A1 Journal article – refereed
Addiction, Agency and Affect – Philosophical Perspectives

Subtitle: Philosophical Perspectives
List of Authors: Uusitalo Susanne, Salmela Mikko, Nikkinen Janne
Publisher: Versita
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Journal acronym: NAD
Number in series: 1-2
Volume number: 30
Issue number: 1-2
Number of pages: 18
ISSN: 1455-0725
eISSN: 1458-6126


AIMS – 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. METHODS – The article uses means of social ethics and empirically informed analytical philosophy. RESULTS – 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. CONCLUSIONS – 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.

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 08:15