Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 29
Featured Reviews
The Routledge Companion to Free Will by Kevin Timpe, Megham Griffith, and Neil Levy (Editors)The Routledge Companion to Free Will
by Kevin Timpe, Megham Griffith, and Neil Levy (Editors)
Tue, May 30th 2017
Developing the Virtues by Julia Annas, Darcia Narvaez, and Nancy E. Snow (Editors)Developing the Virtues
by Julia Annas, Darcia Narvaez, and Nancy E. Snow (Editors)
Tue, May 30th 2017
Sex, Family, and the Culture Wars by Mark J. Cherry Sex, Family, and the Culture Wars
by Mark J. Cherry
Tue, May 30th 2017
Beyond Schizophrenia
Living and Working with a Serious Mental Illness
By Marjorie L. Baldwin
Review by Anna K. Swartz on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
Beyond Schizophrenia by Marjorie L. BaldwinIn 2006, E. Fuller Torrey, an American psychiatrist and schizophrenia researcher, argued that "when the social history of our era is written, the plight of persons with schizophrenia will be recorded as having been a national scandal" (Torrey, 1988, p. 3). Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness (SMI) (or equally, a group of illnesses) characterized by a multitude of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. Despite advances in psychotropic medications, psychosocial therapy, and rehabilitation that have granted ma
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The Nietzschean Self
Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious
By Paul Katsafanas
Review by J. Fred Humphrey on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
The Nietzschean Self by Paul KatsafanasWith The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious, Paul Katsafanas focuses attention on Friedrich Nietzsche's remark that "'psychology shall be recognized as the queen of the sciences'" because "psychology 'is once again the path to the fundamental problems'" (1).[1] Fascinated by Nietzsche's claim, Katsafanas asks: "What are these 'fundamental problems' that psychology helps us to answer? How exactly does psychology bear on philosophy?" (1). The problems running through and engaged by Nietzsche's philosophical thought, Katsafanas observes, give the reader clues to under
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The Vegetarian
By Han Kang
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
The Vegetarian by Han KangHan Kang's The Vegetarian was originally published in South Korea in 2007. It was published in English in 2015 and won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. It was published in the USA in 2016. The central character is a woman Yeong-hye who refuses to eat any animal products. Her husband is horrified and her family tries to force her to eat, but she is determined. She becomes increasingly bizarre and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. She has strange ideas about being connected with the earth, and not needing any food at all. At one level, this is a story of a woman's mental illness. Her
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The Drifter
By Christine Lennon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
The  Drifter by Christine LennonElizabeth lives a wealthy life with her husband and young daughter in Manhattan, but she is haunted by her college years in Florida. The narrative shifts between the present day and Elizabeth's life in Gainesville in the 1990s. In college, her life was devoted to her sorority. She was called Betsy and she was always with her sorority sisters, often getting drunk or high. Eventually she moved to the big city with her boyfriend Gavin, and changed her whole image. What caused such a change? The story delves into the time in college when the campus was preoccupied by a killer going around selectin
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Doing CBT
A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Behaviors, Thoughts, and Emotions
By David F. Tolin
Review by Kamuran Elbeyoğlu on Tue, Jul 11th 2017.
Doing CBT by David F. TolinSince its introduction in the 1960's by Aaron Beck in order to conceptualize depression in other ways than psychoanalysis, Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been studied and demonstrated to be effective in treating a wide variety of disorders. David F. Tolin, who is the founder and director of the Anxiety Disorders Center/ Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Institute of Living-Hartford Hospital, introduces an evidence-based practice, which means starting with the best research evidence for the presenting problem and then tailoring treatment based on clinical expertis
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Contemporary Perspectives
By Godehard Bruntrup and Ludwig Jaskolla (Editors)
Review by Finn Janning, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 11th 2017.
Panpsychism by Godehard Bruntrup and Ludwig Jaskolla (Editors)"Panpsychism is as old as philosophy itself," write editors Godehard Brüntrup and Ludwig Jaskolla in their introduction to the anthology Panpsychism: Contemporary Perspectives. The editors present panpsychism as an alternative to analytic philosophy of the mind. Perhaps for this reason, all the essays in this anthology tend to be rather analytical. The word "panpsychicism" is--like many words describing Western philosophical concepts--Greek in origin. "Pan" means "throughout" or "everywhere," whereas "psyche" means soul, consciousness, or mind. Therefore, the term "panpsychism" refers t
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The Obesity Epidemic
Why Diets and Exercise Don't Work―and What Does
By Robyn Toomath
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 11th 2017.
The Obesity Epidemic by Robyn Toomath Toomath's point about the health problems caused by obesity is a simple one. Public education and focus on personal responsibility for weight control have very little effect. The only real way to control weight problems is for governments to change social conditions such as the availability of foods that cause weight problems.  Her view is that the solution has to be political and requires direct and indirect interference with the agriculture and food businesses. In 2001 she formed a group called "Fight the Obesity Epidemic," and the group ended in 2016. In a 2015 article for the Guardian
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Dead Little Mean Girl
By Eva Darrows
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 11th 2017.
Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows  Emma tells the story of the terrible behavior of her step-sister Quinn. They are teens in the same year of high school, and they are forced to live together when their mothers decide to move in to the same house. Emma is a funny and acerbic narrator, but she is a geek who likes reading books like The Hunger Games. She works hard and has a small group of friends. Quinn is obsessed by her appearance and is expert at being popular. When she does not get her way, Quinn gets her revenge, and puts a lot of energy into humiliating others. She has a string of boyfriends and girlfriends, and sh
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The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook
A 14-Day Plan to Transform Your Relationship with Yourself
By Tim Desmond
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 4th 2017.
The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook by  Tim Desmond  Self-compassion has been getting more attention in the field of psychology, and in the opening pages of this book, author Tim Desmond, a licensed marital and family therapist, cites research that 30 minutes of self-compassion a day for just 14 days can produce lasting change.  This is the basis for the book's subtitle, A 14-Day Plan to Transform Your Relationship with Yourself. In the first part of the book, Desmond introduces self-compassion as a skill that needs to be developed.  He reviews some of the "imposters" which get in the way of self-compassion, such as self-indul
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Legal Insanity
Explorations in Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics
By Gerben Meynen
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Jul 4th 2017.
Legal Insanity by Gerben MeynenIn Legal insanity: Explorations in psychiatry, law, and ethics, written by Gerben Meynen, the curious reader is showered with a detailed and engaging narrative of the concept of legal insanity, which includes key theoretical perspectives (legal, ethical, and psychological), as well as accepted definitions and applications within a selected universe of countries. The author's narrative gives the reader the illusion of being in the driver's seat by cleverly anticipating likely queries, doubts, and requests for additional information. The author's respect for scholarly analysis emerges in his int
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The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the WorldMatthieu Ricard
By Matthieu Ricard
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 4th 2017.
Altruism by Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard argues that altruism is possible and that it helps both the individual and the rest of society. He also recommends some ideas connected with Zen Buddhism such as meditation and mindfulness. He collects a lot of scientific evidence and philosophical discussion to support his case. He casts his net wide and addresses many issues connected with altruism, and he gives a fair assessment of the views of other people. The writing, sentence by sentence, is clear and approachable. Each chapter is divided into sections that make it easier to engage with. There is a good deal of overlap b
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The Chemist
By Stephenie Meyer
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 4th 2017.
The Chemist by Stephenie MeyerAlex is a brainy inventive expert in biochemistry who has a range of creations that can cause extraordinary pain. Her skills made her extraordinarily good at interrogating people. She always got the information she looking for. For years she worked for an ultra-secret government agency that was deeply riven by fighting between different factions. But then they turned against her. The Chemist starts with her in hiding, in fear for her life, after she has successfully thwarted many attempts to kill her. She is discovered again by them, but this time they say they need her back. She doesn't belie
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Desire, Love, and Identity
Philosophy of Sex and Love
By Gary Foster
Review by Rossitsa Terzieva-Artemis, PhD on Tue, Jun 27th 2017.
Desire, Love, and Identity by Gary Foster"I cannot hope to seize the concept of it [love] except "by the tail": by flashes, formulas, surprises of expression, scattered through the great stream of the Image-repertoire; I am in love's wrong place, which is its dazzling place," wrote Roland Barthes in 1977 in his famous book A Lover's Discourse (2002: 59). Even catching love "by the tail" seems to be a challenge, a diachronic, transcultural, transdisciplinary effort. And yet, ever since Plato, love and its mysterious sister, sex, have been in the forefront of all humanistic discourses in some shape: from the instinctual to the sublime,
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The Arrangement
By Sarah Dunn
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 27th 2017.
The Arrangement by Sarah DunnThe most interesting figure in The Arrangement is pundit Constance Waverly, quoted at the start of each chapter from her books, her articles for the Huffington Post, or her TV appearances. She argues that monogamous marriages can never work and open marriages would be a good option if society would be more accepting of them. It's a tempting view, at least for some -- generally people who have seen how difficult long term relationships are. Sarah Dunn's novel The Arrangement can be read as an argument against open marriages, setting out the many problems that they invite. The central figures
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Goodbye, Things
The New Japanese Minimalism
By Fumio Sasaki
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 27th 2017.
Goodbye, Things by Fumio SasakiIn Goodbye, Things, described as a "bestseller" in Japan, Fumio Sasaki describes a minimalist lifestyle and argues that it can lead to a much happier life. Apparently minimalism is now popular in Japan. While it has not become so popular in the USA, it has some adherents. The basic idea is very simple: we become able to focus on what we really value when we get rid of all the things that distract us and occupy our time. We can live in tiny little spaces with no more possessions than we are able to remember. Then we can spend our time with friends and loved ones engaging in meaningful activity.
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