Addiction and Responsibility (Philosophical Psychopathology)

Addictive habit threatens not only the addict's happiness and overall healthiness but in addition the welfare and future health of others. It represents a lack of self-discipline and numerous different cognitive impairments and behavioral deficits. An addict may well say, "I couldn't support myself." yet questions come up: are we chargeable for our addictions? And what duties do others need to aid us? This quantity deals a number of views on habit and accountability and the way the 2 are sure jointly. special contributors--from theorists to clinicians, from neuroscientists and psychologists to philosophers and felony scholars--discuss those questions in essays utilizing a number of conceptual and investigative instruments. a few members provide types of addiction-related phenomena, together with theories of incentive sensitization, ego-depletion, and pathological have an effect on; others tackle such conventional philosophical questions as loose will and business enterprise, mind-body, and different minds. essays, written via students who have been themselves addicts, try and combine first-person phenomenological money owed with the third-person point of view of the sciences. participants distinguish between ethical accountability, obligation, and the moral accountability of clinicians and researchers. Taken jointly, the essays provide a forceful argument that we can't absolutely comprehend dependancy if we don't additionally comprehend accountability.

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Extra resources for Addiction and Responsibility (Philosophical Psychopathology)

Sample text

Drug Addiction as Incentive Sensitization 23 What Is Drug Sensitization? In its most generic sense, a pharmacologist would define sensitization as simply any increase in a drug effect that occurs after repeated exposures to the drug. However, in both neurobiological and psychological terms, a more specific form of drug sensitization is central to the incentivesensitization theory. Incentive sensitization refers to particular neurobiological changes in brain mesolimbic dopamine systems and in related structures belonging to the same larger brain circuit that mediate the psychological function of incentive salience (“wanting”).

We agree with the Stephens and Graham (2009) analysis of compulsion. Still, we suggest that the possibility of a compulsive “want” arises from the complex dissociation among components of desire discussed above. The difference between incentive salience “wanting” versus cognitive wanting allows a compulsion to arise internally from within the individual (via sensitized incentive salience), as well as from without. A person’s most central desire, from the philosophical stance, must surely be what the person cognitively wants—the willed-for goal (even when the goal is abstinence).

One piece of evidence comes from animal neuroscience studies regarding the difference in neuropharmacological substrates of cue-triggered “wanting” versus cognitive wanting. For example, administration of a dopamine-blocking drug to a rat prevents the occurrence of cue-triggered “wanting” but does not seem to have any effect on the rat’s more cognitive wants involving experiencederived goal expectations and understandings of the relation between its acts and the outcome (Dickinson, Smith, & Mirenowicz, 2000).

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