To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Addiction, agency and affects – philosophical perspectives

In the recent neuroscientific research addiction has been defined as a brain disease in which the addict’s brain is “hijacked”. The research indicates how the addictive cravings function in the brain’s reward system. At the same time growing support has emerged to a view of addiction as a matter of choice. This viewpoint claims that those with addiction lack either willpower or the moral capacity to make the right decisions. In this article, we problematise these two models and argue that neither of them succeeds in providing successful and adequate means of tackling personal problems associated with agency and responsibility in relation to addiction.

The article uses means of social ethics and empirically informed analytical philosophy.

After showing that the two prominent models are not sufficient in capturing the problematique of addictive behaviour, we propose a new approach called the affective choice model.

As the disease model and the choice model fall short, we illustrate why the affective choice model is more capable of capturing the problematique of addicts’ agency than the existing models are.

Read Full Article    (PDF)