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By C. Shelby

Addiction argues that habit could be understood now not as a ailment yet as a phenomenon that needs to be understood on many degrees instantly. making use of a fancy dynamic platforms strategy and philosophical method, Shelby explains dependancy as an irreducible neurobiological, mental, developmental, environmental, and sociological phenomenon.

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While certainly it is true that nothing else organizes such systems, the term 24 Addiction suggests that there is a “self” that does the organizing. This, we have just said, is not the case. ”37 That is, the organism that is the whole (the “self,” or the “top” of which we are speaking) can’t be the controller of the system, because it is itself emergent from that system. ”39 In every case, macrosized objects emerge from molecules in motion. These molecules themselves consist of atomic-level (and lower) processes, with the “whole,” or higher-level processes, interacting with other processes in the environment, until the point when the object’s processes disintegrate.

The story that addicts have to tell is often one of deep conflict, but the conflict is between competing impulses in the whole being. It is not a conflict that can be helpfully resolved through accepting dualism. Neither will it be resolved, however, by trying to 22 Addiction explain the phenomenal aspects of this specifically human experience through looking deeper and deeper into the “parts” of the organism. It is not the case that some ultimately precise understanding of the neurons, synapses, and neurotransmitters, or the molecules from which they are constituted, will finally tell us how addiction is born, or how it might go away.

These are not objective properties in the world, but neither are they reducible to the subserving ordinary processes that obey the general principle of entropy. When lower-level processes are related in such a way that individual self-undermining processes counter one another, the system as a whole moves toward increased development and stability, and establishes relationships of value with respect to other processes “Normative function,” says Bickhard, “is just the bottom of a long hierarchy of normative emergences.

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