The Mere Substitution Defence of Nudging Works for Neurointerventions Too
Nudges are often defended on the basis that they merely substitute existing influences on choice with other influences that are similar in kind; they introduce no new kind of influence into the choice situation. I motivate the view that, if this defence succeeds in establishing the moral innocuousness of typical nudges, it also establishes the moral innocuousness of an intuitively wrongful neurochemical intervention. I then consider two attempts to rebut this view and argue that both fail. I end by spelling out four stances that the proponent of the defence might adopt in response to my argument.