Individuals and societies have long struggled to understand and confront, by constructive means, the nemesis of addiction. No other human ill has provoked more concern, accounted for more suffering, or elicited greater consequence than addiction in all its diverse forms. Although alcoholism and drug abuse symbolize the traditional essence of addiction; compulsive sexuality, pathological gambling, eating disorders, tobacco use, etc., are also believed to have addictive properties according to contemporary concepts. Numerous commendable theories and therapies have been offered down through history to explain and mediate addictions conceptually enigmatic and therapeutically resistant nature. As this paper will clarify, many of these time-honored conceptions and resultant treatments of addiction have been inclined to proceed from a particular philosophical perspective known as abstractionism. The first purpose of this dissertation, therefore, is to explore and analyze the influence of abstractionist ideologies in addiction theory and therapy. Further on, this paper will suggest an alternate theory of addiction that derives its meaning and significance from a philosophical basis known as relationality. A relational perspective of addiction theory and treatment will be proposed along with a number of therapeutic suggestions.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hill, Wiley Benjamin III, "An Ontological Analysis of Mainstream Addiction Theories: Exploring Relational Alternatives" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2473.
Ontology, abstractionism, relationality, addiction