Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy colloquium with Dr. Marc Hight

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

On Friday, February 16, Dr. Marc Hight (Elliott Professor of Philosophy at Hampden-Sydney College) will give a philosophy colloquium in Cleveland Hall 114 from 3:30-5:00. Here are the details:

“Better off as Judged by Themselves”: A Critical Examination of Nudge Theory

Abstract: Libertarian Paternalism (as endorsed by the recent 2017 Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler) claims to differ from traditional paternalism by making people better off, ‘as judged by themselves.’ We argue that choice architects use ‘better off, as judged by themselves’ in a way that is systematically unclear and misleading. This unclarity furthermore makes recent debates about the efficacy and morality of employing nudges as public policy instruments in some cases difficult, if not meaningless. Ultimately the matter simply resolves into intuition pulling about values, making libertarian paternalism effectively equivalent to traditional paternalism.

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