Culture as habit, habit as culture
instinct, habituescence, addiction
We consider Charles Sanders Peirce's insights regarding the dynamics he associated with the concept of habit, so that we might periscope into some realms he left under-explicit: first, culture itself, and then, addiction, the forms of which are necessarily relative to particular cultures at particular times. Peirce's groundwork on habit includes deliberations on instinct, habituescence (the taking of habits), the habit of habit-taking, and the changing of habits, enabling us to think through individual habits that are both marked and unmarked (that is, noticed or not), and how these feed into contemporary cultural practices whether deemed to be innocuous or extreme. With respect to extreme habits, we use the term "addiction" as a suitable gloss for behaviors marked by actual or perceived dysfunction, regardless of any involvement of use or abuse of substances. Finally, we propose that Peirce's reflections on habits (perhaps colored by his own habits-unto-addictions), and particularly his phanaeroscopy (phenomenology) of thirds—moving from vagueness to generality, from belief to doubt, from habit-taking to habit-breaking—suggest paths for exploring the debate surrounding the "reversibility" or "irreversibility" of addictions, including implications for self-control, and in turn, for our increasingly domesticated 21st-century society.
Cannizzaro, S. , Anderson, M. (2016)., Culture as habit, habit as culture: instinct, habituescence, addiction, in M. Anderson (ed.), Consensus on Peirce's concept of habit, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 315-339.
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