Our Autumn 2017 workshop, ‘Addiction, Powerlessness and 12 Step Programmes’, will take place at the University of Essex on Friday 24th November 2017.
Addiction is a paradigmatic case of powerlessness. Conversely, powerlessness and the acknowledgement of powerlessness are central to the twelve-step programs, as are references to faith, love and hope. Yet many balk at these programmes’ reliance on trust in a ‘higher power’ and more generally at the crypto-theology they seem to involve. In this workshop, we seek to understand the experiences of powerlessness involved in addiction, to explore the limits of the helpfulness of the twelve-step programs, and to see whether a secularised version would be workable.
The Ethics of Powerlessness is a research project based in the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex. The project started in July 2015 and will run for three years. Our aim is to clarify the ethical challenges that arise from human experiences of powerlessness, especially in contexts of palliative and end-of-life care.
Messages concerning administrative and logistic matters should be emailed to: powerlessness[at]essex.ac.uk