Architecture of the mind and libertarian paternalism: is the reversibility of system 1 nudges likely to happen?
Mind and Society 18 (2):143-166 (2019)
AbstractThe libertarian attribute of Thaler and Sunstein’s nudge theory (Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2008) is one of the most important features for its candidature as a new model for public policy-making. It relies on the reversibility of choices made under the influence of nudging. Since the mind is articulated into two systems, the choice taken by System 1 is always reversible because it can be overridden by the deliberative and corrective role of System 2. This article does not aim to criticise the whole theory of nudge and neither to assess its practical efficacy as a policy-making tool. Rather it intends to show that there are doubts that the specific claim of reversibility is correct for a subset of nudges called “System 1 nudges” (Sunstein in The ethics of influence, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2016). And that therefore, in this case, the libertarian claim seems little justified. The thrust of my argument contests the truth of the main pillar of the libertarian claim, namely the dual-process theory of mind. I will show that even the minimal version of dual reasoning, namely the Type 1 and Type 2 processes proposed by Evans and Stanovich (Perspect Psychol Sci 8(3):223–241, 2013), is weakened by psychological and neural data.
Similar books and articles
Success conditions for nudges: a methodological critique of libertarian paternalism.Conrad Heilmann - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (1):1-20.
In Search of Lost Nudges.Guilhem Lecouteux - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):397-408.
Why Nudges Coerce: Experimental Evidence on the Architecture of Regulation.Adam Hill - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (4):1279-1295.
Nudging as a Threat to Privacy.Andreas Kapsner & Barbara Sandfuchs - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):455-468.
Libertarian patriarchalism: Nudges, procedural roadblocks, and reproductive choice.Govind Persad - 2014 - Women’s Rights L. Rep 35:273--466.
Nudging Utopia.Soren Riis, Evan Selinger & Kyle Powys Whyte - 2010 - Future Orientation, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies Magazine 1:29-33.
How Nudges Often Fail to Treat People According to Their Own Preferences.William Glod - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (4):599-617.
Libertarian Paternalism, Manipulation, and the Shaping of Preferences.Jason Hanna - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (4):618-643.
L'architettura come sistema di differenze.Marco Biraghi - 2012 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 5 (2).
Obesity: Towards a System of Libertarian Paternalistic Public Health Interventions.R. A. Skipper - 2012 - Public Health Ethics 5 (2):181-191.
Governing [through] Autonomy. The Moral and Legal Limits of “Soft Paternalism”.Bijan Fateh-Moghadam & Thomas Gutmann - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):383-397.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Conservation of behavioral diversity: on nudging, paternalism-induced monoculture, and the social value of heterogeneous beliefs and behavior.Nathan Berg & Yuki Watanabe - 2020 - Mind and Society 19 (1):103-120.
“Trust me, I’m your neighbour” How to improve epidemic risk containment through community trust.Silvia Felletti - 2021 - Mind and Society 20 (1):155-158.
References found in this work
Controlled and automatic human information processing: Perceptual learning, automatic attending, and a general theory.Richard M. Shiffrin & Walter Schneider - 1977 - Psychological Review 84 (2):128-90.
On the proper treatment of connectionism.Paul Smolensky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.