Addiction, Identity, and Disempowerment

Philosophica (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Supposing that addicts choose to act as they do, rather than being compelled to behave in particular ways, what explains the choices that they make? Hannah Pickard has recently pointed out that we can go a long way to answering this question if we can make sense of why addicts value the ends they pursue. She argues that addiction is a social identity that gives purpose and structure to life and that the choices that addicts make are valuable to them as ways of sustaining this social identity. But if addicts freely make choices towards ends that they perceive as valuable in terms of a social identity to which they contribute, and therefore if addiction involves the deployment of quite considerable agential apparatus, how are we to hold on to the natural assumption that addictions are disempowering? In this paper I present an answer to this question. Drawing on the resources of the phenomenological tradition, I argue that some social identities give purpose and structure to life in a way that inhibits, rather than enables, the exercise of a capacity that is central to our form of life. I elaborate the hypothesis that paradigmatic cases of addiction involve this sort of disempowering social identity.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Addiction and Agency.Justin Clarke-Doane & Kathryn Tabb - forthcoming - In Matt King & Joshua May (eds.), Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press.
Addiction, Compulsion, and Agency.Ezio Di Nucci - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (1):105-107.
Addictive Action and Difficulty.Susanne Uusitalo - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 44:83-87.
A Good Enough Reason: Addiction, Agency and Criminal Responsibility.Stephen J. Morse - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (5):490 - 518.
Hegel on Addiction.Katerina Deligiorgi - 2019 - Hegel Bulletin 40 (3):398-424.
The Word for an Addict in Geneva.L. M. Perry - 2014 - Christian Bioethics 20 (1):80-96.
Addiction and Self-Determination: A Phenomenological Approach.Jann E. Schlimme - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (1):49-62.
Blame Without Punishment for Addicts.Prabhpal Singh - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):257-267.
Getting Hooked: Rationality and Addiction.Jon Elster & Ole-Jørgen Skog (eds.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
Addiction is a Disability, and it Matters.John T. Maier - 2021 - Neuroethics 14 (3):467-477.
Hijacking Addiction.Neil Levy - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):97-99.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-09-22

Downloads
21 (#536,176)

6 months
21 (#48,120)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Batho
Oxford University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references