Addiction Special Feature

Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong gave a very interesting and well-received talk to a full lecture room at the Faculty of Philosophy on Tuesday 25 May, his final Leverhulme Lecture on 'Are Addicts Responsible? Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience and Law.'  He focused on addicts' responsibility differing from that of non-addicts, the costs of addiction,  and various definitions of 'addiction', using clinical and statistical evidence to discuss control and responsibility.  He concluded with the need to understand differences in degrees of responsibility and control. 
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has recently accepted a senior position at Duke University, having been Professor of Philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies at Dartmouth College, where he taught since 1981 after receiving a B.A. from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He is Vice-Chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association and Co-director of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Program. He has published extensively on ethics (theoretical and applied), philosophy of law, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and informal logic. His current research focuses on empirical moral psychology as well as law and neuroscience. He is particularly interested in how moral intuitions work, whether moral judgments form a unified kind, whether the neuroscience of decision and action can improve on common views about moral and legal responsibility, and whether or when psychopaths and addicts are responsible.


Slides from Leverhulme Lecture 'Are Addicts Responsible? Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience and Law'
Podcast of Leverhulme Lecture
Podcast of discussion between Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Julian Savulescu
Short films on Wellcome Trust website on addiction

Please see below for further related reading material

Blog comment on a recent case of addiction in the legal system by Dr Dominic Wilkinson

Blog comment on Professor Sinnott-Armstrong's lecture by Professor Julian Savulescu

Foddy, B. and Savulescu, J. (2006), 'Addiction and Autonomy: can addicted people consent to the prescription of their drug of addiction?' Bioethics, 20 (1): 1-15
Foddy, B. and Savulescu, J. (forthcoming), 'A Liberal Account of Addiction,' Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology
Foddy, B. (2010), 'Addicted to Food, Hungry for Drugs,' Neuroethics, Online First
Pickard, H. and Pearce, S. (in preparation), 'Addiction in Context: Philosophical Lessons from the Clinic'

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