Download Addiction: A Philosophical Perspective by C. Shelby PDF

By C. Shelby

Addiction argues that habit might be understood no longer as a disorder yet as a phenomenon that has to be understood on many degrees right away. utilising a posh dynamic platforms technique and philosophical method, Shelby explains habit as an irreducible neurobiological, mental, developmental, environmental, and sociological phenomenon.

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Additional resources for Addiction: A Philosophical Perspective

Example text

Some Philosophical Questions (and a New Theory) 19 connections, the addict will, like an automaton, be doomed to repetition of the addictive behavior. But how can we make sense of a compulsion that comes from the inside? So what if someone’s brain is flooded with this or that chemical? How does that fact translate into his being compelled, as one would be if another person grabbed one’s hand, stuck a knife in it, and thrust the knife into a passerby’s chest? Certainly the law does not accept that a probationer’s return to drinking after being ordered to stop is excused on the ground that the probationer is addicted.

Through experimentation with animal models and through use of imaging techniques to study the human brain, scientists researching the physical aspect of addiction have developed theories of what happens at the molecular, neural, and neural systems levels when someone is addicted. It is said by many psychologists, as was mentioned above, that the psychological characteristics of addiction are “mediated” through the neurological systems described in these models. Thus, we find in biological psychology, correlative theories for each of the hedonic, salience sensitivity, and habitual accounts that we saw above.

They receive inputs from receptors located on their many dendrites, or spikey extensions, and send outputs to other neurons through their axons. Once they receive sufficient excitatory inputs and reach a critical threshold of excitation, they “fire,” or generate an action potential. The outputs of these firings are neurotransmitters, chemicals that in turn bind with receptors on the adjacent neuron, contributing either an excitatory or an inhibitory influence to that neuron. Neurons are vastly complex and dynamic in their own right, and are differentiated in millions of ways, as are the spaces between them, the synapses.

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