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Addiction, Choice & Responsible Agency (completed)

Addiction is a major challenge conceptually and socially. Conceptually it raises the paradox of why some people act destructively and contrary to their own expressed will. Socially it is challenging because addiction to smoking, alcohol, gambling and illegal drugs causes much suffering.

A set of conceptual and theoretical issues that lies at the intersection between economics, philosophy and psychology was at the centre of our approach. 

A unifying research theme was what it is about addiction, if anything, that produces impaired autonomy and diminished responsibility. 

Further we explored what policy implications, if any, this should have for issues related to: 

  • Addicts' capability to give informed consent,
  • The use of force in treatment of addiction.
  • More generally, the relevance of considerations of harm and paternalistic intervention in society's reactions to addictive behaviour.


The project received funding from The Research Council of Norway (NRC).


The project was hosted by the completed Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN). 


Since 2011 the project was integrated and funded by the EU cooperation project ALICE RAP (Addictions and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe – Reframing Addictions Project) with more than 40 partners and 100 researchers. 

Published Oct. 9, 2020 10:44 AM - Last modified Nov. 27, 2020 9:33 AM