Capture Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering By David A. Kessler Review by Christopher Parker on Tue, Dec 6th 2016.
The promotional insert included in my review copy of David A. Kessler's Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering, declares that it is "a book bolder than anything yet written on mental illness and suffering." Even by the standards of promotional hyperbole, this is a silly claim, and it takes only a little knowledge of the history of theory about mental disorder to see that it is plain false. The book's supposed boldness stems from its advocacy of a unified theory of mental disorder, one which claims that all psychiatric phenomena stem from a single type of cognitive cause. Kessler s Click here to read the full review!
The Fate of Gender Nature, Nurture and the Human Future By Frank Browning Review by Guilel Treiber on Tue, Dec 6th 2016.
Frank Browning's The Fate of Gender is a polemical monograph. As such, it is not necessarily to the very select audience of queer theorists and feminist philosophers that he addresses his book. It is a book meant for the wider audience, those who still think about gender in binary fixed terms and it is with them, no matter if they belong to the conservative right or the liberal left, that Browning seeks to engage. As such, it is an ambitious book with a wide ranging claim – that gender is not dead (yet). If we learn something from the nature/nurture divide, it is the lesson that nature a Click here to read the full review!
Christine Bryden is a well-known advocate of the rights of persons with dementia and one of the founders of Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International (DASNI). The book is a collection of 21 talks all delivered by Bryden between 2001 and 2014, with the exception of the first chapter, which is a talk given in 2001 with Morris Friedell, a co-founder of DASNI. Although the texts touch upon a variety of topics, they all revolve around a common nucleus of issues: identity, involvement, and stigma. They also share a similar structure, with Bryden oftentimes using her own story as a way of i Click here to read the full review!
Robert Tombs massive volume is 1040 pages long; the unabridged audiobook is 43 hours. But it is possible to dip in and out of The English and Their History and take breaks between chapters. Tombs starts with a quick rush up to 1066, and he gets though the Middle Ages without too much fuss. Then things slow down as he gets to the House of Tudors. Tombs goes over the standard political history, with wars, kings and queens, parliament, social unrest, and religious trends. But he also goes into cultural life, language, and some details of everyday life. It is a good history, narrated well by Click here to read the full review!
Anger and Forgiveness Resentment, Generosity, Justice By Martha C. Nussbaum Review by Octavian Gabor on Tue, Nov 29th 2016.
Regardless of one's circumstances, anger, the emotion that "includes, conceptually, not only the idea of a serious wrong […], but also the idea that it would be a good thing if the wrongdoer suffered some bad consequences" (Nussbaum 5), is normatively problematic. This is one central idea in Martha Nussbaum's thorough analysis of anger and its possible counterpart, forgiveness. In her recent volume, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, she points to two general paths of anger. The first one, "the road of payback, makes the mistake of thinking that the suffering of the Click here to read the full review!
If you put chimpanzees from different communities together you can expect mayhem - they are not keen on treating each other nicely. There is closely related species of apes, however, whose members have countless encounters with unrelated specimen on a daily basis and yet almost all get through the day in one piece - that species is us, homo sapiens. But what makes us get along, most of the time?
The first message of Fargas, Jussim, and Van Lange, the editors of this collection of essays on the social psychology of morality, is that we get along because we have the ability to think and act in Click here to read the full review!
Tahneer Oksman has written an impressive book with an enigmatic title: How Come Boys Get to Keep their Noses? Fortunately, the subtitle elaborates on her thesis: Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoir. The frontmatter hints at the significance of what is to come, for Oksman quotes Nicholai Gogol, the Russian author of The Nose (1835-6). Gogol's narrator muses, "My own nose, which, surely, is, for all intents and purposes, myself" as he searches for his missing nose and then learns that the nose developed a life of its own.
As Professor Oksman examines seven graphic Click here to read the full review!
The Tourist By Robert Dickinson Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 29th 2016.
The Tourist is a science fiction novel about time travel, without much science. It is more about the perplexities that time travel would produce in a twenty-fourth century future that sends people back in time as tourists. There is also mystery and plotting that seems about trying to change history. In the late twenty-first century, there was a global extinction event, after which the world was greatly changed. The standard problem with time travel fiction is that it leads to logical contradictions. In this world, characters are constrained by the history of what is recorded in the writt Click here to read the full review!
Antipsychotic drugs, initially promoted primarily to treat people diagnosed with schizophrenia, have become widely prescribed in the past two decades. They are increasingly used in the contexts of mood disorders, a more common diagnostic category than schizophrenia, and for children experiencing an array of behavioral problems. While there are many controversies regarding this burgeoning use, it remains crucial, whether one considers them overused or critical to good care, to understand their broad effects beyond the impacts they may have on psychiatric symptoms. This academic text addre Click here to read the full review!
VENN – HUMAN ACTS
Human beings act and interact with others in their families, social groups, and nation states. Some of those acts are beneficial and some are not. Some acts are deemed to be wrong and some right. A Venn diagram with the terms "Immoral" – "Illegal" and "Sin" (see above) should help us to understand how judgments work within each area of discourse and how an act may be deemed wrong (evil?) within one area but not another.
Area 3 of our diagram is least populated, but in some ways, the most important, because all three: the law, morality, Click here to read the full review!
The book, entitled The Science of Shame and its Treatment is written by Dr. Geral Loren Fishkin, a clinician whose narrative about shame relies heavily on experiences that have emerged from years of clinical practice and teaching. The author specifically employs a multitude of case studies from his own practice to develop an engaging narrative where he attempts to offer a view of shame as distinct from guilt and as a powerful emotion that can shape people's lives to the point of severely impairing their daily functioning. The author views this emotion at the core of different forms of psychopa Click here to read the full review!
Bite By K.S. Merbeth Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 22nd 2016.
It's the future after nuclear war, and life is nasty, brutish and short, at least for a lot of people. Kid is a 16-year old androgynous girl who joins a gang of violent survivors. The gang is led by psychopathic but charismatic Wolf, partnered by an Asian woman, Dolly, and then Pretty Boy and Tank. They pick up and lose others along the way: the rule is that they don't use real names because they don't want to get too attached to anyone. But the point is that they do become important to each other anyway, despite major tensions between them. Trust is hard to come by, especially when the Click here to read the full review!
Re-Visioning Psychiatry Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health By Laurence J. Kirmayer, Robert Lemelson and Constance A. Cummings (editors) Review by Jennifer Radden, Ph.D. on Tue, Nov 15th 2016.
As its title suggests, this is an ambitious volume, its thesis that mental disorders cannot be understood, let alone responded to, by any one discipline alone. Suffering and disability of these kinds emerge as the result of multiple factors, including the interlinked and equally important biological and personal, social and cultural. In the words of the editors, psychiatric problems "reflect the interactions of biological and sociocultural systems that can be described in terms of dimensions of functioning, developmental trajectories, thresholds of tolerance, and feedback loops" (Preface xxi). Click here to read the full review!
Children's Rights From Philosophy to Public Policy By Mhairi Cowden Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Nov 15th 2016.
Children's Rights: From Philosophy to Public Policy by Mhairi Cowden is what the title suggests, a discussion in regards to children's rights from a philosophical perspective, which then lends itself to discussing public policies in place today. Cowden states that there is a lack of theory and thinking about children's rights as well as lack of explanation as to why children have rights in the first place. Starting the discussion then is a dialogue about what constitutes a child and what constitutes rights. Is a child a child based on age, based on cognitive abilities, sociocultural standards Click here to read the full review!
The Inseparables A Novel By Stuart Nadler Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 15th 2016.
The formula of the story of three generations of women in a family is a good one. However, it has been done often, and it feels all too familiar. In Stuart Nandler's novel we have grandmother Henrietta, recently widowed, her daughter Oona, going through a divorce, and granddaughter 15-year-old Lydia, who is struggling with bullying from people in her boarding school after a nude picture of her is distributed by her ex-quasi-boyfriend. The title of the novel is the title of the book Henrietta published when she was young, which became a bestseller. It was a quasi-feminist novel with lots Click here to read the full review!
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