Some writers are using Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death as an opportunity to attack the disease model and getting a lot of support from treatment critics.
Why would they pick an argument about the disease model and question the existence of loss of control after a man with everything to live for used heroin to his death despite efforts to stop?
I’ve addressed the matter in previous posts. Here are some highlights.
Although addiction may be defined and operationalized in a number of different ways, the heart and core of the concept lies in its implication of the loss of the ability to choose – that is, the loss of free will. Hence, and logically, the concept of addiction also implies the actual existence of free will. And there lies the rub.
The addiction concept repackages one of the Big Questions – free will and determinism – into a new and seemingly more manageable form. But should we be entirely comfortable with the tacit implication that ordinary, non-addictive conduct is freely willed?
Of course, this assumption underlies much of our day-to-day lives. We show up at work late and we are responsible for the choices we made that caused our lateness. Our legal system relies on the same assumption as well. It assumes people freely do what they do and must take responsibility for their actions.
It seems to me that most of the brain disease resistance I encounter can be boiled down to protecting the universal existence of free will. People feel compelled to protect this for good reason, our social interactions and institutions depend on it.
If a machine has two controllers (one controller representing deterministic factors and the other representing free will), does that mean that only one controller works? Or, is it possible that they both are capable of controlling the machine?