discussion results in the loss of full and accurate information for the people. Article · September 2003 with 263 Reads. How we measure 'reads'. It may seem an easy fix, yet such countermeasures are more difficult to implement than one might suppose.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures. Sunstein, Cass R. PAPERBACK.

In this timely book, Cass R. Sunstein shows that organizations and nations are far more likely to prosper if they welcome dissent and promote openness. Attacking "political correctness" in all forms, Sunstein demonstrates that corporations, legislatures, even presidents are likely to blunder if they do not cultivate a culture of candor and disclosure. He shows that unjustified extremism, including violence and terrorism, often results from failure to tolerate dissenting views. The tragedy is that blunders and cruelties could be avoided if people spoke out.

Sunstein casts new light on freedom of speech, showing that a free society not only forbids censorship but also provides public spaces for dissenters to expose widely held myths and pervasive injustices. He provides evidence about the effects of conformity and dissent on the federal courts. The evidence shows not only that Republican appointees vote differently from Democratic appointees but also that both Republican and Democratic judges are likely to go to extremes if unchecked by opposing views. Understanding the need for dissent illuminates countless social debates, including those over affirmative action in higher education, because diversity is indispensable to learning.

Dissenters are often portrayed as selfish and disloyal, but Sunstein shows that those who reject pressures imposed by others perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense. This is true for dissenters in boardrooms, churches, unions, and academia. It is true for dissenters in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. And it is true during times of war and peace.

Comments: (7)
Ramsey`s
If you are interested in collective human behaviour, you will be interested in this. An eye opening collection of ideas and studies that make the dangers of conformity and the necessity of dissent transparently clear. A very satisfying insight into another of the Social Psychology, Sociological strands of research that are so ubiquitous primarily to American writing.
Zetadda
It presents both sides in why people "vote" the way they do. The book gets one thinking about things that probably would never cross your mind.
Wymefw
Sunstein has produced a book that is at the same time quite intuitive and yet counterintuitive. You find yourself nodding yes to so many of the things he points out only to be completely surprised when the conclusion isn't what you expected. For example, one might expect a larger group with more information to be able to more easily make a correctly informed decision. But, in fact, depending on the group dynamics the larger group may make it more difficult for certain viewpoints to be expressed and may marginalize minority viewpoints so that a less informed decision is the result.
I enjoyed the discussion of cascades where a series of decisions are made based on previous decisions which may have less general validity than presumed. The result is a lemming-like run of bad decisions which no one seems to be able to stop or even look at objectively.
Group polarity is another area discussed at length in this book. Sunstein points out that groups with mixed viewpoints represented may coalesce to a consensus viewpoint with the right climate or facilitation or they may spin off into highly polarized subgroups barely able to interface with one another.
I would think this book would be an invaluable resource for group facilitators, organizational experts, and think tanks.
Pooker
I really enjoyed this book. It was very readable and well written. I appreciated how the viewpoints and examples used were neutral and usable regardless of the reader's perspective on any issue.
Some of the more interesting points were: (1) an explanation of the pressure to conform, and why this pressure is surprisingly high even among those who consider themselves independent thinkers (2) the power of being first to speak in a group and the efficacy of a firm and confident tone (3) the two types of dissenters: contrarians and disclosers; and the importance of disclosing one's opinion and reasoning (4) discussion of "groupthink" and how group opinions form based on the group's members.
I appreciated Sunstein's frequent reference to psychological studies. That made this book much more credible and useful than one where an author merely formulates theories and writes about them.
Ndlaitha
I was skeptical as I started to read this book - I was worried that this would be a rant encouraging people to ALWAYS questions EVERYTHING.
Instead it is a very nice summary of scientific research into group behavior. How groups apply peer pressure onto individuals, without us really realizing it.
As I read the book, time and time again there was a study about group behavior that rang true with my experience at work, in meetings, etc.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in studies of group behavior, or for people like me that needed to understand why meetings seem to drag on forever...
Kirizan
A breathtaking piece of scholarship, Sunstein's book is readable, riveting and convincing. The arguments are sober and well-reasoned, providing ample citation and the address of multiple hypotheses at each stage of each argument. What emerges in the end is a powerful and compelling case for dissent not as something to be merely tolerated but as an essential high value, vital to the success of organizations and nations. At a time when this value goes largely unrecognized, Sunstein's contribution is inestimable. Never in my life have I bought multiple copies of a book to help spread a message --- until now.
Dodo
This book gathers together and puts a philosophical/political thoery frame on a range of findings in social science about conformity, information gathering, groupthink, fanaticism, and dissent. The lesson is that a free society needs to encourage, and maybe reward, dissent. If you're familiar with other books the author has published recently (Republic.com, Designing Democracy), the philosophical story and institutional proposals will be familiar. But the survey of the social scientific findings is worth the price of the book.
If all we needed was dissent, then we could dissent all day! The problem is that we need something: 1) the right answer, and 2) with a limited amount of information to make the decision we want it 3) quickly and cheaply. Without knowing that the author begins with that background, the title of the book might lead a potential reader into judging that the author was a Bob Dylan wannabe.

The author makes a number of useful observations while dealing with the manifest observation of the most casual observer that the dissenter never profits from his dissent. In other words, dissent is costly from several points of view, so the question is: When is it worth it--if ever?