Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 42
Featured Reviews
Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music? by Sandra Garrido Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music?
by Sandra Garrido
Tue, Sep 19th 2017
A Tapestry of Values by Kevin C. ElliottA Tapestry of Values
by Kevin C. Elliott
Tue, Sep 12th 2017
Animal Madness by Laurel BraitmanAnimal Madness
by Laurel Braitman
Tue, Sep 12th 2017
Handbook of Children's Rights
Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives
By Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali and Michael Freeman (Editors)
Review by Anna Westin, PhD on Tue, Oct 17th 2017.
Handbook of Children's Rights by Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali and Michael Freeman (Editors)Published in 2017, and edited by Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali and Michael Freeman, the Handbook of Children's Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives provides just what the title suggests. Drawing from the wealth of an impressive array of academic voices, it is acclaimed to demonstrate 'the richness of a cross-sectorial approach to fulfilling child and adolescent rights' (Diers) and 'a powerful and passionate case for upholding the commitments made to the word's children' (Lansdown). The collection does indeed live up to this high praise. The handbook starts with an overv
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Current Controversies in Values and Science
By Kevin C. Elliott and Daniel Steel (Editors)
Review by Vincenzo Politi on Tue, Oct 17th 2017.
Current Controversies in Values and Science by Kevin C. Elliott and Daniel Steel (Editors)Current Controversies in Values and Science, edited by Kevin Elliott and Daniel Steel, is the latest instalment in the series 'Current Controversies in Philosophy', published by Routledge. Like all the other volumes of the series, the essays of this book revolve around a number of questions, each answered first in the positive and then in the negative by philosophers holding juxtaposed views. The first question is: "Can we distinguish epistemic from non-epistemic values?" For Hugh Lacey, we can (and we should). In his view, those philosophers who argue that we cannot distinguish between epis
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The Neuron and the Mind
Microneuronal Theory and Practice in Cognitive Neuroscience
By William R. Uttal
Review by R.A. Goodrich, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 17th 2017.
The Neuron and the Mind by William R. UttalIn the last of his thirty monographs, the late William Uttal continued his unstinting forensic investigation into the rapturous acclaim often greeting scientific discoveries about the human brain and how they can resolve the nature of mind and consciousness. To that extent, The Nuron and the Mind differs little from its predecessors, especially since his provocative 2001 volume The New Phrenology, in pinpointing the sheer hyperbole of hypotheses inundating professional proclamations and the popular press alike. For all the technicalities of a topic informed by the author's dual expertise in
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Meanings of Art
Essays in Aesthetics
By Jason Holt
Review by Lars Aagaard-Mogensen and Wassard Elea on Tue, Oct 17th 2017.
Meanings of Art by Jason HoltThis book contains a collection of 14 previously published pieces spanning some 20 years. Prof. Holt prefaces that they are stand alone pieces (which, however, doesn't quite exclude an expectation of consistency, one should think) and divides them into two halves, one headed 'Foundations', the other 'Extentions'. And duality attacks the drone tone of Holt's opus. It is a highly provocative book; I shall explain why. It is because he advances many controversial theses. Holt asserts that no current art and aesthetic theory does proper justice to the standard trio, artist-work-audience (I actual
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Under Rose-Tainted Skies
By Louise Gornall
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 17th 2017.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise GornallLouise Gornall tells the story of 17-year-old Nora, who has a major mental illness. She has not been able to leave her house for 4 years, due to a sudden onset of agoraphobia when she was 13. She also has crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder which makes her perform rituals, need activities to be done in even numbers, require symmetry in appearance, and avoid contact with other humans in case of contamination by germs. Surprisingly, it seems that she does not have hand-washing rituals. Nora's anxiety is so severe that she sometimes loses consciousness at moments when it is especially acute.
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The Ethics of War
By Saba Bazargan-Forward and Samuel C. Rickless (Editors)
Review by Ebrahim Azadegan on Tue, Oct 10th 2017.
The Ethics of War by Saba Bazargan-Forward and Samuel C. Rickless (Editors)There are some cases in which it seems impermissible to defensively harm or kill a number of persons each of whom is liable to be harmed or killed. Suppose that in a war against ISIS in Syria in order to save the life of one trapped soldier, the soldier himself or his colleague has to kill one thousand culpable aggressors. It seems that the number of aggressors who must be killed or harmed to save the life of our soldier can make a difference to the permissibility of defensive action. According to traditional Just War theory killing of liable combatants can never be disproportionate and so the
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At the Existentialist Café
Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others
By Sarah Bakewell
Review by John Mullen, PhD on Tue, Oct 10th 2017.
At the Existentialist Café by Sarah BakewellWhen I was a boy of nineteen, I met a woman of twenty-one, a gorgeous woman, who informed me she was existentialist. My family's old Encyclopedia Britannica, with its long erudite articles, failed to enlighten on the topic me later that night and it was a decade or so before I had any competence to speak of existentialism. But once I did, I liked it, admired it and learned from it. I learned about a respect and passion for ideas, a belief that ideas matter, that thoughts should be put into action, that not all thought that matters is technical or superficially practical, and I learned about pe
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How People Change
Relationships and Neuroplasticity in Psychotherapy
By Marion Solomon and Daniel J. Siegel (Editors)
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Oct 10th 2017.
How People Change by Marion Solomon and Daniel J. Siegel (Editors)When I was trained, the topic of change, and thus growth, was entrenching itself in psychology, largely at the hands of Watzlawick and others of similar ilk. Little was known about the neuroscience of it all, let alone neuroplasticity, as in the 60's-70's the doctrine was that the brain did not repair, or change much at the neuronal level, apart from loss and decline with ageing. Ideas of resilience were not much weighted, and concepts of resistance as a form of cooperation, in the Paul Dell sense, were only just coming to the fore. As Freudian and Winnicott and Melanie Klein and Kohut and H
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Back To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte Ord
By Charlotte Ord
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 10th 2017.
Back To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte Ord by Charlotte OrdCharlotte Ord, who has a London accent, guides her viewers through 6 short exercises that use free weights, a yoga mat, and a chair at one point. There is also a Warm Up, which she recommends that be done before any set of exercises. You can program your workout from ·         Warm Up ·         Arms and Core ·         Butt and Back ·         Cardio ·        
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Extreme Measures
Finding a Better Path to the End of Life
By Jessica Nutik Zitter
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Oct 3rd 2017.
Extreme Measures by Jessica Nutik ZitterI cannot recall reviewing a book that I recommend as enthusiastically and to as wide a readership as Extreme Measures. The author writes as a specialist in both intensive care medicine and palliative care medicine, practices that are often at odds during the end of life period. But the greatness of this book depends not so much upon the author's expertise as upon a deep respect for the possibilities that human life contains and a profound compassion for those, patients and loved ones, faced with its loss. The book begins with some family history, the upshot of which is that Dr. Zitter is the
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No One Cares About Crazy People
The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
By Ron Powers
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 3rd 2017.
No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron PowersPowers tells the story of his family in No One Cares About Crazy People. He is married to Honoree and they had 2 boys, Dean and Kevin. Both boys were talented musicians, but both developed major mental illness, and Kevin killed himself when he was 20. So this is a deeply sad and troubling book. But it is also a book full of love and fond memories of the youth of the boys. Powers is a literature professor and he has published many books previously, so he brings the skills of a practiced writer to this memoir. He and his wife started living in New York City, but they moved to Middlebury, Vermont
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Before Consciousness
In Search of the Fundamentals of Mind
By Zdravko Radman (Editor)
Review by TomᚠMarvan on Tue, Oct 3rd 2017.
Before Consciousness by Zdravko Radman (Editor) The fifteen papers collected in this volume all adress, from various viewpoints, the relationship between conscious and unconscious mind. We know, for a long time now, that the mind can often engage in perceptual and cognitive activities without the involvement of conscious awareness. In spite of this, much of the current research into mind is still distinctively consciousness-centered. The main declared aim of the present volume is to accord the unconscious a more prominent place than it usually has in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science – to study conscious experience not in i
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The Digital Mind
How Science Is Redefining Humanity
By Arlindo Oliveira
Review by Lisa Bellantoni on Tue, Oct 3rd 2017.
The Digital Mind by Arlindo OliveiraJust how smart are our smart phones?  In the not too distant future, according to computer researcher Arlindo Oliveira, that question may launch an unprecedented intellectual and social revolution. For Oliveira, what makes us human, what makes us persons with minds, is how we process information. But the physical substrate that supports this data processing need not be biological. To the contrary, human brains, biological cells and computer transistors all work analogously: They execute algorithms, series of instructions which permit them to perform their functions. How they perform these
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Personalities on the Plate
The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat
By Barbara J. King
Review by Silke Feltz on Tue, Oct 3rd 2017.
Personalities on the Plate by Barbara J. KingAnimals have personalities. There is a general and convincing consensus that many species, particularly our companion animals and mammals, are sentient beings who display personality traits and live rich lives. However, we tend to not experience animal personality when it comes to the species we consume regularly on our dinner plates. When Cecil the Zimbabwe lion or the Cincinnati zoo gorilla Harambe died tragic deaths, an international moral uproar caused the public to question and challenge hunting laws, the ethics of trophy hunting, and the well-being of zoo animals. Yet, many of the people
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Psyche on the Skin
A History of Self-Harm
By Sarah Chaney
Review by Jennifer Radden, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 26th 2017.
Psyche on the Skin by Sarah ChaneyHistorical researcher Sarah Chaney is attached to the University College London Health Humanities Centre and The Queen Mary Centre for the History of Emotions. Her Psyche on the Skin: A history of self harm is a well-written, clearly-organized, and entirely intriguing, account of some of the range of ways bodily self harm has been perpetrated through the course of history, where bodily self harm can be loosely characterized as involving intentional, although not always willful or voluntary, tissue damage at one's own (and sometimes others') hand. Separate chapters focus on seven distinct theme
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