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Addiction and Responsibility$
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Jeffrey Poland and George Graham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015509

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015509.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 01 March 2021

Lowering the Bar for Addicts

Lowering the Bar for Addicts

Chapter:
(p.113) 5 Lowering the Bar for Addicts
Source:
Addiction and Responsibility
Author(s):

Gideon Yaffe

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015509.003.0005

This chapter explores the common argument regarding addiction and responsibility. There are people who believe that addiction is a disease, and that addicts cannot therefore be held responsible for wrongdoing or acting badly. On the other hand, there are those who claim that it is a matter of personal responsibility, and that the difference between wrongdoing by addicts and by nonaddicts is therefore merely cosmetic. In this chapter, a third possibility is presented that lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes; an overlooked possibility which can lead to the truth. One of the main reasons this third possibility is not preferred over the all-or-nothing position is that it raises certain troublesome questions. The two main questions are thus: If addicts are not to be excused entirely, what should they be held responsible for? If addicts are to be given a “break,” what should they not be held responsible for?

Keywords:   addiction, responsibility, all or nothing, disease, personal responsibility

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