, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

What Is Wrong with the Brains of Addicts?

  • Edmund HendenEmail author
  • Olav Gjelsvik
Original Paper


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.


Addiction Disease Disorder Dysfunction Irrationality Normativity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of ProfessionsOslo and Akershus University College of Applied SciencesOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN)University of OsloOsloNorway

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