Addiction: Moral Responsibility and Paternalism

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dc.contributor.advisor Wilkinson, M en Ordish, Johan en 2014-07-14T04:00:11Z en 2014 en
dc.identifier.citation 2014 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Addiction is meant to explain why addicts behave in the way they do. In this way, addiction is reckoned to excuse addicts from blame and justify mandated treatment, regardless of the addict's thoughts in the matter. Given this, this thesis is interested in solving three problems that addiction poses, namely, what is addiction? Are addicts morally responsible? And, does addiction justify mandated treatment for addicts, for their own good, regardless of their will? Regarding the first problem, I find that addiction requires that addicts crave their substance or behaviour in question, and, further, that addiction amounts to a visceral state. Regarding the second problem, I argue that addicts are, in the general case, morally responsible for their addiction and the actions that stem from this mental state. In short, I look at the excusing grounds of exemptions, attributability, duress, and ignorance, finding that these grounds do not typically excuse addicts from blame. Regarding the third problem, I argue that it is impermissible to restrict addicts' liberty for their own good, if that restriction goes against their will. To reach such a conclusion, I examine whether treatment is always in addicts' best interests, whether addicted behaviour is involuntary behaviour, whether we may restrict addicts' liberty regardless of their will; whether we may mandate treatment if that is what addicts' really want, whether the state should be involved in the business of self-paternalism at all, and, finally, whether we may act against an addict's present will in deference to his future will. To summarise my thoughts on these matters, I find that we may only mandate treatment for unwilling addicts, not willing addicts that do not mind their addiction. All of this considered, addiction involves visceral cravings, addiction does not typically provide grounds to excuse addicts from blame, nor may we mandate treatment for addicts, irrespective of their wishes. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Addiction: Moral Responsibility and Paternalism en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 445645 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2014-07-14 en

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