Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 30
 
Featured Reviews
Moral Brains by S. Matthew LiaoMoral Brains
by S. Matthew Liao
Tue, Jun 6th 2017
The Ethics of the Family in Seneca by Liz GloynThe Ethics of the Family in Seneca
by Liz Gloyn
Tue, Jun 6th 2017
Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak LeeTell Me Everything You Don't Remember
by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee
Tue, Jun 6th 2017
 
Brightening Our Inner Skies
Yin & Yoga
By Norman Blair
Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 25th 2017.
Brightening Our Inner Skies by Norman BlairAccording to author, yoga practitioner, and yoga teacher Norman Blair, Brightening Our Inner Skies: Yin and Yoga has been a book in the making for more than ten years.  In his introduction, he shares briefly the lightening--the brightening--that his practice of Yin yoga has brought him.  By offering elements of his own personal story, Blair describes both the history and the benefits of Yin yoga, eventually going on to detail specifics of a Yin yoga practice. Blair structures the main body of the book around what he believes to be nine of the most important Yin yoga postures. 
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The Virtues of Freedom
Selected Essays on Kant
By Paul Guyer
Review by Harry Witzthum, PhD on Tue, Jul 25th 2017.
The Virtues of Freedom by Paul GuyerIn his new Book Virtues of Freedom, the renowned Kant scholar Paul Guyer presents a collection of previously unpublished and published essays on the moral philosophy of Kant, which have one theme in common: a probing analysis of the function and role of Kant's conception of freedom within his moral philosophy. For Kant, every human being possesses in his rationality the source of an irreducible and unconditional moral law, which makes the difference between good and bad. Listening to this inner moral law by letting the will be determined by this law (against the impact of the inclinations), h
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The Fortunate Ones
A Novel
By Ellen Umansky
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 25th 2017.
The Fortunate Ones by Ellen UmanskyIn this novel that alternates between the Second World War and the present, Ellen Umansky explores the relationship between Rose and Lizzie, who meet after Lizzie's father dies in California. Rose knew him for many years. He had owned a painting called "The Bell Hop," by an artist Chaim Soutine until it was stolen. The painting is what ties the two sides of the novel together, with two women leading very separate lives until they meet and make friends. Rose is older, having grown up in Vienna in the 1930s with her parents and brother. Lizzie lives in Manhattan but she grew up in Los Angeles an
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Never Out of Season
How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future
By Rob Dunn
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 25th 2017.
Never Out of Season by  Rob DunnIt is not hard to believe that big agribusiness is short-sighted and sacrifices the long term safety of the planet for profits. Rob Dunn explains how this happens, with big farms focusing on uniformity of product and maximizing efficiency. He explains how this leaves crops vulnerable to diseases and bio-terrorism. He argues that we would be much safer and better off if we kept farming a wide variety of different crops. He also explains how important it is for us to preserve the diversity of plants that exist already, because without that diversity, we will have no way to survive should we lose
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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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Panpsychism
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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Altruism
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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