Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 19, Number 4
Featured Reviews
A Brief History of Death by W.M. SpellmanA Brief History of Death
by W.M. Spellman
Tue, Dec 23rd 2014
The Philosophy of Creativity by Elliot Samuel Paul and  Scott Barry Kaufman (Editors)The Philosophy of Creativity
by Elliot Samuel Paul and Scott Barry Kaufman (Editors)
Tue, Dec 23rd 2014
The Norm Chronicles by Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter The Norm Chronicles
by Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter
Tue, Dec 23rd 2014
Living with Bipolar Disorder
A Handbook for Patients and Their Families
By Karen R. Brock
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Jan 20th 2015.
Living with Bipolar Disorder by Karen R. BrockIn the big scheme of things, Bipolar Affective Disorder is not too prevalent, but when it does hit, despite its rarity, it hits hard. Many will take their own lives, as my cousin and a friend or three have done, or will spend their lives unable to keep a job or marriage going. Diagnosis is not guaranteed either, taking years in some cases. As with any major mental affliction, it takes family and friends along on a bumpy ride. As one of my friends noted, when he took his life just after getting engaged to be married, being up was great, but being down again, which he knew was coming sooner rath
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The Pleasure's All Mine
A History of Perverse Sex
By Julie Peakman
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 20th 2015.
The Pleasure's All Mine by Julie PeakmanAlthough the phrase "sexual perversion" was first used only in the late 19th century when the burgeoning field of sexology was in its early stages, notions of 'improper' sexual activity have existed throughout human history. Indeed, as Peakman says, "most sexual acts have been deemed abnormal by someone at one time or another, while conversely, at different times those same sexual behaviors have been deemed acceptable by other groups of people" (7). The Pleasure's All Mine presents us with an absolutely fascinating and detailed look at the history of a wide array of these activi
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The Violence of Care
Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention
By Sameena Mulla
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Jan 20th 2015.
The Violence of Care by Sameena MullaIn The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention, Sameena Mulla focuses her attention and research on victims/patients of sexual assault as they come to the emergency room at a Baltimore hospital. Working as a rape crisis advocate Mulla gains insight into how patients are treated, how nurses cope with their responsibilities of being both care-givers and evidence collectors, and how blending both the medical and legal professions ultimately shapes the way in which patients are labeled (as compliant, non-compliant, ideal or not ideal victims, as r
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A Very Short Introduction
By Daniel K. Gardner
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 20th 2015.
Confucianism by Daniel K. GardnerWe turn to books in the Very Short Introduction series when we are looking for the basics about a subject. Probably we will also do a web search at the same time, maybe starting with the Wikipedia entry. How useful these VSI books are will depend on what detail of information we are looking for.  It provides about 136 pages, setting out the historical information about Confucius and his followers, and their views. There are six chapters and an epilogue, spelling out the role of an individual and their relation to society, and the Confucian view of government. Gardner explains the ways in
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A Natural History of Human Thinking
By Michael Tomasello
Review by George Tudorie on Tue, Jan 13th 2015.
A Natural History of Human Thinking by Michael TomaselloEarly in his lectures on 'genetic epistemology' delivered in 1968 at the University of Columbia, Jean Piaget described the basic tenet of this version of epistemology modeled after natural scientific research as follows: The fundamental hypothesis of genetic epistemology is that there is a parallelism between the progress made in the logical and rational organization of knowledge and the corresponding formative psychological processes. Well now, if that is our hypothesis, what will be our field of study? Of course, the most fruitful, most obvious field of study would be reconstituting human h
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Policing Sexuality
The Mann Act and the Making of the FBI
By Jessica R. Pliley
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Jan 13th 2015.
Policing Sexuality by Jessica R. PlileyIn Policing Sexuality: The Mann Act and the Making of the FBI, Jessica R. Pliley tracks the history of the FBI in their efforts to curb and reduce prostitution in America. In 1910, the White Slave Traffic Act, also known as the Mann Act, was enacted to protect women (and young girls) from prostitution and sexual exploitation. Pliley describes how throughout much of FBI´s history enforcing the Mann Act, cases in which white women (as described in the name of the of the act) were deemed victims got precedent over cases in which (especially) Black women were trafficked and forced into
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The Myth of Mirror Neurons
The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition
By Gregory Hickok
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 13th 2015.
The Myth of Mirror Neurons by Gregory HickokIf you Google "mirror neurons," one of the top results currently comes from a website that reports on an experiment measuring the activity of these neurons in monkeys, where it was apparently found that they fire when seeing someone else perform an activity of reaching food.  It has been hypothesized that mirror neurons are at the heart of our understanding of other people's actions and emotions. Some have suggested that mirror neurons are the basis for social neuroscience.  Great things have been claimed for these neurons. Yet in a recent review article, "Wh
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Philosophy of Biology
By Peter Godfrey-Smith
Review by Christina Behme, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 6th 2015.
Philosophy of Biology by Peter Godfrey-SmithIn the early 1970s Michael Ruse's The Philosophy of Biology (1973) and David Hull's Philosophy of Biological Science (1974) introduced the philosophy of biology to a wide audience and by now readers interested in evolution by natural selection can chose from a wide selection of text books and supplementary publications. The easily accessible Zimmer (2001) and Dawkins (2006), the more demanding but rewarding Gould (2002), Maynard Smith & Szathmáry (1997) and Mayr (2001) offer introductions for general readers, and Hurford (2007) and Tomasello (2008) cover the topi
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Foucault Now
By James Faubion (Editor)
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 6th 2015.
Foucault Now by James Faubion (Editor)James Faubion announces that the aim of his new book, Foucault Now, lies far beyond the usual collection of interpretations and applications of Foucault's groundbreaking work. Instead, Faubion sees this latest study as "coming to fresh terms and making fresh work with the conceptual details and the broader scope of the programmatic dimensions of Michel Foucault's thought" (p. 1). In this volume, leading voices in the field reflect on the ongoing significance, impact and relevance of this revolutionary thinker who, despite his untimely death in 1984, foresaw many of the problems that face
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Mental Biology
The New Science of How the Brain and Mind Relate
By W.R. Klemm
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on Tue, Jan 6th 2015.
Mental Biology by W.R. KlemmMental Biology  is a book about brain and consciousness.  The author, W.R. Klemm, DVM, PhD, is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, at Texas A & M University; Klemm is, as well, a prolific writer, authoring over 500 publications.  In the book's "Preface", Klemm states forthrightly that the thrust of the book is about brain and consciousness (with consciousness being viewed from womb to tomb).  The book's contents are, in fact, an intellectually expansive repository, harboring a copious amount of neuroscientific centric discourse.  The textual discours
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Gang of Four's Entertainment
By Kevin J.H. Dettmar
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 6th 2015.
Gang of Four's Entertainment by Kevin J.H. DettmarThere are not many great Marxist/feminist rock bands, but Gang of Four have a strong claim of being among them. Entertainment was their first album, released in 1979, is innovative both musically and with its lyrics; it was a time of many great albums.  Wire had released Pink Flag in 1977, Chairs Missing in 1978, and 154 in 1979.  Magazine released Real Life in 1978 and Secondhand Daylight in 1979. Indeed, the list of the NME's top albums of 1979 shows many great works: 1. Fear of Music - Talking Heads 2. Metal B
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Cerebrum Anthology 2013
Emerging Ideas in Brain Science
By Bill Glovin (Editor)
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 30th 2014.
Cerebrum Anthology 2013 by Bill Glovin (Editor)I just love books like this. In the shape of the greats, this series from the Dana Foundation allow for quick and easy, but erudite reading of exciting ideas and progress in neuroscience. So paging through, we bump into Chris Nowinski's Hit Parade, the future of the sports concussion crisis, which of course is a real issue in an America dedicated to its sentinel sports, even when the risks are emerging as so high. Traumatic encephalopathies are so troubling, leading young men to commit suicide, and yet to be thoughtful enough to donate their brains to science, asking science to explain what we
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Generation Dada
The Berlin Avant-Garde and the First World War
By Michael White
Review by Sharon Packer, MD on Tue, Dec 30th 2014.
Generation Dada by Michael White In this book, Michael White focuses on the friendships that forged the enigmatic and difficult to define avant-garde art movement (or anti-art movement) known as "Dada." He quotes Richard Huelsenbeck (1892-1974) who said that, "Dada is a club, founded in Berlin."           Whether Dada began in Berlin or in Zurich (at the Café Voltaire) is open to question. The exact specifications of Dada art are also open to question, for Dada remains "the most indefinable of the 20th century's counterculture movements." In spite of this ambiguity,
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Global Philosophy
What Philosophy Ought to Be
By Nicholas Maxwell
Review by Thomas Mengel on Tue, Dec 30th 2014.
Global Philosophy by Nicholas Maxwell   Executive Summary: In essence, Maxwell's (2014) "new" book GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY again suggests that we (universities in general and academic philosophy in particular) so far failed to live up to the task of helping to learn how to live by addressing the problems that matter; to overcome the disasters we are facing and the blunders we have created, "universities need to take up the task of helping humanity learn how to make progress towards as good a world as possible" (p. 176). Yet, the potential reader has to take the book, review the table of contents, or turn it over and read the back
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Wolf in White Van
By John Darnielle
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 30th 2014.
Wolf in White Van by John DarnielleDarnielle's narrator talks to the reader, or maybe himself. He is an adult man, talking mostly about the past, and the facts slowly come out. At first the details are very unclear, but it seems there was some kind of accident that led to him being socially rejected, unable to work with others. He explains the game that he created, an old fashioned kind that requires people to send in self-addressed stamped envelopes with their next move in the game. He has had a lot of time to think about the game, Trace Italian, and design many different moves. Then it turns out that he has been prosecuted, u
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