Is there a philosophy of harm reduction?
‘The philosophy of harm reduction’ is a phrase that’s been used by many people over the years. When someone says it we all nod and agree with what the person is saying as if we understand exactly what they mean. But do we, in fact do they understand it themselves?
Harm reduction grew out of community organizing, research, and clinical practice in the last quarter of the 20th century. At the same time, many of the arguments for harm reduction echo discussions in the history of ideas, as found in pragmatism, utilitarianism, and the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus.
We wish to explore if harm reduction can, as well as being a collection of practical interventsions, be seen as a lifestyle philosophy in it’s own right.
At the moment we are in the early stages of this work, but if you’d like to get involved we would love to know your thoughts on harm reduction as a philosophy. Often the best way to do this is by getting together socially and talking late into the night, but given that getting around all the harm reduction folk would take a lot of time and air miles we have instead developed a short questionaire.