Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 18, Number 40
 
Featured Reviews
Bob Dylan and Philosophy by  Peter Vernezze and Carl Porter (Editors)Bob Dylan and Philosophy
by Peter Vernezze and Carl Porter (Editors)
Tue, Sep 9th 2014
Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care by Dominic Sisti, Arthur Caplan, and Hila Rimon-Greenspan (Editors)Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care
by Dominic Sisti, Arthur Caplan, and Hila Rimon-Greenspan (Editors)
Tue, Sep 2nd 2014
Redefining Girly by Melissa Atkins WardyRedefining Girly
by Melissa Atkins Wardy
Tue, Sep 2nd 2014
 
Schizophrenia
A Brother Finds Answers in Biological Science
By Ronald Chase
Review by Helena Barbagelata Simões on Tue, Sep 30th 2014.
Schizophrenia by Ronald ChaseAnalogous to other mental disorders, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and historically misunderstood condition. Its long-suffering symptoms, ranging from hallucinations and distorted cognitive perceptions, to erratic behavioral patterns, deeply affect the lives of its sufferers and loved ones. Early interpretations of schizophrenia portrayed it as a spiritual torment or demonic possession, and later medicine as a mental disability or form of irreversible dementia. The sometimes unsolvable aspects of the disorder have often caused numerous misunderstandings, and even in the light of recent sc
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The Feeling Body
Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind
By Giovanna Colombetti
Review by Kerrin A. Jacobs, PhD on Tue, Sep 30th 2014.
The Feeling Body by Giovanna ColombettiIn her recently published book The Feeling Body, Giovanna Colombetti advances a unique enactivistic approach, which reintegrates cognitive and affective science with the philosophy of mind and phenomenology. The author particularly points to the leading role that the disciplines of experimental psychology and neuroscience have for the central aim to further develop the enactivist approach by extending it to the research field of "affect" resp. "affectivity". As such, Colombetti's research on affectivity is inspired by the hypothesis that enactivism is "a highly suitable framework for
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The Inessential Indexical
On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person
By Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever
Review by Andrei Nasta on Tue, Sep 30th 2014.
The Inessential Indexical by Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever  Cappelen and Dever (henceforth C&D) ask whether there is any essential aspect of indexicals that distinguishes them from other linguistic or mentalist notions. [In the philosophical literature, words like I, you, now, tomorrow, here, that are called indexicals. On the standard theory (Kaplan 1989), the meaning of indexicals has two aspects: a variable aspect and a constant one. For instance, the constant aspect of the meaning of I is something akin to the person speaking, while the flexible aspect of its meaning is the person u
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Changes
Stories
By Robin Molineux
Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Sep 30th 2014.
Changes by Robin Molineux"Talking does not make the world or even pictures, but talking and pictures participate in making each other and the world as we know them." Nelson Goodman in Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols has pointed correctly in this statement to the inevitable association between works of art and the language used to talk about those works. In the last century, it was believed that the exclusion of subject matter (landscapes, people, family scenes) from painting would disentangle the image on the canvas (or the words of a poem) from literary associations
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Season to Taste
A Novel
By Natalie Young
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 30th 2014.
Season to Taste by Natalie YoungThe subtitle of the British edition of this novel is "or How to Eat Your Husband," and the heart of the book is made clear in the first pages.  Lizzie has killed her husband Jacob, and she has decided to do away with the evidence by consuming his body.  They are in southern England and they have lived together in unhappiness for a long time, and she ruminates on their marriage as she cooks and eats Jacob. It is a physically repulsive process, and much of the book is Lizzie's advice to herself about how to accomplish the task, contrasted with a third person narrator telling the reader
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The Chemistry Between Us:
Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction
By Larry Young
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Chemistry Between Us: by Larry YoungIn The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction, Larry Young and Brian Alexander state that molecules in our brains drive and influence all behavior related to love, sex and attraction. In short, Young and Alexander state that our "free will" or belief in decision-making is greatly influenced, if not completely determined by these various molecules.  One thing that is important to note, and Young and Alexander express this fairly early in the book as well, is that these hypotheses provided by the authors, and by others in the same field, are not conclusive, or f
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The Myth of the Spoiled Child
Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting
By Alfie Kohn
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie KohnThe Myth of the Spoiled Child is a book which challenges the conventional wisdom about children and parenting.  The author, Alfie Kohn, is an inveterate writer of books as well as hundreds of articles.  In the book's "Introduction", Kohn opines that "traditionalist" convictions have become society's conventional wisdom concerning children.  Kohn opines further, in the Introduction, that the uniformity of writings concerning children and parenting, and the lack of critical inspection, is troubling and impactful on the popular consciousness.  Kohn adds that his writing t
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The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death
By Steven Luper (Editor)
Review by Keith Harris, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death by Steven Luper (Editor)In the final decade of the 19th century, the French painter Paul Gaugin fled from the entanglements of European life to the then-remote and undeveloped island of Tahiti.  With the sobering perspective that comes with one's middle years, he was increasingly drawn to the most pressing questions about life. As the final decade of that century closed he produced a painting that he considered his masterpiece. He captioned it simply, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?  These are traditionally the big questions of philosophy, packaged here in a beautiful visu
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Autonomy
By Andrew Sneddon
Review by William Simkulet, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
Autonomy by Andrew SneddonAndrew Sneddon's Autonomy seeks to explore the nature of autonomy with a focus on the psychological capacities that most humans develop through during their lives and the role they play in our lives.  The book is divided into eight chapters, with the early chapters devoted to offering a robust account of autonomy, while the latter chapters are focused on the value of autonomy.           The first chapter is an introduction to autonomy.  The next two chapters offer a partial account of the autonomy of persons.  Chapter four
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File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
All the Wrong Questions
By Lemony Snicket
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony SnicketThis children's book by "Lemony Snicket" has very little to do with the original "Series of Unfortunate Events," either in content or quality.  The only familiar character is Snicket himself, who is amazingly characterless.  There are many other people in this series of 13 mini-mysteries, but they are all entirely forgettable.  The only virtue of the book is the familiar word-play, which is a lot of fun.  There's also a fair amount of rather random information thrown in, such as about kinds of newts, but after a while that gets tiresome. The unabridged audiobook is performe
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All Joy and No Fun
The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
By Jennifer Senior
Review by Lloyd A. Wells, Ph.D., M.D. on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer SeniorI found this book fascinating, enjoyable and sometimes mildly frustrating.  It was fun to read, and I learned a lot. This is not a book about child-rearing but about the effects of child-rearing on middle-class American parents, and the results are interesting and sometimes sobering.  Chapters deal consecutively with the impact of early parenting on parents' sense of autonomy, effects on marriage, some of the joys of having young children, the demands -- especially social demands -- on parents of pre-adolescent children, and the vicissitudes of the adolescent years. In the chapter
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Cracked
The Unhappy Truth about Psychiatry
By James Davies
Review by Kate Mehuron on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Cracked by James DaviesNo reader can finish social anthropologist James Davies' Cracked: The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, without a profound distrust of the medicalization of the mental health industry. Many books and articles have been published in the past twenty years about the ubiquity of the pharmaceutical industry's psychoactive drug market in our everyday lives, but this book is outstanding for its exposé of deceptive research and opportunistic marketing practices deployed by the major pharmaceutical companies that are household names to most of us. Davies discovers the reason that these compani
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The Mind of the Horse
An Introduction to Equine Cognition
By Michel-Antoine Leblanc
Review by Anne Moyer, Ph.D. and Samantha Siess, M.A. on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
The Mind of the Horse by Michel-Antoine LeblancThe Mind of the Horse is a comprehensive, scholarly, and detailed survey of the knowledge base regarding equine cognition. The author, Michael-Antoine Leblanc, a psychologist with a doctorate in neuroscience, does a masterful job of describing a field and a literature that has been varied with respect to its coverage of various equine abilities, illuminating the great depth of knowledge in some areas (vision) and the dearth of understanding in others (olfaction and touch).  Leblanc also provides a very useful contextual introduction to this largely experimental body of work, describing th
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Mindfulness
An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
By Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Mindfulness by  Mark Williams and Danny Penman This is a straightforward introduction to meditation using simple language. The basic ideas are easy to grasp: through becoming able to be aware of one's body feelings and emotions, one becomes both more integrated with them and also more able to accept them without them being overwhelming. Interrupting one's usual patterns helps one to get out of them and take more control of one's life. These approaches are standard and well-tested. People who have practiced yoga will also be somewhat familiar with the ideas and practices of mindfulness.  The book should be used with audio mp3 files tha
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Our Bodies, Whose Property?
By Anne Phillips
Review by Diana Soeiro on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Our Bodies, Whose Property? by Anne PhillipsIn the opening section of the book, "Acknowledgements", the author Anne Phillips, states that the book content is mainly a result of a healthy discussion, with her students, during a course in Feminist Political Studies, focused on prostitution and surrogacy, that took place at LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science). During the course, Phillips adds: "I […] gradually overcame my initial preference, which was to declare these difficult issues and sit on the fence." (p.vii) Having read Phillips' book, I am not certain if the author has fully overcame her initial prefer
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