Particular persuasion techniques are called different things depending on if they are used ethically.

That's one useful way to make a distinction! And, honestly, probably the one I lean toward. That's probably the way I'd use the words, but even so I'm trying to figure out whether there's a sensible and coherent way to call a persuasion technique unethical as a reflection on the technique, rather than solely the consequences.

I've thought about it another way - if a particular technique is far easier (and more likely) to be used in a way that reduces utility than it is to use in a positive way, society should be wary of it, and perhaps call it an unethica... (read more)

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by orthonormal 1 min read12th Aug 2010805 comments


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