Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (3-4):461-482 (2010)

Authors
Kyle Whyte
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Evan Selinger
Rochester Institute of Technology
Abstract
Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge advances a theory of how designers can improve decision-making in various situations where people have to make choices. We claim that the moral acceptability of nudges hinges in part on whether they can provide an account of the competence required to offer nudges, an account that would serve to warrant our general trust in choice architects. What needs to be considered, on a methodological level, is whether they have clarified the competence required for choice architects to prompt subtly our behaviour toward making choices that are in our best interest from our own perspectives. We argue that, among other features, an account of the competence required to offer nudges would have to clarify why it is reasonable to expect that choice architects can understand the constraints imposed by semantic variance. Semantic variance refers to the diverse perceptions of meaning, tied to differences in identity and context, that influence how users interpret nudges. We conclude by suggesting that choice architects can grasp semantic variance if Thaler and Sunstein’s approach to design is compatible with insights about meaning expressed in science and technology studies and the philosophy of technology.
Keywords Trust  Expertise  Nudges  Choice architecture
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DOI 10.1007/s12130-010-9127-3
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References found in this work BETA

Trust and Antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
Rethinking Expertise.H. M. Collins & Robert Evans - 2007 - University of Chicago Press.
Epistemic Dependence.John Hardwig - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (7):335-349.
The Role of Trust in Knowledge.John Hardwig - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):693-708.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Political Justification of Nudging.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):385-395.
Habits, Nudges, and Consent.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (6):27 - 29.
EPIC: A Framework for Using Video Games in Ethics Education.Karen Schrier - 2015 - Journal of Moral Education 44 (4):393-424.

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