What Is Wrong with the Brains of Addicts?
- 586 Downloads
In his target article and recent interesting book about addiction and the brain, Marc Lewis claims that the prevalent medical view of addiction as a brain disease or a disorder, is mistaken. In this commentary we critically examine his arguments for this claim. We find these arguments to rest on some problematical and largely undefended assumptions about notions of disease, disorder and the demarcation between them and good health. Even if addiction does seem to differ from some typical brain diseases, we believe contrary to Lewis, that there are still good reasons to maintain its classification as a mental or behavioral disorder.
KeywordsAddiction Disease Disorder Dysfunction Irrationality Normativity
- 2.Henden, E., H.O. Melberg, and O.J. Røgeberg. 2013. Addiction: choice or compulsion? Frontiers in Psychiatry 4(77): 1–11.Google Scholar
- 3.Henden, E. 2016. Addiction, compulsion, and weakness of the will: a dual-process perspective. In Addiction and choice: rethinking the relationship, eds. N. Heather and G. Segal. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- 4.Lewis, M. 2016. Addiction and the brain: development, not disease, this issue.Google Scholar
- 5.Lewis, M. 2015. The biology of desire: why addiction is not a disease. PublicAffaires New York.Google Scholar
- 6.Boorse, C. 1997. A rebuttal on health. In What is disease? ed. J.M. Humber and R.F. Almeder, 3–143. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.Google Scholar
- 10.Levy, N. 2013. Addiction is not a brain disease (and it matters). Frontiers in Psychiatry 4(24): 1–7.Google Scholar
- 12.Heyman, G.M. 2009. Addiction, a disorder of choice. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- 13.Graham, G. 2010. The disordered mind. An introduction to philosophy of mind and mental illness. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- 16.Davidson, D. 1980. The material mind. In Essays on actions & events, 245–259. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar