Research Workshop: "Nudges and the Value of Reflection"

Dr. Cory Davia (Claremont McKenna)

Friday, January 14, 2022 (12:10-2:00 PM) English (Bldg. 22) Room 210


Sometimes you can make a difference to the choices people make by tweaking small things about the way their options are presented to them. For example, an employer might be able to encourage employees to save more for retirement by making one savings plan the default rather than another. Such "nudges" strike many as an appealing public policy tool in that they can bring about desired outcomes in a non-coercive way. Nonetheless, many philosophers have raised objections: nudges might seem manipulative, autonomy-undermining, or disrespectful. In this paper, I offer an explanation of our intuitive discomfort with nudges, and -- in light of it -- try to shed some light on which nudges are in fact objectionable and which are not. My suggestion is that paradigm cases of nudges bypass conscious reasoning, and that by doing so they risk cutting us off from various goods related to planning and self-understanding.

Hilarious alternative title: "Must We Judge You Ought Begrudge Him By Whose Nudge You Order Fudge?"

Link to Dr. Davia's Website


The talk will be in person in English (bldg. 22) Room 210 and available through Zoom. The Zoom link is available on the Philosophy Major and Minor Canvas site.

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