The Neuroethics of Pleasure and Addiction in Public Health Strategies Moving Beyond Harm Reduction: Funding the Creation of Non-Addictive Drugs and Taxonomies of Pleasure
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Neuroethics 4 (2):103-117 (2011)
We are unlikely to stop seeking pleasure, as this would prejudice our health and well-being. Yet many psychoactive substances providing pleasure are outlawed as illicit recreational drugs, despite the fact that only some of them are addictive to some people. Efforts to redress their prohibition, or to reform legislation so that penalties are proportionate to harm have largely failed. Yet, if choices over seeking pleasure are ethical insofar as they avoid harm to oneself or others, public health strategies should foster ethical choice by moving beyond current risk management practices embodied in the harm reduction movement. The neuroscience of pleasure has much to offer neuroethics and public health strategies. Distinguishing between ‘wanting’ and ‘liking’ fosters new understandings of addiction. These hold promise for directing the search for pharmacotherapies which prevent addiction and relapse or disrupt associated neuromechanisms. They could inform new research into creating lawful psychoactive substances which give us pleasure without provoking addiction. As the health and well being of human and other animals rests upon the experience of pleasure, this would be an ethical objective within public health strategy. Were ethical and neurobiological obstacles to ending addiction to be overcome, problems associated with excessive consumption, the lure of unlawful psychoactive substances and the paucity of lawful means to achieve pleasurable altered states would remain. Non-addictive designer drugs, which reliably provided lawful access to pleasures and altered states, would ameliorate these public health concerns insofar as they fostered citizens’ informed, ethical choices according to a neurobiological taxonomy of pleasures
|Keywords||Addiction Designer drugs Harm reduction Pleasure Public health|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Timothy Schroeder (2004). Three Faces of Desire. Oxford University Press.
Tania Singer, Hugo D. Critchley & Kerstin Preuschoff (2009). A Common Role of Insula in Feelings, Empathy and Uncertainty. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (8):334-340.
S. R. Quartz (2009). Reason, Emotion and Decision-Making: Risk and Reward Computation with Feeling. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (5):209-215.
A. Craig (2004). Human Feelings: Why Are Some More Aware Than Others? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (6):239-241.
Cynthia Forlini & Eric Racine (2009). Disagreements with Implications: Diverging Discourses on the Ethics of Non-Medical Use of Methylphenidate for Performance Enhancement. BMC Medical Ethics 10 (1):9.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Peter J. Cohen (2002). Untreated Addiction Imposes an Ethical Bar to Recruiting Addicts for Non-Therapeutic Studies of Addictive Drugs. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 30 (1):73-81.
Eric Matthews (2010). Explaining Addiction. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):23-26.
Wayne Hall (2003). Addiction, Neuroscience and Ethics. Addiction 98 (7):867-870.
Peter B. Reiner (2011). The Paradox of Addiction Neuroscience. Neuroethics 4 (2):65-77.
Ralph Metzner (2005). Psychedelic, Psychoactive, and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness. In Mitch Earleywine (ed.), Mind-Altering Drugs: The Science of Subjective Experience. Oxford University Press 25-48.
Daniel Buchman, Judy Illes & Peter Reiner (2011). The Paradox of Addiction Neuroscience. Neuroethics 4 (2):65-77.
Stuart Rachels (2004). Six Theses About Pleasure. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
Irwin Goldstein (2003). Malicious Pleasure Evaluated: Is Pleasure an Unconditional Good? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):24–31.
Albert O. Hirschman (1996). Melding the Public and Private Spheres: Taking Commmensality Seriously. Critical Review 10 (4):533-550.
Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2007). Addiction is Not an Affliction: Addictive Desires Are Merely Pleasure-Oriented Desires. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):29 – 32.
Added to index2010-06-12
Total downloads62 ( #55,012 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #84,767 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?