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Addiction-as-a-kind hypothesis
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5237-9695
University of Helsinki.
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 4, no 1, 21-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The psychiatric category of addiction has recently been broadened to include new behaviors. This has prompted critical discussion about the value of a concept that covers so many different substances and activities. Many of the debates surrounding the notion of addiction stem from different views concerning what kind of a thing addiction fundamentally is. In this essay, we put forward an account that conceptualizes different addictions as sharing a cluster of relevant properties (the syndrome) that is supported by a matrix of causal mechanisms. According to this “addiction-as-a-kind” hypothesis, several different kinds of substance and behavioral addictions can be thought of as instantiations of the same thing—addiction. We show how a clearly articulated account of addiction can facilitate empirical research and the theoretical integration of different perspectives on addiction. The causal matrix approach provides a promising alternative to existing accounts of the nature of psychiatric disorders, the traditional disease model, and its competitors. It is a positive addition to discussions about diagnostic criteria, and sheds light on how psychiatric classification may be integrated with research done in other scientific fields. We argue that it also provides a plausible approach to understanding comorbidity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 4, no 1, 21-25 p.
Keyword [en]
addiction, mechanism, natural kind
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122154DOI: 10.7895/ijadr.v4i1.189OAI: diva2:862271
Available from: 2015-10-21 Created: 2015-10-21 Last updated: 2015-11-10Bibliographically approved

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Ylikoski, Petri
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The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IASFaculty of Arts and Sciences

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