Are health nudges coercive?

Monash Bioethics Review 32 (1-2):141-158 (2014)
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Abstract

Governments and policy-makers have of late displayed renewed attention to behavioural research in an attempt to achieve a range of policy goals, including health promotion. In particular, approaches which could be labelled as ‘nudges’ have gained traction with policy-makers. A range of objections to nudging have been raised in the literature. These include claims that nudges undermine autonomy and liberty, may lead to a decrease in responsibility in decision-making, lack transparency, involve deception, and involve manipulation, potentially occasioning coercion. In this article I focus on claims of coercion, examining nudges within two of the main approaches to coercion—the pressure approach and the more recent enforcement approach. I argue that coercion entails an element of control over the behaviour of agents which is not plausibly displayed by the kinds of serious examples of nudges posited in the literature.

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Resisting Moralisation in Health Promotion.Rebecca C. H. Brown - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):997-1011.

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References found in this work

Judgement under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases.Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic & Amos Tversky - 1985 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (3):331-340.
Harm to Self.Joel Feinberg - 1986 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Ethics of Nudge.Luc Bovens - 2008 - In Mats J. Hansson & Till Grüne-Yanoff (eds.), Preference Change: Approaches from Philosophy, Economics and Psychology. Berlin: Springer, Theory and Decision Library A. pp. 207-20.
Debate: To nudge or not to nudge.Daniel M. Hausman & Brynn Welch - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (1):123-136.

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