Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Future of Punishment$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas A. Nadelhoffer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779208.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 November 2017

Punishing the Addict: Reflections on Gene Heyman

Punishing the Addict: Reflections on Gene Heyman

Chapter:
(p.233) 11 Punishing the Addict: Reflections on Gene Heyman
Source:
The Future of Punishment
Author(s):

Levy Neil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779208.003.0011

Gene Heyman has recently and influentially argued that addiction is a disorder of choice. He amasses a great deal of evidence that addicts respond to incentives to use drugs, in the same way as nonaddicts. This claim generates a puzzle: why are addicts often unresponsive to costs—legal penalties, impairment of relationships, loss of job or health, and so on—which seem sufficient motivation to abstain? The chapter argues that although addicts are responsive to incentives, this responsiveness is patchy. Addicts are relatively insensitive to delayed and uncertain punishments. They are more responsive to rewards than punishments. Addicts can be motivated to change their behavior by incentives, positive and negative. The chapter suggests that the most effective response to addiction may involve the imposition of swift and certain, but relatively light, penalties, coupled with rewards for abstention. The claims put forward here also have a philosophical upshot: they indicate that the common philosophical view that capacities are perfectly general-purpose must be rethought. Negative and positive rewards are not treated alike by the brain, and they are differentially motivating for the addict.

Keywords:   addiction, punishment, choice, control

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .