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In Defense of Intentionally Shaping People's Choices

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In defense of nudging policies, proponents have pointed out that choice architecture is inevitable. However, critics have objected that shaping people’s choices in an intentional way is not inevitable and involves an objectionable substitution of judgment, with the choice architect imposing his will on others. Accordingly, the inevitability of choice architecture in general does not provide reason to accept intentional nudges. In contrast to this view, the paper argues that precisely because the choice architects will unavoidably contribute to people’s choices, it is permissible for them to consider the content of the choices that their choice architecture promotes. Specifically, I argue that it is often within choice architects’, including states’, own legitimate sphere of control whether they want to contribute to other people’s behaviors through their organization of the choice architecture. It is argued that such intentional choice architecture does not involve objectionable substitution of judgment.

TidsskriftPolitical Research Quarterly
Sider (fra-til)1335–1344
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (no. DNRF114)

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

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