This book brings together a set of papers, many which grow out of presentations at a conference in Oxford in 2009 on addiction and self-control, by a set of thinkers who are united in believing that understanding agency and failures of agency requires engagement with the best science. The papers it collects attempts to illuminate the mechanisms involved in addiction and thereby to understand to what degree and in what ways actions driven by addiction are controlled by the agent, express his or her will or values, and the extent to which addicts are responsible for what they do. Some of the papers focus on the neuropsychological mechanisms involved, especially on the role of the midbrain dopamine system. Others focus on features of the behavior and the extent to which we can infer psychological mechanisms from behavior. The authors debate the best interpretation of the scientific evidence and how the scientific evidence bears upon, or can only be understand in the light of, philosophical theorizing about agency, control and responsibility.
Deputy Director, Centre for Neuroethics, Oxford University
Table of Contents ; Contributors ; 1. Introduction: Addiction and Self-Control: Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience - Neil Levy ; 2. Money as MacGuffin: A Factor in Gambling and Other Process Addictions - George ; Ainsle ; 3. The Picoeconomics of Gambling Addiction and Supporting Neural Mechanisms - ; Don Ross ; 4. Team Reasoning, Framing and Self-Control: An Aristotelian Account - Natalie Gold ; 5. Phenomenal Authority: The Epistemic Authority of Alcoholics Anonymous - Owen ; Flanagan ; 6. Varieties of Valuation in the Normal and Addicted Brain: Legal and Policy Implications ; from a Neuroscience Perspective - Mark Walton and Nicholas Nasrallah ; 7. Are Addicts Responsible? - Walter Sinnott-Armstrong ; 8. Just Say No? Addiction and the Elements of Self-Control - Jeanette Kennett ; 9. Addiction in Context: Philosophical Lessons from a Personality Disorder Clinic - Hanna ; Pickard and Steve Pearce ; 10. Are Addicts Akratic? Interpreting the Neuroscience of Reward - Gideon Yaffe ; 11. Addiction and Blameworthiness - Timothy Schroeder and Nomy Arpaly ; 12. Addiction Between Choice and Compulsion - Richard Holton and Kent Berridge ; Index