Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 39
Featured Reviews
Hume's True Scepticism by Donald C. AinslieHume's True Scepticism
by Donald C. Ainslie
Tue, Aug 28th 2018
The Oxford Handbook of Freedom by David Schmidtz and Carmen E. Pavel (editors)The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
by David Schmidtz and Carmen E. Pavel (editors)
Tue, Aug 21st 2018
The Triumph of Christianity by Bart D. EhrmanThe Triumph of Christianity
by Bart D. Ehrman
Tue, Aug 21st 2018
The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent
By Andreas Müller and Peter Schaber (Editors)
Review by Joseph Kranak on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent by Andreas Müller and Peter Schaber (Editors)The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent is a collection essays on the philosophical issues surrounding consent. Like other Routledge Handbooks, it is written as a series of essays by different authors, each covering a different topic related to consent, all written by appropriate specialists. It is divided into five parts: general questions, normative ethics, legal theory, medical ethics, and political philosophy. Mostly, the essays do not focus on defending a specific position but rather on summarizing the relevant questions and debates. The first part, General Questions, starts
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The Wisdom of Frugality
Why Less Is More - More or Less
By Emrys Westacott
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
The Wisdom of Frugality by Emrys WestacottThe Virtue of Frugality, by Emrys Westacott, is an informed contribution to the literature devoted to understanding human nature. This literature has an illustrious membership list. For instance, almost a century ago, Solomon Asch, a social psychologist attempted to identify traits that shape first impressions. He found that if a list of adjectives purportedly describing a stranger differed from another list by one single critical adjective, such as cold versus warm, the impression that people had of the stranger would be considerably more or less positive, depending on whether warm or cold wa
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The Limits of Free Will
By Paul Russell
Review by Hans Krauch on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
The Limits of Free Will by Paul RussellRussell's book represents the culmination of over a decade of work, but for sake of brevity this review will take slightly less time to produce than it took for this book to be made.  We will begin with a note that this is not meant to be an introductory text so only one already familiar with the subject would get the full benefits from its pages.  I do hope that this represents the latest mainstream trend in the study of Free Will, as it politely casts rightful doubt on many positions that have not improved in quality for at least several generations.  His position is stated t
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Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free
By Wednesday Martin
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
Untrue  by Wednesday MartinWe are familiar with the high rate of infidelity in the US, and it's easy to understand it using the stereotype of men wanting sex and women wanting security and intimacy. Wednesday Martin argues against this stereotype, arguing that females in many primate species are motivated to engage in sex outside their main relationships for a variety of reasons. In this wide-ranging book she explores female initiation and engagement in infidelity, extra-marital sex, multiple partners, polyamory, and other forms of women's pursuing non-traditional relationships. She is not necessarily a proponent of alt
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The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy
By Jonardan Ganeri (Editor)
Review by Prashant Kumar on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy by Jonardan Ganeri (Editor)This is a review of the last three sections (tilted "Philosophy from Gaṅgeśa, Early Modernity: New Philosophy in India and Freedom & Identity on the Eve of Independence") of The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy that includes 11 chapters written by renowned scholars on their respective fields of scholarship. The three sections under review here broadly discuss the philosophical writings that originate between 14th century south Asian thought and Indian independence. Though this handbook has deliberately chosen specific scholars for the elaboration of thei
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On Trails
An Exploration
By Robert Moore
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 25th 2018.
On Trails by Robert MooreWhen hiking in the wilderness or even just in the countryside, trails are essential. It is possible to go off trail, but it is hard work if the area is overgrown, and there's always the danger of getting lost or going in circles. Finding any trail can be a great relief, and finding the trail you planned to be on can be even better. When trails become familiar and well-travelled, they gain their own character, and you have a relationship with them. You notice how they look different as the seasons change, and in the long term, how they change over time. Trails are not just for humans. Many anim
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A New Understanding of Mental Disorders
Computational Models for Dimensional Psychiatry
By Andreas Heinz
Review by Jesse Butler on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
 A New Understanding of Mental Disorders by Andreas HeinzPsychiatry has always involved a fair degree of controversy and debate, but many now regard the field to be in a fundamental state of change concerning its underlying theoretical foundations. In this book, Andreas Heinz follows suit with this view of psychiatry and presents a synthesis of ideas intended to establish a new foundation for the field to move forward in a progressive and integrated manner. The central goal of Heinz’ proposal is to situate our understanding of mental disorders in relation to basic learning mechanisms and what we know about them through the study of computation
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Beyond the Self
Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience
By Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer
Review by J. Jeremy Wisnewski on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
Beyond the Self by Matthieu Ricard and Wolf SingerBeyond the Self is a series of dialogues between the neuroscientist Wolf Singer and the Buddhist monk and author Matthieu Ricard. Both are extremely well-known in their respective worlds. Wolf Singer ran the Max Plank Institute for Brain Research; Matthieu Ricard is the French translator for the Dalai Lama and has authored numerous well-received books (including The Quantum and the Lotus, with Trinh Thuan, among others). Their conversations take up issues central to cognitive science and the philosophy of mind and action. The dialogues are rich in content, avoiding needless technicality withou
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How Fascism Works
The Politics of Us and Them
By Jason Stanley
Review by Christian Perring on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
How Fascism Works by Jason StanleyJason Stanley's book on How Fascism Works sets out various tactics politicians use to divide people and oppress those at the lower rungs of society. It serves as a follow-up to his 2016 book How Propaganda Works.  This new work is a powerfully written work, using plenty of examples of fascist politics around the world, with an emphasis on the USA and the politics of the Republican Party. There are 10 main chapters, setting out the ways that fascism creates its own mythology about the differences between people and how society needs to return to a time of former glory. They fight experts a
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The Late Sigmund Freud
Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life
By Todd Dufresne
Review by David Mathew on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
The Late Sigmund Freud by Todd DufresneIn the final chapter of his life, Sigmund Freud wrote a letter to his admirer Lou Andreas-Salomé in which he summarises his present and future in the following terms:   "A crust of indifference is slowly creeping up around me; a fact I state without complaining. It is a natural development, a way of beginning to grow inorganic" (quoted in volume under review, p.21).     Contestably, this "natural development" – and indeed the very words that comprise this cited gobbet – could stand as an interesting echo of Todd Dufresne's own argument. Where Freud was
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A Journey Into Yin Yoga
By Travis Eliot
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
A Journey Into Yin Yoga by Travis EliotAuthor and yoga instructor Travis Elliot became known to many through his yoga DVD series, The Ultimate Yogi.  That collection of twelve yoga routines consisted of various themed classes, one of which was a 65-minute yin yoga practice.  In this book, Elliot builds on the popularity of that particular class by offering a comprehensive approach to the practice of yin yoga.  More than just a yoga practice manual, A Journey into Yin Yoga is filled with stories from Elliot's life—starting with the near-fatal car accident that brought him to the practice—as well as feature
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The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics
By Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, Sep 11th 2018.
The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)There was a time when “animal ethics” referred to a subfield of environmental ethics. Then there was a schism, with two sorts of ethicists going their separate ways: the ones who tended to think that it was important not to focus on species, but on animals as individuals; and the others, who thought the opposite. Still, “animal ethics” referred to an enterprise that wasn’t wholly sympathetic to animals. You could, for instance, “do animal ethics” in a way that involved denying direct moral standing to animals (a position for which Peter Carruthers has
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Morals Not Knowledge
Recasting the Contemporary U.S. Conflict between Religion and Science
By John H. Evans
Review by Shelly Galliah on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Morals Not Knowledge by John H. EvansSociology of religion expert John H. Evans has written a well-researched, multi-disciplinary text that speaks to our current historical moment. Using the sociology of religion; the history of sociology, science, and science's relationship with religion; and data sets from surveys and in-depth interviews, Evans explores and troubles the alleged "foundational knowledge conflict" between religion and science, or that schism resulting from the long-held assumption that religion determines truth about the world "through supernatural revelation" whereas science does so through "observations and
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Beyond Bioethics
Toward a New Biopolitics
By Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky (Editors)
Review by Jordan Liz on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Beyond Bioethics by Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky (Editors)From the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep, to the FDA's approval of BiDil as the first race-specific medication to ongoing discussions concerning the use of gene editing technologies such as "CRISPR," medical innovations during the past couple of decades have raised a number of significant ethical, social and political questions. Should cloning as human reproduction be limited? Is the pursuit of race-based medicine morally acceptable? Would it be a moral failure to abstain from using gene-editing technologies if they are proven safe to use? For Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky, the
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Adoption Beyond Borders
How International Adoption Benefits Children
By Rebecca Compton
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Adoption Beyond Borders by Rebecca ComptonRebecca Compton defends international adoption against criticisms and explains how it benefits children. She argues that the arguments against it are mistaken and that adoption can be the best option for orphaned children. One of the first issues she grapples with is the meaning of "orphan". The strict meaning of orphan, as a child whose parents are dead, does not generally apply in international adoption: but the parents are not available to act as parents, and so are not in the picture. Compton emphasizes the difference between growing up in an institution and growing up in a loving family,
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