Coercive paternalism and the intelligence continuum

Published on Mar 1, 2020
· DOI :10.1017/BPP.2018.4
Nathan Cofnas4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Balliol College)
Thaler and Sunstein advocate ‘libertarian paternalism’. A libertarian paternalist changes the conditions under which people act so that their cognitive biases lead them to choose what is best for themselves. Although libertarian paternalism manipulates people, Thaler and Sunstein say that it respects their autonomy by preserving the possibility of choice. Conly argues that libertarian paternalism does not go far enough, since there is no compelling reason why we should allow people the opportunity to choose to bring disaster upon themselves if sometimes they will make the wrong decision. She defends ‘coercive paternalism’. The present paper argues that errors in reasoning are not due only to cognitive biases. People also make errors because they have an insufficient level of general intelligence. Intelligence is distributed on a continuum. Those who fall on higher levels of the continuum have greater abilities, in certain contexts, to reason about both their own and others’ interests. Coercive paternalism may sometimes be appropriate to prevent less intelligent people from engaging in self-destructive behavior due to errors of reasoning.
  • References (42)
  • Citations (0)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
61 Citations
1 Author (Cass R. Sunstein)
144 Citations
15 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Richard J. Haier (UCI: University of California, Irvine)H-Index: 51
30 Citations
#1Nathan Cofnas (University of Cambridge)H-Index: 4
When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as “evolutionary mismatch,” or “evolutionary novelty.” The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have gene...
8 CitationsSource
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The negative association between intelligence and obesity has been well established, but the direction of causality is unclear. The present review surveys the recent studies on the topic with both cross-sectional and longitudinal data in an attempt to establish causality. RECENT FINDINGS: Most studies in the area employ cross-sectional data and conclude (without empirical justification) that obesity causes intellectual impairment. The few studies that employ prospectively long...
7 CitationsSource
#1Cass R. SunsteinH-Index: 94
144 Citations
Medication nonadherence is an important public health consideration, affecting health outcomes and overall health care costs. This review considers the most recent developments in adherence research with a focus on the impact of medication adherence on health care costs in the US health system. We describe the magnitude of the nonadherence problem and related costs, with an extensive discussion of the mechanisms underlying the impact of nonadherence on costs. Specifically, we summarize the impac...
207 CitationsSource
#1Satoshi Kanazawa (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 33
Objective: Recent studies conclude childhood intelligence has no direct effect on adult obesity net of education, but evolutionary psychological theories suggest otherwise. Design and Methods: A population (n = 17,419) of British babies has been followed since birth in 1958 in a prospectively longitudinal study. Childhood general intelligence is measured at 7, 11, and 16, and adult BMI and obesity are measured at 51. Results: Childhood general intelligence has a direct effect on adult BMI, obesi...
23 CitationsSource
#1Sarah ConlyH-Index: 3
Too often, we as individuals do things that harm us, that seriously interfere with our being able to live in the way that we want. We eat food that makes us obese, that promotes diabetes, heart failure and other serious illness, while at the same time, we want to live long and healthy lives. Too many of us smoke cigarettes, even while acknowledging we wish we had never begun. We behave in ways that undercut our ability to reach some of our most valued goals, despite education and despite incenti...
127 Citations
#1Daniel Kahneman (Princeton University)H-Index: 117
Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology challenging the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of the world's most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound impact on many fields - including business, medicine, and politics - but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research in one book. In "Thinking, Fast and Slow", Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the t...
8,859 Citations
#1Edward N. Zalta (Stanford University)H-Index: 17
#2Uri NodelmanH-Index: 10
Last. John Perry (Stanford University)H-Index: 27
view all 4 authors...
Evolutionary psychology is one of many biologically informed approaches to the study of human behavior. Along with cognitive psychologists, evolutionary psychologists propose that much, if not all, of our behavior can be explained by appeal to internal psychological mechanisms. What distinguishes evolutionary psychologists from many cognitive psychologists is the proposal that the relevant internal mechanisms are adaptations—products of natural selection—that helped our ancestors get around the ...
1,651 Citations
#1Satoshi Kanazawa (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 33
#2Josephine E. E. U. Hellberg (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 7
Why do some individuals choose to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use illegal drugs while others do not? The origin of individual preferences and values is one of the remaining theoretical questions in social and behavioral sciences. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values than less intelligent individuals. Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel, so the ...
33 CitationsSource
Cited By0