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Addiction and ChoiceRethinking the relationship$
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Nick Heather and Gabriel Segal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.001.0001

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Addiction as social choice

Addiction as social choice

Chapter:
(p.245) Chapter 14 Addiction as social choice
Source:
Addiction and Choice
Author(s):

Howard Rachlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.003.0014

A person’s self may be viewed as the more or less extended temporal and social patterns of that person’s overt behavior, and nothing more. In this view, your relation with your future self is essentially a social relation to be studied along with your relation to other people. As these temporal and social patterns are narrow or wide, you are acting selfishly or altruistically with respect to your future self and other people. The value of a reward (or utility of consumption) may be quantified as a function of social discounting (“altruism”) as well as delay discounting (“self-control”). Addiction may thus be conceived as a kind of hyper-selfishness. This chapter draws out the implications, in theory and practice, of this social conception of addiction.

Keywords:   addiction, delay discounting, self, self-control, social discounting

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