This chapter examines recent enthusiasm for libertarian paternalism and nudging in both the academic literature and policy circles. The overall claim is that they are “alluring concepts” and, as a result, we have become too captivated by them and that this may be obscuring both the wider picture regarding the legitimate scope of government action, as well as other more practical philosophical concerns. As such, we would do well to largely abandon the dual nudge and libertarian paternalism project as it is currently approached. Four reasons are offered for this view. First, labeling – as libertarian paternalism or nudge – is not enough to do the justificatory work required to tell us if particular interventions are either permissible or preferable. Second, we risk missing important aspects of the use of the behavioral sciences in law- and policy-making if we focus on nudges or libertarian paternalistic interventions. Third, there are unanswered questions about the evidence required to implement nudges and other libertarian paternalistic policies. Finally, despite purportedly challenging traditional philosophical, legal, and economic conceptions of the rational actor, both nudges and libertarian paternalism appeal to a version of rationality which does not exist.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Paternalism|
|Editors||Kalle Grill, Jason Hanna|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2018|
|Name||Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics|