FW jay wallace article

FW jay wallace article - Scott M. Welch Free Will Dr....

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Scott M. Welch Free Will Dr. Kinlaw March 6, 2006 Article Review: R. Jay Wallace “Addiction as Defect of the Will” written by R. Jay Wallace is an article that attempts to assess the concept of addiction and some of the excitements behind what philosophers typically present it as in their theories. Wallace analyzes addiction in a five step process; his goal in the writing is to show what addiction is and whether or not it is correct in saying it is a defect of the will. This paper will look in depth at his five steps and conclude with reflections on the topic overall. The introduction to his article simply states the objective and how he plans on conquering the task at hand. It quickly becomes apparent where he stands on the issue, as he professes “Addicts typically behave in ways that are at least minimally voluntary, doing things that they themselves intend to do, with basic knowledge of the consequences and so on.” To further his point he confesses that he disagrees with the standard approaches to desires. He labels them as “hydraulic” and says they are considered casual forces upon which agents are subject. His mode of thought seems to be directed toward the notion that with this form of addiction one would not have the power to deliberate in a free willing manner. He allows finally that addiction may tend to a level of impairment, but not necessity. After his introduction he directs his attention to the concept of addiction.
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The concept of addiction he says is “long-term, dispositional condition, characterized by a susceptibility to distinctive kinds of impulse to action.” This opening remark is followed by Wallace’s description of four phases, or distinctions, of A- impulses. He believes it is these A-impulses most philosophers are referring to when they discuss addictions. The four A-impulses he identifies are listed in this order, resilient, intense, conceptions of pleasure and pain, and lastly physiological. Wallace contends that stemming from these A-impulses there are many things normally called out as addictions. Before continuing his discussion of these impulses he makes note that the fourth A- impulse is different from the others. He states, “it does not seem to matter all that much whether or not A-impulses actually have a physiological basis.” It seems apparent from this and the short example he gives that his main focus will be on the first three ideas and their affect on volitional impairment. Wallace identifies with a possible objection to these premises and discusses it before it gains the ability to challenge his theory. He notes the objection that it would be possible to conceive normal body appetites as addictions given the first three descriptions used for A-impulses. He remarks that “We label an impulse addictive only if its satisfaction is something that we tend to disapprove of.” He asserts this is not the case with bodily appetites and extends this to very specific cases where chemical substances are used. After which a shift in his focus occurs.
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This essay was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PHIL taught by Professor Kinlaw during the Fall '05 term at McMurry.

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FW jay wallace article - Scott M. Welch Free Will Dr....

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