It can be paternalistic to force people to choose. Often people do not wish to choose, but both private and public institutions ask or force them to do so, thus overriding their wishes. As a result, people’s autonomy may be badly compromised and their welfare may be greatly reduced. These points have implications for a range of issues in law and policy, suggesting that those who favor active choosing, and insist on it, may well be overriding people’s preferences and values, and thus running afoul of John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle (for better or for worse). People have limited mental bandwidth, and forcing choices can impose a hedonic or cognitive tax. Sometimes that tax is high.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.