What is Wrong with the Brains of Addicts?"

Neuroethics 10 (1):1-8 (2016)
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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.

Author Profiles

Olav Gjelsvik
University of Oslo
Edmund Henden
Oslo Metropolitan University


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