Thomas Nys's research while affiliated with University of Amsterdam and other places

Publications (10)

Article
Full-text available
One of the most pervasive criticisms of nudges has been the claim that they violate, undermine or decrease people’s (personal) autonomy. This claim, however, is seldom backed up by an explicit and detailed conception of autonomy. In this paper, we aim to do three things. First, we want to clear up some conceptual confusion by distinguishing the dif...
Article
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Is it ever justified to ‘nudge’ people towards their own health? In this article, we argue that it is. We do so by arguing (1) that nudges are not necessarily – as is commonly thought – manipulative; (2) that even those nudges that are manipulative can be justified, for instance, when they preserve rather than violate people’s autonomy; and (3) tha...
Article
This article seeks to explore and analyze the relationship between autonomy and trust, and to show how these findings could be relevant to medical ethics. First, I will argue that the way in which so-called “relational autonomy theories” tie the notions of autonomy and trust together is not entirely satisfying Then, I will introduce the so-called E...
Article
According to Stephen Holland, the challenges I mention in my original paper can be met, so that, in a way, the problem of paternalism in public health care—which I intended to put into perspective by drawing out some possible justifications for it—returns in all its might and glory. But of course, as Holland observes, I never suggested that my chal...
Article
In the early 1970s Harry Frankfurt argued that so-called ‘coercive threats’ cause a violation of their victim's autonomy, thereby excluding him from moral responsibility. A person is therefore not responsible for doing what he is forced to do. Although this seems correct on an intuitive level, I will use Frankfurt's later vocabulary of ‘care’ and ‘...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on the ,difficult issue of what ,exactly goes on when,an individual ,tolerates something. It focuses on the ,problem ,of why ,an individual would ,ever choose ,to allow ,for some ,practice that he deems unacceptable,while ,having ,the power ,to do ,something ,about ,it. After distinguishing between different attitudes (tolerant...

Citations

... Second threat: market nudges can unduly intervene in people setting personal ends So far we have established that market nudges can inhibit consumers in pursuing their values and ends, for example by playing into their weakened wills. Here, we ask whether there is a more fundamental kind of influence that marketers can have, namely whether they can interfere in how people come to adopt their underlying value commitments and ends (Engelen and Nys 2020). If market nudges succeed in changing our behaviour, they may be able to do the same to our values and conceptions of the good life (see for example Schor 1998;George 2001;Lindstrom 2011). ...
... Understanding autonomy along the lines of identifcation and non-alienation, there is one possibility left to discuss: COCAs not so much violating or respecting autonomy but actually promoting it. Because we have already dealt with this in the context of nudging (Nys and Engelen 2017), we want to be brief here. Clever product placement in supermarkets can actually dissuade aspiring vegetarians from buying meat, and the gamifcation in activity trackers, health and ftness apps can encourage people who are planning to adopt a healthier lifestyle to go for that extra run or that extra mile. ...
... Notice, however, that the manipulator's disregard for a manipulee's true interests does not necessarily imply that the manipulee's interests will not figure in the manipulator's practical reasoning. A manipulator can attempt to 'encapsulate' (Hardin 2002;Nys 2016) a manipulee's interests for strategic reasons. But a manipulator will only do this precisely because doing so serves her own ends, not because she is genuinely concerned with the manipulee. ...
... This value refers to the behaviour of human beings who are open-minded, patient and forgive easily value other people's opinions and help fellow human beings to avoid getting into arguments that may cause disputes and misunderstandings with other people irrespective of their tribe, race and religion (Musling et al., 2020;Engelen & Nys, 2008). Among the ayats that explain the concept of this value are asy-Syuura (42:43), al-Imraan (3:133, 134, 159), al-Jaathiyah (45:14), an-Nur (24:22) dan at-Taghaabun (64:14): - ...
... It is useful to focus on the subjective notion of responsibility because it enables us to distinguish a sense of accountability from unquestioning obedience to rules, or acting under coercive (Nys, 2009) threat. As Dunn and Legge argue (2001), accountability is 'the price citizens extract for conferring substantial administrative discretion and policy responsibility on both elected and appointed government personnel ' (p. ...