Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 18, Number 39
Featured Reviews
Mirror, Mirror by Simon BlackburnMirror, Mirror
by Simon Blackburn
Tue, Sep 2nd 2014
The Children Act by Ian McEwanThe Children Act
by Ian McEwan
Tue, Sep 2nd 2014
A Metaphysics of Psychopathology by Peter Zachar A Metaphysics of Psychopathology
by Peter Zachar
Tue, Aug 26th 2014
The Chemistry Between Us:
Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction
By Larry Young
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Chemistry Between Us: by Larry YoungIn The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction, Larry Young and Brian Alexander state that molecules in our brains drive and influence all behavior related to love, sex and attraction. In short, Young and Alexander state that our "free will" or belief in decision-making is greatly influenced, if not completely determined by these various molecules.  One thing that is important to note, and Young and Alexander express this fairly early in the book as well, is that these hypotheses provided by the authors, and by others in the same field, are not conclusive, or f
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The Myth of the Spoiled Child
Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting
By Alfie Kohn
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie KohnThe Myth of the Spoiled Child is a book which challenges the conventional wisdom about children and parenting.  The author, Alfie Kohn, is an inveterate writer of books as well as hundreds of articles.  In the book's "Introduction", Kohn opines that "traditionalist" convictions have become society's conventional wisdom concerning children.  Kohn opines further, in the Introduction, that the uniformity of writings concerning children and parenting, and the lack of critical inspection, is troubling and impactful on the popular consciousness.  Kohn adds that his writing t
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The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death
By Steven Luper (Editor)
Review by Keith Harris, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death by Steven Luper (Editor)In the final decade of the 19th century, the French painter Paul Gaugin fled from the entanglements of European life to the then-remote and undeveloped island of Tahiti.  With the sobering perspective that comes with one's middle years, he was increasingly drawn to the most pressing questions about life. As the final decade of that century closed he produced a painting that he considered his masterpiece. He captioned it simply, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?  These are traditionally the big questions of philosophy, packaged here in a beautiful visu
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By Andrew Sneddon
Review by William Simkulet, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
Autonomy by Andrew SneddonAndrew Sneddon's Autonomy seeks to explore the nature of autonomy with a focus on the psychological capacities that most humans develop through during their lives and the role they play in our lives.  The book is divided into eight chapters, with the early chapters devoted to offering a robust account of autonomy, while the latter chapters are focused on the value of autonomy.           The first chapter is an introduction to autonomy.  The next two chapters offer a partial account of the autonomy of persons.  Chapter four
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File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
All the Wrong Questions
By Lemony Snicket
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 23rd 2014.
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony SnicketThis children's book by "Lemony Snicket" has very little to do with the original "Series of Unfortunate Events," either in content or quality.  The only familiar character is Snicket himself, who is amazingly characterless.  There are many other people in this series of 13 mini-mysteries, but they are all entirely forgettable.  The only virtue of the book is the familiar word-play, which is a lot of fun.  There's also a fair amount of rather random information thrown in, such as about kinds of newts, but after a while that gets tiresome. The unabridged audiobook is performe
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All Joy and No Fun
The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
By Jennifer Senior
Review by Lloyd A. Wells, Ph.D., M.D. on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer SeniorI found this book fascinating, enjoyable and sometimes mildly frustrating.  It was fun to read, and I learned a lot. This is not a book about child-rearing but about the effects of child-rearing on middle-class American parents, and the results are interesting and sometimes sobering.  Chapters deal consecutively with the impact of early parenting on parents' sense of autonomy, effects on marriage, some of the joys of having young children, the demands -- especially social demands -- on parents of pre-adolescent children, and the vicissitudes of the adolescent years. In the chapter
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The Unhappy Truth about Psychiatry
By James Davies
Review by Kate Mehuron on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Cracked by James DaviesNo reader can finish social anthropologist James Davies' Cracked: The Unhappy Truth About Psychiatry, without a profound distrust of the medicalization of the mental health industry. Many books and articles have been published in the past twenty years about the ubiquity of the pharmaceutical industry's psychoactive drug market in our everyday lives, but this book is outstanding for its exposé of deceptive research and opportunistic marketing practices deployed by the major pharmaceutical companies that are household names to most of us. Davies discovers the reason that these compani
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The Mind of the Horse
An Introduction to Equine Cognition
By Michel-Antoine Leblanc
Review by Anne Moyer, Ph.D. and Samantha Siess, M.A. on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
The Mind of the Horse by Michel-Antoine LeblancThe Mind of the Horse is a comprehensive, scholarly, and detailed survey of the knowledge base regarding equine cognition. The author, Michael-Antoine Leblanc, a psychologist with a doctorate in neuroscience, does a masterful job of describing a field and a literature that has been varied with respect to its coverage of various equine abilities, illuminating the great depth of knowledge in some areas (vision) and the dearth of understanding in others (olfaction and touch).  Leblanc also provides a very useful contextual introduction to this largely experimental body of work, describing th
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An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
By Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Mindfulness by  Mark Williams and Danny Penman This is a straightforward introduction to meditation using simple language. The basic ideas are easy to grasp: through becoming able to be aware of one's body feelings and emotions, one becomes both more integrated with them and also more able to accept them without them being overwhelming. Interrupting one's usual patterns helps one to get out of them and take more control of one's life. These approaches are standard and well-tested. People who have practiced yoga will also be somewhat familiar with the ideas and practices of mindfulness.  The book should be used with audio mp3 files tha
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Our Bodies, Whose Property?
By Anne Phillips
Review by Diana Soeiro on Tue, Sep 16th 2014.
Our Bodies, Whose Property? by Anne PhillipsIn the opening section of the book, "Acknowledgements", the author Anne Phillips, states that the book content is mainly a result of a healthy discussion, with her students, during a course in Feminist Political Studies, focused on prostitution and surrogacy, that took place at LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science). During the course, Phillips adds: "I […] gradually overcame my initial preference, which was to declare these difficult issues and sit on the fence." (p.vii) Having read Phillips' book, I am not certain if the author has fully overcame her initial prefer
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An Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications
By Andrea L. Glenn
Review by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D. on Tue, Sep 9th 2014.
Psychopathy by Andrea L. GlennIn Psychopathy: An introduction to biological findings and their implications, Andrea L. Glenn and Adrian Raine rigorously and cleverly summarize a multitude of findings from studies of behavior, cognition, and brain functioning.  Their quest is to identify the unmistakable characteristics of psychopathy through converging evidence from self-reports of behavioral and cognitive habits (to identify traits) and unique brain activity and structure (to identify neural abnormalities).  This sort of 'qualitative meta-analysis' conducted separately in different fields and then scrutinized fo
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Rape Is Rape
How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming Are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis
By Jody Raphael
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Sep 9th 2014.
Rape Is Rape by Jody RaphaelRape is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis by Jody Raphael is a powerful account of the ways in which rape deniers reject the impact of and commonality of acquaintance rape, often solely viewing the issue as "bad sex", an alcohol fueled mishap, or simply as rough, yet consented intercourse.  Those who deny that acquaintance rape is a serious, or even common issue, use various strategies to deny the crisis. Blaming the victim is one of those strategies. This is done by stating that the victim should have never gone to the offender
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Embryos under the Microscope
The Diverging Meanings of Life
By Jane Maienschein
Review by Davide Vecchi on Tue, Sep 9th 2014.
Embryos under the Microscope by Jane Maienschein The aim of Jane Maienschein's book is to show that “We can best understand what embryos are by putting them under the microscope and looking at them carefully” (p. 287). The author wants to show that, in order to understand the complexity of the ethical challenges of embryo research, we need first to know the “facts” of embryology; and the best way to present the facts about embryos is to understand the conceptual history of developmental biology. In order to do so, Maienschein partitions this history in seven stages that represent different historical periods, each cha
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Bob Dylan and Philosophy
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Thinking)
By Peter Vernezze and Carl Porter (Editors)
Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Sep 9th 2014.
Bob Dylan and Philosophy by  Peter Vernezze and Carl Porter (Editors)How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man ? How many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand ? Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly Before they're forever banned ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind. Bob Dylan recorded "Blowin' in the Wind" (listen to the young Dylan perform the song) in 1962 and included it in his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan which was released in 1963. It was, and is a moving and thought provoking (and ambiguous) song which became a kind of anthem for protesters in th
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The Girl in 6E
By A. R. Torre
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 9th 2014.
The Girl in 6E by A. R. TorreA.R. Torre is also known as author Alessandra Torre, author of Sex Love Repeat, The Diary of Brad De Luca: Blindfolded Innocence, Masked Innocence, The End of the Innocence. The reason for the slight difference in author name is that while those other books are straightforward erotica and romance, The Girl in 6E is a mixture of sex and thriller.  The main character, the girl in apartment 6E, DeAnna, is a psychopathic killer, or at least, she is obsessed with the desire to kill.  She has locked herself in her apartment so that she won't succumb to her murderous feelings.  So she
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