Getting Real on Rationality—Behavioral Science, Nudging, and Public Policy

Ethics 129 (4):511-543 (2019)

Andreas T. Schmidt
University of Groningen
The nudge approach seeks to improve people’s decisions through small changes in their choice environments. Nudge policies often work through psychological mechanisms that deviate from traditional notions of rationality. Because of that, some critics object that nudging treats people as irrational. Such treatment might be disrespectful in itself and might crowd out more empowering policies. I defend nudging against these objections. By defending a nonstandard, ecological model of rationality, I argue that nudging not only is compatible with rational agency but can even support it. Accordingly, a concern with rationality speaks for more rather than less public policy nudging.
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DOI 10.1086/702970
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Nudging and Autonomy: Analyzing and Alleviating the Worries.Bart Engelen & Thomas Nys - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.

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