Why is it that even amidst affluence and power, our culture is plagued by a variety of addictions? In this pioneering work, Bruce Wilshire searches for answers by giving serious attention to our genetic legacy from our hunter-gatherer ancestors as well as to the unique ways we adapt to our environment through the practice of science and the creation of art and cities. The work considers remedies for specific addictions-including drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling-suggesting that wilderness exploration, in the arts, myths, and ceremonies, can help us rediscover what it means to be human creatures. Bringing together the insights of philosophy, religion, cultural anthropology, behavioral biology, and the vast socio-medical literature on addiction, Wilshire ingeniously explores the limits of our adaptive capacity and the costs of depleting the natural regenerative functions of the body.
Bruce W. Wilshire is professor of philosophy at Rutgers University. He is the author of numerous books, including Role Playing and Identity.
Chapter 1 Prologue: Hunger for Ecstatic Connectedness Part 2 I NATURE'S REGENERATIVE CYCLES Chapter 3 1 Ecstasy Deprivation and Addictive "Remedies" Chapter 4 2 Rediscovering Space, Time, Body, Self Chapter 5 3 Circular Power Returning into Itself Chapter 6 4 The Intimate Otherness of Body-Self's World: Addiction as Frightened Response Part 7 II ADDICTION: CIRCULAR POWER SHORT-CIRCUITED Chapter 8 5 The More Than Merely Human: Hunger to Belong Chapter 9 6 Medical Materialism and the Fragmented Grasp of Addiction Chapter 10 7 Possession, Addiction, Fragmentation: Is a Healing Community Possible? Chapter 11 8 Smoking As Ritual, Smoking As Addiction Chapter 12 9 Body, Nose, Viscera, Earth Chapter 13 10 Art and Truth Chapter 14 III HARMONY WITH NATURE Chapter 15 11 Mother Nature: Circular Power Returning into Itself Chapter 16 12 Technology As Ecstasy: How to Deal with It? Chapter 17 Conclusion: The Awesome World Chapter 18 Sources Chapter 19 Acknowledgments Chapter 20 Index Chapter 21 About the Author