Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 21
 
Featured Reviews
The Extended Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsThe Extended Selfish Gene
by Richard Dawkins
Tue, May 1st 2018
On Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive Person by Ilse Sand On Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive Person
by Ilse Sand
Tue, Apr 17th 2018
 Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida by Angelos Evangelou Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida
by Angelos Evangelou
Tue, Apr 10th 2018
 
Philosophy of Medicine
An Introduction
By R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. Upshur
Review by Jamie Watson, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Philosophy of Medicine by R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. UpshurLike philosophy of biology and philosophy of physics, philosophy of medicine is a branch of philosophy of science. This means that philosophy of medicine studies the scientific concepts, commitments, reasoning, and methods associated with medicine. These include the concepts of health, illness, and disease, commitments to various biological theories and medical models, the methods of scientific experiment and probabilistic reasoning. In Philosophy of Medicine: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018), R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. Upshur attempt to orient readers to the central philosophical discuss
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Learning ACT
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists
By Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. Walser
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Learning ACT by Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. WalserACT, pronounced ACT and not A-C-T, is a new form of therapy that these authors have had a meaningful relationship with, in terms of bringing it to the world. This book however is not a starter kit, but rather for those who already have a reasonable understanding of how act works. The primary view of ACT community is that bad things come and go, apart from the meanings we attach to them, and how our values play into this.  In short psychological inflexibility has as its consequence that we struggle with challenges, and the hexagon motif here has each point in correspondence with the proces
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Subhuman
The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals
By T.J. Kasperbauer
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Subhuman by T.J. Kasperbauer Subhuman analyzes human attitudes toward animals, arguing that those attitudes are determined by our moral valuations of them, which according to Kasperbauer largely arise from their role as a contrast class to human beings.  The clearest example of the use of animals as a contrast class shows up in dehumanization studies literature. During some of the world's most shocking human tragedies, human groups have been compared to animals that trigger general feelings of disgust (rats, cockroaches, vermin, apes) in order to justify cruel treatment or murder of another group. The Nazis compared
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Becoming Myself
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
By Irvin D. Yalom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Becoming Myself by Irvin D. YalomIn this memoir, famed existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom sets out his past and his intellectual history. He starts with his home life living in Washington DC, where his immigrant parents ran a supermarket. While they maintained a traditional Jewish life, Yalom was always resistant to religious thought and often explains his antipathy towards religion. But his parents were always very supportive of his education, and he excelled as a student. He went on to become a psychiatrist and he specialized in group psychotherapy. He writes both about his professional life, his marriage to scholar Ma
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Existential Psychotherapy
A Genetic-Phenomenological Approach
By Daniel Sousa
Review by Kate Mehuron on Tue, May 15th 2018.
Existential Psychotherapy by Daniel SousaDaniel Sousa's Existential Psychotherapy: A Genetic-Phenomenological Approach seeks to legitimize two lesser-known psychotherapeutic approaches. First, Sousa intends to establish the therapeutic legitimacy of existential psychotherapy within the big tent of psychotherapies in general. Second, he defends the value of static and genetic phenomenology, drawn from Husserl's phenomenology of time consciousness, to the existential psychotherapeutic enterprise.           Chapter one provides a review and synthesis of the major meta-analyses of empirical
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The Ethics of Choosing Children
By Simon Reader
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, May 15th 2018.
The Ethics of Choosing Children by Simon ReaderIn The Ethics of Choosing Children, author Simon Reader discusses the notion of bioethics and technologies of reproduction (such as ART - Assisted Reproductive technologies, in-vitro fertilization and various forms of prenatal testing) which allows for selection of not only sex, but the termination of and the selection of children with the preference for various traits over others. Reader acknowledges that there is both a social significance and a personal significance in such selections, as well as the notion of choice in the matter. Reader draws from various readings of others to develop hi
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Positive Nihilism
My Confrontation with Heidegger
By Hartmut Lange
Review by Verbena Giambastiani on Tue, May 15th 2018.
Positive Nihilism by Hartmut LangeHartmut Lange is a German writer of prose, essays and plays. In 2003 he was awarded by the Italo Svevo Prize and in 2004 by the LiteraTour Prize. His book, Positive Nihilism. My confrontation with Heidegger – written in 2012 and translated in English by Adrian Nathan West in 2017 – is the result of a lifetime of reading Heidegger’s Being and Time. This book is a useful pocket companion by means of which readers will be enabled to reevaluate central issues of Being and Time. It offers a series of reflections that are aphoristic, poetic, and, sometimes, obscure. Lange argues t
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The Perfect Girl
A Novel
By Gilly Macmillan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 15th 2018.
The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacmillanThis teen drama is somewhere between a young adult novel and a psychological thriller. Set in the UK, specifically the Bristol area, Zoe is 17. She lives with her mother, step father, step brother Marcus, and baby half-sister. It's a respectable household, and they have solidly middle class goals. And as with most such families, they have dark secrets. But these secrets are especially troubling: a few years ago Zoe was driving a car when she got into an accident that killed three of her friends. Much of the story is the gradual uncovering of what led to the accident. But there's much more. Par
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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought
Revised Edition
By Louis Sass
Review by Laura Matthews on Tue, May 8th 2018.
Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought  by Louis Sass In this new edition of Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought, Louis Sass carefully revises and clarifies his argument regarding the illuminating parallels between schizophrenia and modernist forms of thought and art. His central thesis is that both schizophrenia and modernism ought to be understood in terms of a hyperreflective or overly self-conscious form of awareness. To make his case, he draws on exegetical evidence from a wide variety of sources, including first-hand accounts from schizophrenic individuals, modern philosophy, modernist liter
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Enactivist Interventions
Rethinking the Mind
By Shaun Gallagher
Review by Robert Zaborowski on Tue, May 8th 2018.
Enactivist Interventions by Shaun GallagherWith Gallagher's Enactivist Interventions we have another book which is in a large part a collection of papers published previously in journals or as chapters of books. It is true that in this case they have been all significantly revised or expanded. Yet the volume has no book-conceived structure and bringing together several relatively independent items produces as a result occasional redundancies (although the chapters are as much reworked as to contain cross references). The upside is that the chapters may be read in any order and, given that some of them are easier than others, the book b
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Voracious Science and Vulnerable Animals
A Primate Scientistís Ethical Journal
By John Gluck
Review by Adam Shriver and Joyce Sato-Reinhold on Tue, May 8th 2018.
Voracious Science and Vulnerable Animals by John GluckJohn Gluck’s autobiography traces the journey of a psychologist who begins his research career as a star protégé working on Harry Harlow’s famous social deprivation experiments on monkeys and ends up dedicating his life to publishing and lecturing on the ethics of animal experimentation.  Gluck’s writing demonstrates that he is an exceptionally perceptive person, and he carefully walks readers through his thought process as he begins life as someone finely attuned to the well-being of animals, later suppresses these feelings in the pursuit of science aimed
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Forgiveness is Really Strange
By Masi Noor, Marina Cantacuzino and Sophie Standing
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 8th 2018.
Forgiveness is Really Strange by Masi Noor, Marina Cantacuzino and Sophie StandingThis little illustrated book takes a psychological approach to a moral concept. The authors argue for the psychological benefits of forgiveness, giving many examples. A nice feature of the book is acknowledging the difficulty of forgiveness, and how one can forgive one day only to find oneself angry again the next. They argue that forgiving someone can help you from holding onto the anger and this has both psychological benefits and physical health benefits. It can also have social benefits when it ends cycles of violence. But they also point that that sometimes forgiveness is not a good idea
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Consumer Neuroscience
By Moran Cerf and Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Editors)
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, May 1st 2018.
Consumer Neuroscience by Moran Cerf and Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Editors)In a nutshell, Consumer Neuroscience is a comprehensive introduction to the contribution that neuroscience can make to the field of marketing. The book, which is edited by Moran Cerf and Manuel Garcia-Garcia, contains a diverse array of chapters, each uniquely devoted to a particular topic, but unified by a data-driven approach to knowledge. Specifically, the book overviews the findings of studies devoted to how consumers perceive and conceptualize products, brands, and communications, as well as make purchasing decisions. Theories of cognition and behavior of consumers are seen through the le
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The Extended Selfish Gene
By Richard Dawkins
Review by Charles Beasley on Tue, May 1st 2018.
The Extended Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhile consensus around Darwin's theory of evolution in its most broad sense has been clearly established, debates within biology around the foundations of selection processes are still going strong. Over the past 60 years in particular, exceptional focus has been placed on what is called the 'levels of selection problem'.  A solution to this problem will answer the following two questions. First, what is the evolutionary unit that is being selected for in natural selection? Is it ecosystems, species, demes, colonies, groups, organisms, organs, tissues, cells, organelles, nuclei, chromosom
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Full Disclosure
By Beverley McLachlin
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, May 1st 2018.
Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlinIf everybody loved Laura, I want to yell, then who the hell killed her? "From the former Chief Justice of Canada comes a riveting thriller starring Jilly Truitt, a rising, young defense attorney faced with a case that hits close to home. A searing look at what justice means in the courts and on the streets, Full Disclosure is perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs, Louise Penny, and Lisa Scottoline." And more from the publisher: " When everyone has something to hide, the truth is the only defense. There's nothing Jilly Truitt likes more than winning a case, especially against her former mentor, pro
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