Some theorists say that addiction involves loss of control over using drugs while others say control is preserved. In this chapter, I disagree with both sides, not so much in substance, but rather in epistemic tenor. Both sides, I argue, run well ahead of what the evidence allows. I frame the discussion in terms of a key division in human motivational architecture: We not only have desires, we also have powerful capacities to exercise top-down regulation over these desires. I review a number of influential theories of addiction, both ones that favor loss of control and ones that deny it, and I find that they all have a massive gap: They lack an adequate explanation for when and how top-down regulation over inappropriate desires succeeds and fails. Without this critical piece, we simply cannot have much confidence in these views.
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