Nudges, Agency, and Abstraction: A Reply to Critics


Abstract
This essay has three general themes. The first involves the claim that nudging threatens human agency. My basic response is that human agency is fully retained and that agency is always exercised in the context of some kind of choice architecture. The second theme involves the importance of having a sufficiently capacious sense of the category of nudges, and a full appreciation of the differences among them. Some nudges either enlist or combat behavioral biases but others do not, and even among those that do enlist or combat such biases, there are significant differences. The third general theme is the need to bring various concerns in close contact with particular examples. A legitimate point about default rules may not apply to warnings or reminders. An ethical objection to the use of social norms may not apply to information disclosure. Here as elsewhere, abstraction can be a trap. We continue to learn about the relevant ethical issues, about likely public reactions to nudging, and about differences across cultures and nations. Future progress will depend on a high level of concreteness, perhaps especially in dealing with the vexing problem of time-inconsistency.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13164-015-0266-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,955
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Emergence of Norms.Lanning Sowden & Edna Ullmann-Margalit - 1981 - Philosophical Quarterly 31 (122):82.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Choice Architect’s Trilemma.Chris Mills - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (3):395-414.
From Libertarian Paternalism to Nudging—and Beyond.Adrien Barton & Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):341-359.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Nudges and Cultural Variance: A Note on Selinger and Whyte.Luc Bovens - 2010 - Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (3-4):483-486.
The Ethics of Public Health Nudges.Yashar Saghai - 2012 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
Competence and Trust in Choice Architecture.Evan Selinger & Kyle Powys Whyte - 2010 - Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (3-4):461-482.
Nudging as a Threat to Privacy.Andreas Kapsner & Barbara Sandfuchs - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):455-468.
Social Nudges: Their Mechanisms and Justification.Michiru Nagatsu - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):481-494.
Shifting the Concept of Nudge.Brynn F. Welch - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):497-498.
Nudging in Interpersonal Contexts.Yashar Saghai - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (6):33-34.
Habits, Nudges, and Consent.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (6):27 - 29.
What Can Neuroscience Contribute to the Debate Over Nudging?Gidon Felsen & Peter B. Reiner - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):469-479.
Should 'Nudge' Be Salvaged?Alan Wertheimer - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):498-499.
A Political Justification of Nudging.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):385-395.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-05-22

Total views
43 ( #167,481 of 2,319,378 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #180,172 of 2,319,378 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature