Matteo Perini, Matteo Motterlini

The epistemology of nudges: From evidence to causality

  • Articolo
  • Early access (08/10/2021)
  • pp. 1-31
  • DOI: 10.1422/101895
  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: nudge, new mechanical philosophy, affordance.

This article investigates the foundation of the concept of nudge from the perspective of the new mechanical philosophy. The research program on nudges has always underappreciated the role of mechanistic explanation, favoring an evidence-based approach. We propose a taxonomy for the different objectives of a mechanistic explanation of nudges with three main categories: stability, legitimacy, and development. Then, capitalizing on this epistemological framework, we analyze the theory of nudge as affordance (Motterlini, Perini, 2020b). This theory provides an explanation of the efficacy of nudges by postulating the involvement of the parieto-frontal network responsible for affordance perception. Here we expose the main epistemic advantages of this model, consisting mainly in its contribution to the ethics of nudging and its heuristic potential for the development of new research hypotheses and real-world applications

Article first page

Article first page