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Addictions and compulsions pose, most centrally, the question of how we ought to understand our actions when they are, by common understanding, not entirely free. On the one hand, are the compelled and addicts forced to act? If so, do they force themselves, or are they forced by their psychology, or by their neurobiology? Each of these possible explanations are problematic. How do we force ourselves? Why is part of our psychology independent of "us"? What relationship is there between neurological explanations and psychological explanations? On the other hand, if the compelled and addicts are not forced to act, what accounts for their consistently bad and even self-defeating actions and for their regularly violating their own resolutions to change their actions? Such attempts to explain addiction and compulsion also shed light on ordinary actions and action explanations and on what it means for actions to be free.

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  1. added 2019-02-06
    Addiction in the Light of African Values: Undermining Vitality and Community.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - In Yamikani Ndasauka & Grivas Kayange (eds.), Addiction in South and East Africa. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Reprint of an article that first appeared in Monash Bioethics Review (2018).
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  2. added 2019-01-11
    Persuasion, Compulsion and Freedom in Plato's Laws.Christopher Bobonich - 1991 - Classical Quarterly 41 (2):365-388.
    One of the distinctions that Plato in the Laws stresses most heavily in his discussion of the proper relation between the individual citizen and the laws of the city is that between persuasion and compulsion. Law, Plato believes, should try to persuade rather than compel the citizens. Near the end of the fourth book of the Laws, the Athenian Stranger, Plato's spokesman in this dialogue, asks whether the lawgiver for their new city of Magnesia should in making laws ‘explain straightaway (...)
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  3. added 2018-10-26
    Addiction in the Light of African Values: Undermining Vitality and Community.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - Monash Bioethics Review 36 (1):36-53.
    In this article I address the question of what makes addiction morally problematic, and seek to answer it by drawing on values salient in the sub-Saharan African philosophical tradition. Specifically, I appeal to life-force and communal relationship, each of which African philosophers have at times advanced as a foundational value, and spell out how addiction, or at least salient instances of it, could be viewed as unethical for flouting them. I do not seek to defend either vitality or community as (...)
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  4. added 2018-08-19
    Review: Toward a Phenomenology of Addiction. [REVIEW]Peter Antich - 2018 - Phenomenological Reviews 1:1.
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  5. added 2018-07-11
    Gambling.Lisa H. Newton - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):405-418.
    In all the criticisms that have shadowed the financial industry in recent years, the burden seems to be, that the reckless (as opposed to malicious) bankers too often took money of which they were the appointed stewards, and used it for speculation, especially in junk bonds. AsShaheen Borna and James Lowry argue in their "Gambling and Speculation" (the only article on gambling that I was able to raise on my computer) business speculation is probably wrong, since it is very like (...)
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  6. added 2018-03-11
    Thomistic Hylomorphism, Self-Determination, Neuroplasticity, and Grace: The Case of Addiction.Daniel D. De Haan - 2011 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85:99-120.
    This paper presents a Thomistic analysis of addiction that incorporates scientific, philosophical, and theological features of addiction. I will argue first, that a Thomistic hylomorphic anthropology provides a cogent explanation of the causal interactions between human action and neuroplasticity. I will employ Karol Wojtyła’s account of self-determination to further clarify the kind of neuroplasticity involved in addiction. Next, I will elucidate how a Thomistic anthropology can accommodate, without reductionism, both the neurophysiological and psychological elements of addiction, and finally, I will (...)
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  7. added 2018-02-17
    The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness.George Graham - 2010 - Routledge.
    _The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness, second edition_ examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder. Revised and updated throughout, this _second edition_ includes new discussions of grief and psychopathy, the problems of the psychophysical basis of disorder, the nature of selfhood, and clarification of the relation between rationality and (...)
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  8. added 2018-02-16
    Willing Addicts, Unweilling Additicts, and Acting of One's Own Free Will.James Stacey Taylor - 2005 - Philosophia 33 (1-4):237-262.
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  9. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and Moralization: The Role of the Underlying Model of Addiction.E. Frank Lily & K. Nagel Saskia - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-11.
    Addiction appears to be a deeply moralized concept. To understand the entwinement of addiction and morality, we briefly discuss the disease model and its alternatives in order to address the following questions: Is the disease model the only path towards a ‘de-moralized’ discourse of addiction? While it is tempting to think that medical language surrounding addiction provides liberation from the moralized language, evidence suggests that this is not necessarily the case. On the other hand non-disease models of addiction may seem (...)
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  10. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction as a Disorder of Self-Control.Edmund Henden - forthcoming - In Hanna Pickard & Serge Ahmed (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction. Routledge.
    Impairment of self-control is often said to be a defining feature of addiction. Yet many addicts display what appears to be a considerable amount of control over their drug-oriented actions. Not only are their actions clearly intentional and frequently carried out in a conscious and deliberate manner, there is evidence that many addicts are responsive to a wide range of ordinary incentives and counter-incentives. Moreover, addicts have a wide variety of reasons for using drugs, reasons which often seem to go (...)
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  11. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and the Concept of Disorder, Part 1: Why Addiction is a Medical Disorder.C. Wakefield Jerome - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-15.
    In this two-part analysis, I analyze Marc Lewis’s arguments against the brain-disease view of substance addiction and for a developmental-learning approach that demedicalizes addiction. I focus especially on the question of whether addiction is a medical disorder. Addiction is currently classified as a medical disorder in DSM-5 and ICD-10. It is further labeled a brain disease by NIDA, based on observed brain changes in addicts that are interpreted as brain damage. Lewis argues that the changes result instead from normal neuroplasticity (...)
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  12. added 2017-05-16
    The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction.Hanna Pickard & Serge Ahmed (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
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  13. added 2017-05-16
    Is Addiction a Brain Disease?Kent Berridge - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):29-33.
    Where does normal brain or psychological function end, and pathology begin? The line can be hard to discern, making disease sometimes a tricky word. In addiction, normal ‘wanting’ processes become distorted and excessive, according to the incentive-sensitization theory. Excessive ‘wanting’ results from drug-induced neural sensitization changes in underlying brain mesolimbic systems of incentive. ‘Brain disease’ was never used by the theory, but neural sensitization changes are arguably extreme enough and problematic enough to be called pathological. This implies that ‘brain disease’ (...)
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  14. added 2017-05-16
    How to Recover From a Brain Disease: Is Addiction a Disease, or Is There a Disease-Like Stage in Addiction?Snoek Anke - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):185-194.
    People struggling with addiction are neither powerless over their addiction, nor are they fully in control. Lewis vigorously objects to the brain disease model of addiction, because it makes people lose belief in their self-efficacy, and hence hinders their recovery. Although he acknowledges that there is a compulsive state in addiction, he objects to the claim that this compulsion is carved in stone. Lewis argues that the BDMA underestimates the agency of addicted people, and hence hinder their recovery. Lewis’s work (...)
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  15. added 2017-05-16
    Brains Are Important Too: Reply to Hall, Carter, and Barnett.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):111-114.
    The authors and I agree on many features of addiction, such as its developmental nature. But because I rely on much of the same data as the Brain Disease Model of Addiction, they seem to conflate my work with that of my opponents. Indeed they are generally skeptical of the use of neuroscientific data to help understand addiction, calling it "immature." Thus my work is also suspect. Hall and colleagues believe that it is impossible to look at neural and social (...)
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  16. added 2017-05-16
    Squaring the Circle: Addiction, Disease and Learning.Maia Szalavitz - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):83-86.
    The history of ideas about addiction often comes down to a history of debates over the use and meaning of language. Nowhere is this more clear than in the interminable “Is addiction a ‘disease’?” debate. In Marc Lewis’ excellent Biology of Desire and in his paper that centers this issue, there is far more agreement between his work and mine than there is disagreement on the “disease” question. Here, however, I make a case for greater compatibility between the “disease” view (...)
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  17. added 2017-05-16
    Searching for Norms to Violate. Reply to Henden & Gjelsvik.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):79-81.
    Although I reject neuronormativity -- an idea central to the Brain Disease Model of Addiction -- Henden and Gjelsvik argue that the disease definition might refer to normativity in nonneural domains. They profess that a cognitive dysfunction, or a mismatch of evolutionary intentions, could also qualify as norm violations, thus legitimizing the disease label. The need for dividing lines is questioned as well. I rebut these criticisms in turn, but I must admit they are thought provoking.
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  18. added 2017-05-16
    Frankfurt’s Unwilling and Willing Addicts.Chandra Sripada - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):781-815.
    Harry Frankfurt’s Unwilling Addict and Willing Addict cases accomplish something fairly unique: they pull apart the predictions of control-based views of moral responsibility and competing self-expression views. The addicts both lack control over their actions but differ in terms of expression of their respective selves. Frankfurt’s own view is that—in line with the predictions of self-expression views—the unwilling addict is not morally responsible for his drug-directed actions while the willing addict is. But is Frankfurt right? In this essay, I put (...)
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  19. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction Doesn’T Exist, But It is Bad for You.Owen Flanagan - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):91-98.
    There is a debate about the nature of addiction, whether it is a result of brain damage, brain dysfunction, or normal brain changes that result from habit acquisition, and about whether it is a disease. I argue that the debate about whether addiction is a disease is much ado about nothing, since all parties agree it is “unquestionably destructive.” Furthermore, the term ‘addiction’ has disappeared from recent DSM’s in favor of a spectrum of ‘abuse’ disorders. This may be a good (...)
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  20. added 2017-05-16
    No Need for the Disease Label: Choice is Complicated. Reply to Heather.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):125-127.
    Despite its historical contribution, Heather sees the Brain Disease Model of Addiction as failing to relieve stigma, increasing fatalism, and fundamentally wrong. He also sees “choice” as partly volitional and partly unconscious, implying no moral violation. I agree on all counts. Heather then presents a disorder-of-choice model of addiction, highlighting the failure of self-regulation with respect to immediate goals. Not only do I endorse such modeling, but the neural mechanisms I describe may help to explicate it more thoroughly.
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  21. added 2017-05-16
    What Evolution Intended? Reply to Wakefield.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):69-70.
    Wakefield doesn't mind my focus on parallels between addiction and love. But love can fall outside the bounds of what evolution intended. So, he claims, comparing addiction with love does not preclude a naturally defined "disorder." I counter with the argument that evolution handed us such highly general response systems, the bounds of normality cannot be defined.
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  22. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and the Concept of Disorder, Part 2: Is Every Mental Disorder a Brain Disorder?Jerome Wakefield - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):55-67.
    In this two-part analysis, I analyze Marc Lewis’s arguments against the brain-disease view of substance addiction and for a developmental-learning approach that demedicalizes addiction. I focus especially on the question of whether addiction is a medical disorder. In Part 1, I argued that, even if one accepts Lewis’s critique of the brain evidence presented for the brain-disease view, his arguments fail to establish that addiction is not a disorder. Relying on my harmful dysfunction analysis of disorder, I defended the view (...)
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  23. added 2017-05-16
    Chronic Automaticity in Addiction: Why Extreme Addiction is a Disorder.Steve Matthews - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):199-209.
    Marc Lewis argues that addiction is not a disease, it is instead a dysfunctional outcome of what plastic brains ordinarily do, given the adaptive processes of learning and development within environments where people are seeking happiness, or relief, or escape. They come to obsessively desire substances or activities that they believe will deliver happiness and so on, but this comes to corrupt the normal process of development when it escalates beyond a point of functionality. Such ‘deep learning’ emerges from consumptive (...)
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  24. added 2017-05-16
    Responsibility Without Blame for Addiction.Hanna Pickard - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):169-180.
    Drug use and drug addiction are severely stigmatised around the world. Marc Lewis does not frame his learning model of addiction as a choice model out of concern that to do so further encourages stigma and blame. Yet the evidence in support of a choice model is increasingly strong as well as consonant with core elements of his learning model. I offer a responsibility without blame framework that derives from reflection on forms of clinical practice that support change and recovery (...)
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  25. added 2017-05-16
    Introduction: Testing and Refining Marc Lewis’s Critique of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction.Steve Matthews & Anke Snoek - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):1-6.
    In this introduction we set out some salient themes that will help structure understanding of a complex set of intersecting issues discussed in this special issue on the work of Marc Lewis: conceptual foundations of the disease model, tolerating the disease model given socio-political environments, and A third wave: refining conceptualization of addiction in the light of Lewis’s model.
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  26. added 2017-05-16
    Enough Comparing! Addiction is Its Own Thing. Reply to Matthews.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):211-214.
    Both Matthews and I see addiction as the outcome of developmental processes that arrive at diverse levels of dysfunction for different individuals at different stages. Matthews characterizes "late-stage" addiction in terms of lost control and extreme automaticity, a degree of dysfunction he calls a "disorder" and compares to another disorder -- depersonalization. I don't mind the label "disorder." Yet addiction is no more like depersonalization than it is like other conditions, most notably obsessive-compulsive disorder. Automaticity is never pure or total. (...)
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  27. added 2017-05-16
    Self-Efficacy: Now You See It, Now You Don’T. Reply to Snoek.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):195-197.
    Snoek, like other commentators, conflates some of my neural claims with those of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction. But she sees other details of my modeling with precision and depth. I welcome her emphasis on individual and developmental differences in addicts' capacity to recognize and deploy their personal agency. In fact we agree that belief in personal agency is a critical first step to cultivating it. Yet I wish to steer away from the disease nomenclature, to give that belief (...)
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  28. added 2017-05-16
    If Addiction is Not Best Conceptualized a Brain Disease, Then What Kind of Disease is It?Sally L. Satel & Scott O. Lilienfeld - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):19-24.
    A modest opposition to the brain disease concept of addiction has been mounting for at least the last decade. Despite the good intentions behind the brain disease rhetoric – to secure more biomedical funding for addiction, to combat “stigma,” and to soften criminal approaches – the very concept of addiction as a brain disease is deeply conceptually confused. We question whether Lewis goes far enough in his challenge, robust as it is, of the brain disease concept. For one thing, the (...)
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  29. added 2017-05-16
    Free Will, Black Swans and Addiction.Ted Fenton & Reinout W. Wiers - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):157-165.
    The current dominant perspective on addiction as a brain disease has been challenged recently by Marc Lewis, who argued that the brain-changes related to addiction are similar to everyday changes of the brain. From this alternative perspective, addictions are bad habits that can be broken, provided that people are motivated to change. In that case, autonomous choice or “free will” can overcome bad influences from genes and or environments and brain-changes related to addiction. Even though we concur with Lewis that (...)
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  30. added 2017-05-16
    Hijacking Addiction.Neil Levy - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):97-99.
    Neuroscientists and clinicians often speak of addictive drugs ‘hijacking’ the brain. Earp et al. want to do to the notion of addiction what drugs allegedly do to the brains of addicts; hijack it and put it to other purposes. There are, as they point out, clear commonalities between addiction and being in love. But there are also very important differences. These differences are significant enough to entail that it is at best highly misleading to describe love as an addiction. Hijacking (...)
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  31. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and the Brain: Development, Not Disease.Lewis Marc - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):7-18.
    I review the brain disease model of addiction promoted by medical, scientific, and clinical authorities in the US and elsewhere. I then show that the disease model is flawed because brain changes in addiction are similar to those generally observed when recurrent, highly motivated goal seeking results in the development of deep habits, Pavlovian learning, and prefrontal disengagement. This analysis relies on concepts of self-organization, neuroplasticity, personality development, and delay discounting. It also highlights neural and behavioral parallels between substance addictions, (...)
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  32. added 2017-05-16
    Resetting the Brain as Well as the Nomenclature. Reply to Szalavitz.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):87-89.
    Szalavitz’s model and mine share a good many components. Foremost among them is the conviction that addiction is a developmental trajectory, not a disease. Szalavitz is correct that we should consider controlled substance use an acceptable outcome, though I would like her to shift her terminology away from the medical mainstream. Finally, I suggest that Szalavitz's important idea of a "reset" in brain development might best be addressed by the notion of kindling.
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  33. added 2017-05-16
    Yes, Precision is a Good Thing. Reply to Flanagan.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):99-101.
    Flanagan asserts that my model of addiction would apply as well to sonnet writing. Yet his most interesting point is that “addiction” is an imprecise label for a cluster of distinct phenomena. I agree with him that we need to examine these distinctions, but that doesn’t negate their shared features. Neuroscience can play an important role in advancing our understanding of both commonalities and distinctions within the phenomena of addiction.
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  34. added 2017-05-16
    Can the Harmful Dysfunction Analysis Explain Why Addiction is a Medical Disorder?: Reply to Marc Lewis.Jerome Wakefield - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (2):313-317.
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  35. added 2017-05-16
    Addicted to Love: What Is Love Addiction and When Should It Be Treated?Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):77-92.
    By nature we are all addicted to love... meaning we want it, seek it and have a hard time not thinking about it. We need attachment to survive and we instinctively seek connection, especially romantic connection. [But] there is nothing dysfunctional about wanting love.Throughout the ages, love has been rendered as an excruciating passion. Ovid was the first to proclaim: “I can’t live with or without you”—a locution made famous to modern ears by the Irish band U2. Contemporary film expresses (...)
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  36. added 2017-05-16
    Disease or Developmental Disorder: Competing Perspectives on the Neuroscience of Addiction.Wayne Hall, Adrian Carter & Anthony Barnett - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):103-110.
    Lewis’ neurodevelopmental model provides a plausible alternative to the brain disease model of addiction that is a dominant perspective in the USA. We disagree with Lewis’ claim that the BDMA is unchallenged within the addiction field but we agree that it provides unduly pessimistic prospects of recovery. We question the strength of evidence for the BDMA provided by animal models and human neuroimaging studies. We endorse Lewis’ framing of addiction as a developmental process underpinned by reversible forms of neuroplasticity. His (...)
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  37. added 2017-05-16
    Stigma and Self-Stigma in Addiction.Steve Matthews, Robyn Dwyer & Anke Snoek - 2017 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 14 (2):275-286.
    Addictions are commonly accompanied by a sense of shame or self-stigmatization. Self-stigmatization results from public stigmatization in a process leading to the internalization of the social opprobrium attaching to the negative stereotypes associated with addiction. We offer an account of how this process works in terms of a range of looping effects, and this leads to our main claim that for a significant range of cases public stigma figures in the social construction of addiction. This rests on a social constructivist (...)
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  38. added 2017-05-16
    Neurocentrism and Name-Calling: Let’s Agree to Agree. Reply to Satel & Lilienfeld.Marc Lewis - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):25-27.
    Although these authors sometimes resort to medical terminology, we strongly agree that addiction is not a disease and that the Brain Disease Model of Addiction captures only one part of the story and distorts the big picture. Yet Satel and Lilienfeld continue to conflate a neurobiological model with a disease model. They also complain that my modeling of addiction reveals a hidden “neurocentric” bias, despite my integration of multiple levels of analysis, exactly as they recommend.
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  39. added 2017-05-16
    ‘My Name is Joe and I'm an Alcoholic’: Addiction, Self‐Knowledge and the Dangers of Rationalism.Neil Levy - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):265-276.
    Rationalist accounts of self-knowledge are motivated in important part by the claim that only by looking to our reasons to discover our beliefs and desires are we active in relation to them and only thereby do we take responsibility for them. These kinds of account seem to predict that self-knowledge generated using third-personal methods or analogues of these methods will tend to undermine the capacity to exercise self-control. In this light, the insistence by treatment programs that addicts acknowledge that they (...)
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  40. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction, Voluntary Choice, and Informed Consent: A Reply to Uusitalo and Broers.Edmund Henden - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (4):293-298.
    In an earlier article in this journal I argued that the question of whether heroin addicts can give voluntary consent to take part in research which involves giving them a choice of free heroin does not – in contrast with a common assumption in the bioethics literature – depend exclusively on whether or not they possess the capacity to resist their desire for heroin. In some cases, circumstances and beliefs might undermine the voluntariness of the choices a person makes even (...)
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  41. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction, Heroin‐Assisted Treatment and the Idea of Abstinence: A Reply to Henden.Susanne Uusitalo & Barbara Broers - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (9):776-780.
    In our previous article on the question whether heroin addicts are able to give informed consent voluntarily to research on heroin-assisted treatment, we criticized the ongoing bioethical discussion of a flawed conceptualization of heroin addicts' options. As a participant in this discussion, Edmund Henden defends the conceptualization as sufficient for determining whether heroin addicts are able to give informed consent to the research on heroin-assisted treatment voluntarily. This discussion on research on heroin-assisted treatment seems to go astray in several respects. (...)
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  42. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction, Compulsion, and Persistent Temptation.Robert Noggle - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (3):213-223.
    Addicts sometimes engage in such spectacularly self-destructive behavior that they seem to act under compulsion. I briefly review the claim that addiction is not compulsive at all. I then consider recent accounts of addiction by Holton and Schroeder, which characterize addiction in terms of abnormally strong motivations. However, this account can only explain the apparent compulsivity of addiction if we assume—contrary to what we know about addicts—that the desires are so strong as to be irresistible. I then consider accounts that (...)
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  43. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the Relationship.Nick Heather & Gabriel Segal (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Views on addiction are often polarised - either addiction is a matter of choice, or addicts simply can't help themselves. But perhaps addiction falls between the two? This book contains views from philosophy, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, and the law exploring this middle ground between free choice and no choice.
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  44. added 2017-05-16
    Belief, Quasi-Belief, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.Robert Noggle - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):654-668.
    Obsessive-compulsive disorder poses a puzzle about beliefs: Those with OCD experience anxiety and motivation suggesting that they believe something, even though they may profess not to believe that very thing. OCD also poses a puzzle about free will, since persons with OCD often describe their behavior as compelled, though it is unclear how it is compelled. This paper argues that at least some cases of OCD are best described as being driven by “quasi-beliefs” which have some, but not all, of (...)
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  45. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the Relationship.Nick Heather & Gabriel Segal (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book contains a range of views from philosophy, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology and the law on what exactly this middle ground between free choice and no choice consists of and what its implications are for theory, practice and policy on addiction. The result amounts to a profound change in our thinking on addiction and how its devastating consequences can be ameliorated. Addiction and Choice is a thought provoking new volume for all those with an interest in this global issue.
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  46. added 2017-05-16
    What is Wrong with the Brains of Addicts?".Edmund Henden & Olav Gjelsvik - 2016 - Neuroethics (1):1-8.
    In his target article and recent interesting book about addiction and the brain, Marc Lewis claims that the prevalent medical view of addiction as a brain disease or a disorder, is mistaken. In this commentary we critically examine his arguments for this claim. We find these arguments to rest on some problematical and largely undefended assumptions about notions of disease, disorder and the demarcation between them and good health. Even if addiction does seem to differ from some typical brain diseases, (...)
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  47. added 2017-05-16
    Embodiment, Interaction, and Experience: Toward a Comprehensive Model in Addiction Science.Nicholas Zautra - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1023-1034.
    Current theories of addiction try to explain what addiction is, who experiences it, why it occurs, and how it develops and persists. In this article, I explain why none of these theories can be accepted as a comprehensive model. I argue that current models fail to account for differences in embodiment, interaction processes, and the experience of addiction. To redress these limiting factors, I design a proposal for an enactive account of addiction that follows the enactive model of autism proposed (...)
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  48. added 2017-05-16
    Words, Worlds, and Addictions.George Graham - 2015 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 22 (1):45-47.
    With Latin as its semantic pedigree, ‘addiction’ derives from addictio, to give over, to surrender. If I am addicted to something, then I am given over to it. I surrender to it.Many good things in life are well worth giving oneself over to. I surrender myself to love for my family, a passion for philosophy, the awesome beauties of Mother Nature, the intricacies of sonnets by Shakespeare, and the warmth of reminiscing about shared histories with old friends.Of course, we persons (...)
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  49. added 2017-05-16
    “The Drugs Didn’T Mix”: On the Overvaluation of Misvaluation.Benjamin R. Lewis - 2015 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 22 (1):41-43.
    In this well-researched, articulate, and compelling paper, Summers presents the position that addiction is a misvaluation upon which a pattern of behavior is based and which resists contrary evidence. This inability to change one’s values in response to contrary evidence is the prime wrong at stake, given its implied diminishment of rationality. In approaching this conflicted set of issues, Summers carefully surveys an impressive range of sources—from clinical DSM-based diagnosis to neurobiological underpinnings of decision making and attention, to social determinants (...)
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  50. added 2017-05-16
    Addiction, Competence, and Coercion.Steve Matthews - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Research 39:199-234.
    In what sense is a person addicted to drugs or alcohol incompetent, and so a legitimate object of coercive treatment? The standard tests for competence do not pick out the capacity that is lost in addiction: the capacity to properly regulate consumption. This paper is an attempt to sketch a justificatory framework for understanding the conditions under which addicted persons may be treated against their will. These conditions rarely obtain, for they apply only when addiction is extremely severe and great (...)
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