Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 20, Number 26
 
Featured Reviews
OCDaniel by Wesley KingOCDaniel
by Wesley King
Tue, Apr 12th 2016
Thriving Under Stress by Thomas W. Britt and Steve M. JexThriving Under Stress
by Thomas W. Britt and Steve M. Jex
Tue, Apr 5th 2016
A Conceptual History of Psychology: Exploring the Tangled Web  by John D. GreenwoodA Conceptual History of Psychology: Exploring the Tangled Web
by John D. Greenwood
Tue, Apr 5th 2016
 
Aristotle's Ethics and Moral Responsibility
By Javier Echeñique
Review by Edward Willatt on Tue, Jun 28th 2016.
Aristotle's Ethics and Moral Responsibility by Javier EcheñiqueThis book relates Aristotle's thought to contemporary debates about ethics. Echeñique considers the challenges of reading Aristotle's work on ethics and how well Peter Strawson interpreted it. Strawson's account of Aristotle's ethical thought has shaped continuing debates about voluntariness and its role in formulating a theory of moral responsibility (2). This concerns the praise and blame of moral agents. Whether they deserve to be praised or blamed depends upon whether or not their actions were voluntary. Echeñique challenges the Strawsonian interpretation of Aristotle on volu
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Basic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free Will
By Maureen Sie and Derk Pereboom (Editors)
Review by William Simkulet, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 28th 2016.
Basic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free Will by Maureen Sie and Derk Pereboom (Editors)I.           Basic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free Will reprints Philosophical Explorations Volume 16, issue 2, from June 2013, a special issue covering issues surrounding P. F. Strawson's influential essay "Freedom and Resentment" – unfortunately, not reprinted here.  P. F. Strawson argued that both compatibilist and incompatibilist accounts of moral responsibility are mistaken because they focus on an agent's merit rather than on judgments of responsibility.  In "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility," Galen Strawson conte
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Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness
Ancient Path, Present Moment
By Malcolm Huxter
Review by Lee David Perlman on Tue, Jun 28th 2016.
Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness by Malcolm Huxter Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness seems intended to be a practical course of study, which applies the theory and practice of Buddhism to modern psychological dilemmas.  It is meant, I think, not so much to be 'read' as to be employed.  Itis a useful book.  I found myself putting it to use almost immediately, and experienced changes in my own attitudes and approach to the world as I read through it and put it into practice.  The book is inspiring, not so much in the writing style which, while it occasionally contains inspirational flourishes (especially in the guid
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How Would Buddha Act?
801 Right-Action Teachings for Living with Awareness and Intention
By Barbara Ann Kipfer
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 28th 2016.
How Would Buddha Act? by Barbara Ann KipferAs a new yoga instructor, I've developed a casual interest in Eastern philosophy, and I find it beneficial to incorporate some of the teachings of Buddhism into my teaching.  How Would Buddha Act: 801 Right-Action Teachings for Living with Awareness and Intention seemed like a potentially helpful tool in this regard. In her brief introduction, author Barbara Ann Kipfer explains that "Right Action" is one of the eight elements in the Buddha's Eightfold Path to enlightenment.  She chooses to focus on Right Action and its basic tenet of "do no harm" for the basis of this work.  Th
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Close Your Eyes
By Michael Robotham
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 28th 2016.
Close Your Eyes by Michael RobothamRobotham's psychological thriller, about a disturbed serial killer in the southwest of the UK, starts with the murderer reflecting on how he heard about his mother's death.  She was giving oral sex to her lover while he was driving, and in the accident she bit off his penis. This sets the macabre tone for the novel, which includes some vivid descriptions of murder and mutilation.  This is balanced by the narration of the psychologist investigating the case. Joseph O'Loughlin is a classic glum middle aged man ruminating over his life's mistakes and commenting wryly on the current pred
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The Dissociative Mind in Psychoanalysis
Understanding and Working With Trauma
By Elizabeth F. Howell & Sheldon Itzkowitz (Editors)
Review by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 21st 2016.
The Dissociative Mind in Psychoanalysis by Elizabeth F. Howell & Sheldon Itzkowitz (Editors)This book contains 22 chapters, including three authored by the two editors, and one by Elizabeth F. Howell alone.  Most chapters are scholarly, arguing theoretical points and citing authorities in psychoanalysis and psychiatry. Chapter 21 presents a summary of research regarding the validity of the dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis, its etiology and its treatment. Other chapters report clinical cases, and appear less focused.  The book is really a symposium, with the contributors presenting some very personal approaches, and  no theoretical coherence is reached. Wi
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Rosemary
The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
By Kate Clifford Larson
Review by Duncan Double on Tue, Jun 21st 2016.
Rosemary by Kate Clifford LarsonAs a psychiatrist, my reason for offering to review this book was obviously because Rosemary Kennedy, the sister of President John F. Kennedy, and SenatorsRobert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, was one of the most notorious cases operated on by the lobotomists, Walter Freeman and James Watts. She was of low intelligence and years of training and close supervision within the powerful Kennedy family helped mask her disability so that outsiders did not suspect how different she was. She remained emotionally and intellectually immature as a young woman and began to have tantru
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Capital Punishment
Theory and Practice of the Ultimate Penalty
By Virginia Leigh Hatch and Anthony Walsh
Review by Gail Merten, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 21st 2016.
Capital Punishment by Virginia Leigh Hatch and Anthony WalshFor readers looking for general background information on the death penalty--primarily with respect to the United States--this book is a good choice.  For readers trying to figure out whether the death penalty should be fixed or scrapped, this book falls short.           For example, a chapter on methods of execution is devoted almost entirely to detailing the problems with the methods that we have used rather than to exploring whether there are better alternatives.  (pp. 125-53).  Using a single drug to both put the person to sleep
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A Short History of Medicine
Revised and Expanded Edition
By Erwin H. Ackerknecht
Review by Jordan Liz on Tue, Jun 21st 2016.
A Short History of Medicine by Erwin H. AckerknechtIn A Short History of Medicine, Ackerknecht attempts to sketch the history of medical reasoning since the ancient Egyptian medical papyri up until the mid-1900s. In doing so, Ackerknecht seeks to highlight the randomness and contingency of medical progress – this is a lesson that he contends will be particularly useful for the medical student. As he puts it, "Medical history will show him, long before he could discover for himself in his own professional life, how drugs and gadgets come and go, how often it is suggestion that actually produces the cure, how soon the useful detail of
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Barbara the Slut and Other People
By Lauren Holmes
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 21st 2016.
Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren HolmesThis collection of stories by first-time author Lauren Holmes features both male and female characters in their twenties or sometimes a bit younger. Sex is a central theme: sexual pleasure, sexual identity, sexual narratives. The narrators speak in the first person, and it's often playful and a little shocking. It's never erotic, and occasionally it shows the dark or drab sides of sex, but mostly it's on the humorous side. One of the stories, "I Will Crawl to Raleigh If I Have To," is available online at Guernica Magazine. The unabridged audiobook is performed by Jorjeana Marie, who does
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Inside Ethics
On the Demands of Moral Thought
By Alice Crary
Review by Sylvia Burrow on Tue, Jun 14th 2016.
Inside Ethics by Alice CraryMoral philosophy rarely focuses on moral salience, finding and noticing certain things interesting to moral thought. Crary raises the question: "How do animals and humans enter moral thought?" The answer matters to our understanding of what counts as morally important. The thesis of the book is that humans and animals possess characteristics that are at once empirically discoverable and morally relevant, thus residing "inside ethics." What lies "outside ethics" is traditionally regarded as empirical and thus lacking moral characteristics. Placing humans and animals inside ethics challenges the
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The Philosophy of Living
By François Jullien
Review by Mark Zlomislic on Tue, Jun 14th 2016.
The Philosophy of Living by François Jullien In his excellent book, The Philosophy of Living, François Jullien gives us another in depth meditation on Eastern philosophy that offers a guide on how to finally live. As human beings we are caught in the ambiguity of the in-between. We are alive but need to learn how to finally live. Philosophy takes us out of the Twilight Zone mantra. You control the vertical and the horizontal. This requires you to accept responsibility for everything you do, including your actions, attitudes, beliefs and emotions. The choice always belongs to you. We all know the friend who has us pose for the
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Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
Risks and Opportunities
By Ann C. Crouter, Alan Booth, Anastasia Snyder (Editors)
Review by Elin Weiss on Tue, Jun 14th 2016.
Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood by Ann C. Crouter, Alan Booth, Anastasia Snyder (Editors) Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: Risks and Opportunities is a book concerning romantic and sexual relationships of young people and is edited by Alan Booth, Ann C. Crouter and Anastasia Snyder. The book is divided into four parts: What are the evolutionary origins of contemporary patterns of sexual and romantic relationships, how do early family and peer relationships give rise to the quality of romantic relationships in adulthood and young adulthood, how do early romantic and sexual relationships influence people contemporaneously and later in life, and to what extent
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The Trolley Problem Mysteries
By F.M. Kamm
Review by Ebrahim Azadegan on Tue, Jun 14th 2016.
The Trolley Problem Mysteries by F.M. KammPhilippa Foot, in her famous article, "The problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect," (Philippa Foot, "The Problem of Abortion and Doctrine of the Double Effect," Oxford Review 5 (1967).) among many other examples introduces these two cases, Transplant: A transplant surgeon can save the lives of five of his patients by killing a healthy individual to use the victim's body parts to save his five patients; and Trolley ("Tram" in Foot's example) Driver: A driver of a trolley which is headed toward five workmen in one track can save the lives of the five only by redirecting the tr
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The Beat Goes On
The Complete Rebus Stories
By Ian Rankin
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 14th 2016.
The Beat Goes On by Ian RankinThis collection of 31 short stories about Inspector Rebus by Ian Rankin is immensely satisfying. Many of them were hard to find previously, and probably they will be new to most readers. They range in length from 4 pages to forty, or in the unabridged audiobook, from 7 minutes long to 102. The whole audiobook lasts about 21 hours, and it is easy to dip in and out of it, rather the listening to the whole thing all the way through. The performance by James Macpherson, who has read many other of the Rankin novels, makes you feel he is reading directly to you. His Scottish accent is of course auth
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