David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):31-34 (2010)
A brief poll of my scientific colleagues confirmed that, to a person, they regard addiction as a disease, whereas most non-science acquaintances consider it to be a failure of willpower. Reconciliation of these polarized views seems difficult and rather than finding a middle path, such as suggested by Foddy and Savulescu. I am an entrenched supporter of the view that addiction can be a disease. I first should declare my position as a card-carrying biologist, holding the view that behavior emanates from the brain and, accordingly, that behavior and emotions result from brain function. This brain function also produces addiction and related behaviors, whereas Foddy and Savulescu seem to credit humans with a greater capacity to choose than biological evidence suggests. The second problem relates to definitions of disease: I argue that there are at least three ways addiction might be considered a disease. 1.? ? ? Addiction is a disease because it results in pathology. For example, hypertension is a disease. Hypertension per se does not cause dysfunction, but leads to pathologically definable conditions such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Smoking, like hypertension, can result in pathologies such as emphysema and cancer. The problem is not smoking per se, or even addiction to nicotine, rather it is the consequent diseases caused by tobacco. Nevertheless, if hypertension is a disease, so is smoking. The question of “choosing‘ to persist with smoking has no bearing on whether it is disease. Whether a person chooses to care for their hypertension or ignore it does not alter the fact that they have hypertension; it is still a disease and it will still harm them. Whether addiction affects the capacity to choose is not relevant because it does not alter the fact that smoking causes pathology and hence is a disease. 2.? ? ? Foddy and Savulescu argue that addiction leaves no tell-tale pathology to set it aside from
|Keywords||addiction choice frontal lobes|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bennett Foddy (2011). Addicted to Food, Hungry for Drugs. Neuroethics 4 (2):79-89.
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.
Stephanie Bell, Adrian Carter, Rebecca Mathews, Coral Gartner, Jayne Lucke & Wayne Hall (2014). Views of Addiction Neuroscientists and Clinicians on the Clinical Impact of a 'Brain Disease Model of Addiction'. Neuroethics 7 (1):19-27.
Peter J. Cohen (2007). Addiction, Molecules and Morality: Disease Does Not Obviate Responsibility. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):21 – 23.
Steven E. Hyman (2007). The Neurobiology of Addiction: Implications for Voluntary Control of Behavior. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):8 – 11.
Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2010). Relating Addiction to Disease, Disability, Autonomy, and the Good Life. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):35-42.
Peter B. Reiner (2011). The Paradox of Addiction Neuroscience. Neuroethics 4 (2):65-77.
Daniel Buchman, Judy Illes & Peter Reiner (2011). The Paradox of Addiction Neuroscience. Neuroethics 4 (2):65-77.
Eric Matthews (2010). Explaining Addiction. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):23-26.
Richard Holton & Kent Berridge (forthcoming). Addiction Between Compulsion and Choice. In Neil Levy (ed.), Addiction and Self-Control. Oxford University Press.
Helen Keane (2004). Disorders of Desire: Addiction and Problems of Intimacy. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities 25 (3):189-204.
Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu (2010). A Liberal Account of Addiction. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):1-22.
Patrizia Russo, Candida Nastrucci, Giulio Alzetta & Clara Szalai (2011). Tobacco Habit: Historical, Cultural, Neurobiological, and Genetic Features of People's Relationship with an Addictive Drug. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 54 (4):557-577.
Harold Kincaid & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (2010). Medical Models of Addiction. In Kincaid Ross (ed.), What is Addiction?
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads15 ( #114,229 of 1,101,887 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #52,459 of 1,101,887 )
How can I increase my downloads?