Given Nudge's success over the last decade in capturing the attention of policymakers and generating concrete policy proposals, it is worth pausing to assess how the libertarian paternalist
project is faring.
have no trouble simply inserting their own preferences into the regulations, though it's generally unclear why their preferences, applied across a general population, should be considered superior to people's individual choices.
To resolve these differences, the new paternalists
look to neuroscience
In this way, coercive paternalists
discount a person's ability to choose accurately and appropriately, restrictive choice architecture notwithstanding (p.
But when government planners try to nudge us in a preferred direction by exploiting knowledge about our cognitive biases, we do not expect it, so libertarian paternalists
will tend to reinforce our biases (p.
we have also seen that means paternalists
would consider a fuel-economy
slaveowners as seigniorial paternalists
, arguing that Southern
It might be tempting for paternalists
to respond, with Aristotle, that the habitual repetition of acts of a certain sort cultivates character dispositions consistent with those acts, so that requiring acts consistent with virtue and prohibiting acts that manifest vice will lead, over time, to the inculcation of virtuous dispositions and the suppression of vicious ones.
Ultimately, there is a fundamental and unresolved accountability deficit in the way libertarian paternalists
go about nudging us.
Suffice it to say we would need to explore deeper issues such as practical reason internalism versus externalism, whether reasons internalism can yield a principle or principles that defeat neutral paternalism, whether any viable liberal theory has the equipment to levy a justificatory burden that neutral paternalists
cannot meet--without having troublesome implications in other areas of political morality, etc.
The burden of proof falls to the New Paternalists
to give us some good reasons for thinking that all -- or even most, or even very many -- of the non-working poor have the peculiar combination of frustrated preferences and weaknesses of will they insist on attributing to them.
For the influence of the paternalists
was not confined to colonial affairs alone.