Ethical Limitations on the State's Use of Arational Persuasion

23 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016

See all articles by Nadia N. Sawicki

Nadia N. Sawicki

Loyola-Chicago School of Law, Beazley Institute for Health Law & Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

Policy makers frequently use arational appeals and nudges - such as those relying on emotion, cognitive biases, and subliminal messaging - to persuade citizens to adopt behaviors that support public goals. However, these communication tactics have been widely criticized for relying on arational triggers rather than reasoned argument. This article develops a fuller account of the nonconsequentialist objection to arational persuasion by state actors, focusing on theories of decisional autonomy and metadecisional voluntariness. The article concludes by proposing ethically justifiable limitations on state communications that should be compelling to both critics and advocates of arational persuasion.

Suggested Citation

Sawicki, Nadia N., Ethical Limitations on the State's Use of Arational Persuasion (July 2016). Law & Policy, Vol. 38, Issue 3, pp. 211-233, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2810364 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12059

Nadia N. Sawicki (Contact Author)

Loyola-Chicago School of Law, Beazley Institute for Health Law & Policy ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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