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Addiction and Self-ControlPerspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience$
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Neil Levy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199862580

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199862580.001.0001

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Addiction Between Compulsion and Choice

Addiction Between Compulsion and Choice

(p.239) 12 Addiction Between Compulsion and Choice
Addiction and Self-Control

Richard Holton

Kent Berridge

Oxford University Press

We aim to find a middle path between disease models of addiction, and those that treat addictive choices as choices like any other. We develop an account of the disease element by focussing on the idea that dopamine works primarily to lay down dispositional intrinsic desires. Addictive substances artifically boost the dopamine signal, and thereby lay down intrinsic desires for the substances that persist through withdrawal, and in the face of beliefs that they are worthless. The result is cravings that are largely outside the control of the addict. But this does not mean that addicts are bound to act on such cravings, since they typically retain their faculty of self-control. The issue is one of difficulty not impossibility. Controlling an addictive craving is exceedingly demanding.

Keywords:   Addiction, Disease, Dopamine, Cravings, Self-control

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