Free will, moral responsibility and ADHD

Tait, Gordon (2003) Free will, moral responsibility and ADHD. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 7(4), pp. 429-446.

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One of the oldest problems in philosophy concerns the relationship between free will and moral responsibility. If we adopt the position that we lack free will, in the absolute sense—as have most philosophers who have addressed this issue—how can we truly be held accountable for what we do? This paper will contend that the most significant and interesting challenge to the long-standing status-quo on the matter comes not from philosophy, jurisprudence, or even physics, but rather from psychology. By examining this debate through the lens of contemporary behaviour disorders, such as ADHD, it will be argued that notions of free will, along with its correlate, moral responsibility, are being eroded through the logic of psychology which is steadily reconfiguring large swathes of familiar human conduct as pathology. The intention of the paper is not only to raise some concerns over the exponential growth of behaviour disorders, but also, and more significantly, to flag the ongoing relevance of philosophy for prying open contemporary educational problems in new and interesting ways.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 28866
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: ADHD, Behaviour Disorders, Free Will, Moral Responsibility, Determinism
DOI: 10.1080/1360311032000122483
ISSN: 1360-3116
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Philosophy of Mind (excl. Cognition) (220314)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Taylor & Francis Ltd
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 03:08
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 12:59

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