Jon Matheson, PhD, Associate Professor
Faculty Mentor Department
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Associated Prize (or Other Information)
Philosophy Honors Thesis
Nudging is the idea that people’s decisions should be influenced in predictable, non-coercive ways by making changes to the way that options are presented to them. Central to the debate about nudging is the question of whether it is morally permissible to intentionally nudge others. Libertarian paternalists maintain that this can be the case. In this paper, I present the libertarian paternalistic criteria for the moral permissibility of intentional nudges. Having done this, I motivate two objections. The first one targets the moral permissibility of nudging in general. The second one targets the moral permissibility of only a subset of nudges. After evaluating both of these objections, I conclude that although they are unsuccessful, the evaluation of The Manipulation Objection shows that the libertarian paternalistic criteria for the moral permissibility of intentional nudges fails. I end by suggesting a possible revision to the criteria that avoids the problem, considering its limitations, and providing examples of its applications.
Joly Chock, Valerie D.
"The Ethics and Applications of Nudges,"
PANDION: The Osprey Journal of Research and Ideas: Vol. 1:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/pandion_unf/vol1/iss2/5