Schlimme J.E.,Section of Phenomenological Psychiatry |
Schlimme J.E.,Paracelsus Medical University
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics | Year: 2010
In this article, I focus on possibly impaired self-determination in addiction. After some methodological reflections, I introduce a phenomenological description of the experience of being self-determined. I argue that being selfdetermined implies effectivity of agency regarding three different behavioural domains. Such self-referential agency shall be called 'self-effectivity' in this article. In a second step, I will use this phenomenological description to understand the impairments of self-determination in addiction. While addiction does not necessarily imply a basic lack of control over one's life, this can well be the case during certain periods of time or in special situations. Addiction is herein described as an embodied custom-highly effective with respect to changing one's lived experience- which is learned and developed while becoming addicted. Such a repeatedly performed custom, called a 'psychotropic technique', implies deep changes in one's personal identity and alters an agent's 'self-effectivity'. In the closing section, I discuss the possible implications of a phenomenological approach to personal responsibility. ©Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.