Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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Nudging Thaler Morozov I 198
Nudging/Behavior/Regulation/Thaler/Morozov: What Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler call "Nudges" are clever manipulations of standard settings - what the authors call "Choice Architecture" - to make you eat healthy food or save money for retirement. (1) For manipulation, nudging is what public relations work is for advertising: it makes things run smoothly while making all the background, implicit and invisible, disappear. The most effective nudges give the actors the appearance of independence without offering them a wide choice.
Roger BrownswordVsSunstein/BrownswordVsThaler/Morozov: this kind of regulation appeals to our self-interest, but in a democratic society such attitudes should be discussed publicly. For example, it is not unproblematic to assume that the right reason to drive an energy-efficient car is to save money. It could also be that you want to protect the climate. (2)
Morozov I 199
MorozovVsSunstein/MorozovVsThaler/Morozov: Transforming something into a nudge by a mere technocratic commandment requires a social consensus - on both, goals and means - where this consensus may not yet exist. While the nudges are multiplying, divergent views on what needs to be done (and how) could actually vanish, but this should not be understood as an indication that the nudge in question has worked. Its presumed effectiveness is more likely to be the result of a forced consensus than the result of real consultation. Morozov: in addition, the only thing that counts as nudge is what actually has the result that the regulator wanted.
Brownsword: this makes it more difficult to challenge and change laws and standards if they are woven into (nudging) technology. (2)

Mause I 178f
Nudging/Thaler: A nudge must be avoidable - easily and without much effort. It is just a push, not an order. For example: Draping the fruit at eye level in the canteen counts as nudge. Taking junkfood from the offer however not. (3) For example, banning or taxing smoking because it is harmful to health would be a very traditional compulsion, but putting warnings ("smoking kills") or banning tobacco to the farthest corner of the shop would be a nudge.
Costs/SchnellenbachVsNudging: the counter-financing of the costs of nudging would hardly be possible other than through the traditional forcing instrument of taxation of completely uninvolved third parties.


1. Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, updated ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2009).
2. Roger Brownsword, “Whither the Law and the Law Books? From Prescription to Possibility,” Journal of Law and Society 39, no. 2 (2012): 296– 308; Brownsword, “Lost in Translation: Legality, Regulatory Margins, and Technological Management,” Berkeley Technology Law Journal 26 (2011): 1321– 1366; and Brownsword, Rights, Regulation and the Technological Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
3. Thaler, Richard H., und Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Wie man kluge Entscheidungen anstößt. Berlin 2009, S. 15.

EconThaler I
Richard Thaler
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics New York 2016


Morozov I
Evgeny Morozov
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism New York 2014

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018
Nudging Sunstein Morozov I 198
Nudging/Behavior/Regulation/Sunstein/Morozov: What Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler call "Nudges" are clever manipulations of standard settings - what the authors call "Choice Architecture" - to make you eat healthy food or save money for retirement. (1) For manipulation, nudging is what public relations work is for advertising: it makes things run smoothly while making all the background, implicit and invisible, disappear. The most effective nudges give the actors the appearance of independence without offering them a wide choice.
Roger BrownswordVsSunstein/BrownswordVsThaler/Morozov: this kind of regulation appeals to our self-interest, but in a democratic society such attitudes should be discussed publicly. For example, it is not unproblematic to assume that the right reason to drive an energy-efficient car is to save money. It could also be that you want to protect the climate. (2)
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Morozov I 199
MorozovVsSunstein/MorozovVsThaler/Morozov: Transforming something into a nudge by a mere technocratic commandment requires a social consensus - on both, goals and means - where this consensus may not yet exist. While the nudges are multiplying, divergent views on what needs to be done (and how) could actually vanish, but this should not be understood as an indication that the nudge in question has worked. Its presumed effectiveness is more likely to be the result of a forced consensus than of real deliberations. Morozov: in addition, the only thing that counts as nudge is what actually has the result that the regulator wanted.
Brownsword: this makes it more difficult to challenge and change laws and standards if they are woven into (nudging) technology. (2)

1. Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, updated ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2009).
2. Roger Brownsword, “Whither the Law and the Law Books? From Prescription to Possibility,” Journal of Law and Society 39, no. 2 (2012): 296– 308; Brownsword, “Lost in Translation: Legality, Regulatory Margins, and Technological Management,” Berkeley Technology Law Journal 26 (2011): 1321– 1366; and Brownsword, Rights, Regulation and the Technological Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Sunstein I
Cass R. Sunstein
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge Oxford 2008

Sunstein II
Cass R. Sunstein
#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media Princeton 2017


Morozov I
Evgeny Morozov
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism New York 2014
Paternalism Thaler Mause I 177f
Paternalism/Thaler/Sunstein: Thesis: Paternalism is not avoidable in all situations. In many cases, an actor or organization must make a decision that necessarily influences the decision-making options of other individuals. (1) For example, the canteen management influences the choice of food.
It is not the case that paternalistic intervention must be associated with coercion.
Def Liberal Paternalism/Thaler/Sunstein: a paternalism without coercion, which is also acceptable to liberals. Liberal paternalism is intended to improve the position of those affected, whereby this improvement is measured under the following conditions (or assumptions):
1. unlimited cognitive abilities
2. no weakness of will
3. perfect information.
See also Subsidiarity/Thaler.
VsPaternalism: liberal paternalism differs from traditional paternalism: 1) it does not limit the freedom of choice between existing options;
2) It is based on the preferences of the individual and not on those of an external regulator. See Nudging/Thaler.
(s)VsPaternalism: Problem: where is the line to be drawn between paternalism and liberal paternalism in the case of opting-in and opting-out? E.g. Organ donation: a) The acceptance of tacit consent or the demand for an explicit objection to organ donation - b) The demand for an explicit declaration of consent.
Mause I 179
SchnellenbachVsThaler/SchnellenbachVsSunstein/SchnellenbachVsPaternalism: 1) it is not about reducing alternatives, because even in traditional paternalism the number of alternatives is not reduced. Only the opportunity costs of the alternatives will be different. 2) Liberal paternalism can only assume what the preferences of a conditional individual will be. See Hayek "pretense of Knowledge", See Paternalism/Hayek.


1. Thaler, Richard H., und Cass R. Sunstein. 2003. Libertarian paternalism. American Economic Review 93, (2), 2003, S. 175– 179.
2. Jan Schnellenbach, Wohlwollendes Anschubsen: Was ist mit liberalem Paternalismus zu erreichen und was sind seine Nebenwirkungen? Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik 12 (4) 2011, S.445-459.

EconThaler I
Richard Thaler
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics New York 2016


Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018
Preferences Thaler Mause I 178
Preferences/Thaler/Sunstein: Thaler and Sunstein's thesis of liberal paternalism: it does not limit the freedom of choice between existing options. (1) SchnellenbachVsThaler/VsSunstein/VsPaternalism: Problem: preferences, especially long-term preferences, are difficult to identify. They may only be "expressive" ((s) non-linguistically expressed) or the result of little informed consideration.
Ultimately, liberal paternalism is based on the same fictitious average individual as traditional paternalism.
Another problem: people without self-management problems are prevented from freely forming their preferences. (2)


1. Thaler, Richard H., und Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Wie man kluge Entscheidungen anstößt. Berlin 2009
2. Jan Schnellenbach, Wohlwollendes Anschubsen: Was ist mit liberalem Paternalismus zu erreichen und was sind seine Nebenwirkungen? Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik 12 (4) 2011, S.445-459.

EconThaler I
Richard Thaler
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics New York 2016


Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018