“A philosopher explains why addiction isn’t a moral failure”

While we were getting ready to launch this website Vox.com published an article by Brendan de Kenessey a philosopher and Postdoctoral Fellow-in-Residence at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. The article examined many of the questions this site was designed to explore.

From the article:

We tend to view addiction as a moral failure because we are in the grip of a simple but misleading answer to one of the oldest questions of philosophy: Do people always do what they think is best? In other words, do our actions always reflect our beliefs and values? When someone with addiction chooses to take drugs, does this show us what she truly cares about — or might something more complicated be going on?

These questions are not merely academic: Lives depend on where we come down. The stigma against addiction owes its stubborn tenacity to a specific, and flawed, philosophical view of the mind, a misconception so seductive that it ensnared Socrates in the fifth century BC.

Full article Brendan’s own website

  • “Be curious, not judgemental.”

    Walt Whitman
  • “No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail harms many times greater than the pleasures themselves.”

    Epicurus
  • “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.”

    Goethe
  • “Harm reduction, not just for other people”

    Urban Survivors’ Union