2010 - Volume 51 > Numéro 4

ISSN 0035-2969

Cognitive and moral sociology of addiction
Patrick PHARO

pp. 693-720


This paper is concerned in physiological and practical functions of representations and cognition, from the example of addiction, which allows to disclose the functional dependences of ordinary social life. The first part pictures the neurobiological causes, which could explain the inequalities about risks of dependence, according to the four main following references : neural circuits of reward, genetic dispositions, evolutionary functions and social mimicries. From this realistic background, the second part discusses the rationalist approaches of addiction and proposes, as an alternative, a conception of appreciative liberty, which is understood as the individual management of social and neurobiological pressures in order to ensure well-being and a functional comfort as fit as possible to personal dependences. In this approach of moral sociology, the cognitive analysis is closely associated with the conative and ethical dimension of choices in situation of dependency. The paper is grounded on field inquiries on former users of drugs and alcohol and professionals in France and United States.



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