If a list were compiled of all substance and process addictions, we would find ourselves with a long catalog, including heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, fentanyl, exercise, pornography, gambling, cocaine, and video games, just to name a handful. Addiction is diverse. And in severe cases, addiction can have devastating consequences in the lives of addicted individuals. There is currently no widely accepted definition of addiction that crosses social, philosophical, scientific and medical discourse. In fact, there is no uncontested definition within any one (...) of these domains. However, across fields of study, the phenomenon of craving is widely taken to be an important, if not central, feature of addiction. Craving... (shrink)
I would like to thank Owen Flanagan and Douglas Porter for their interesting and insightful commentaries, both of which inspired me to think more deeply about aspects of addictive craving. In this response, I will make some clarifying points, particularly regarding my views on the relationship between neuroscience and phenomenology, and I will expand on my thesis, focusing especially on addiction treatment and the role of testimony.I will start with two central concerns that Flanagan raises, then I will address three (...) of his additional criticisms. First, Flanagan takes issue with my claim that the dominant neurobiological view of craving does not capture the phenomenology of craving. The worry is that I am asking... (shrink)
Addiction is widely taken to involve a profound loss of self-control. Addictive motivation is extremely forceful, and it is remarkably hard to abstain from addictive behaviors. Theories of addiction have sought to explain how self-control is undermined in addiction. However, an important explanatory factor in addictive motivation and behaviors has so far been underexamined: emotion. This paper examines the link between emotion and loss of control in addiction. I use the concept of affective scaffolding to argue that drug use functions (...) as a form of emotion regulation that, especially in certain psycho-socioeconomic conditions, can escalate into what I term addictive affective dependence. Addictive affective dependence is extremely motivating of drug use, and in this way contributes to the agent losing control. An upshot of the paper is that it predicts something that is known to be true about addiction treatment and recovery: strategies that address psycho-socioeconomic conditions are particularly successful in bolstering agency in addiction. Furthermore, my view explains why these strategies work. Thus, the view provides a conceptual framework for existing effective methods of addressing addiction. (shrink)
In “What’s Wrong with the (Female) Nude?” A. W. Eaton argues that the female nude in Western art promotes sexually objectifying, heteronormative erotic taste, and thereby has insidious effects on gender equality. In this response, I reject the claim that sexual objectification is a phenomenon that can be generalized across the experiences of women. In particular, I argue that Eaton’s thesis is based on the experiences of women who are white, and does not pay adequate attention to the lives of (...) racialized women. This act of exclusion undermines the generality of Eaton’s thesis, and exposes a more general bias in discussions of the representation of women in art. Different kinds of gendered bodies have been subjected to different kinds of objectifying construal, and the ethics of nudity in art must be extended to take such variation into account. (shrink)
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