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Getting Hooked
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Book description

The essays in this volume offer a thorough discussion of the relationship between addiction and rationality. This book-length treatment of the subject includes contributions from philosophers, psychiatrists, neurobiologists, sociologists and economists. Contrary to the widespread view that addicts are subject to overpowering and compulsive urges, the authors in this volume demonstrate that addicts are capable of making choices and responding to incentives. At the same time they disagree with Gary Becker's argument that addiction is the result of rational choice. The volume offers an exposition of the neurophysiology of addiction, a critical examination of the Becker theory of rational addiction, an argument for a 'visceral theory of addiction', a discussion of compulsive gambling as a form of addiction, several discussions of George Ainslie's theory of hyperbolic discounting, analyses of social causes and policy implications, and an investigation of the problem of relapse.

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