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Choice isn’t simple

Some people say that addiction is not a choice, it’s a disease. As you know, I’m not one of them. But even those of us who believe in choice ask how much volition (intention or will) is involved in the choice to use or not. I think that choice is a lot more complicated than […] (Read the rest.)

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Is addiction one thing or many things?

Hi again. My work was recently criticized (politely) by a respected philosopher — Owen Flanagan — who specializes in the study of addiction. Here is a very nice article of his, on the topic of addiction and shame. His point was that the word “addiction” is an umbrella term used to refer to many distinct […] (Read the rest.)

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Happy New Year — Let’s hope

Hi guys…I’ve missed you. I’ve missed putting up regular posts for the last couple of months and I’ve kept mostly out of the discussions and debates in the comment sections….but scanned them enough to see that you are still in top form. I encourage all readers to take a look at the comments on the […] (Read the rest.)

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Addiction as habit formation — Part 2: the details

An “attractor” is really just a description of how a system (e.g. a person, a person’s brain) behaves — how it looks from outside. Here, in the second half of the article (revised), I look at the underlying mechanisms that explain why addiction works as an attractor — why it behaves the way it does. […] (Read the rest.)

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Addiction as habit formation: excerpts from Aeon

Now that we are stepping firmly away from politics, I thought I’d end the season with a couple of excerpts from an article I recently published in Aeon. Please go to the publication website for the full essay and links. Otherwise, I’ll present an edited (shortened) version in two installments. Here’s the first: ………. The […] (Read the rest.)

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