Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 18, Number 31
 
Featured Reviews
Death and Consciousness by David H. LundDeath and Consciousness
by David H. Lund
Tue, Jul 8th 2014
Beyond Magenta by  Susan KuklinBeyond Magenta
by Susan Kuklin
Tue, Jul 8th 2014
Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis by Allen FrancesEssentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis
by Allen Frances
Fri, Jun 27th 2014
 
The Science of Intimate Relationships
By Garth Feltcher, Jeffry A. Simpson, Lorne Campbell, and Nickola C. Overall
Review by Shaun Miller on Tue, Jul 29th 2014.
The Science of Intimate Relationships by Garth Feltcher, Jeffry A. Simpson, Lorne Campbell, and Nickola C. OverallInvestigating love from a scientific approach has slowly gained prominence today.  Most of the work is done through rigorous academic journals, or through pop psychology.  Fletcher et. al.’s textbook, The Science of Intimate Relationships, manages to look at the current literature and interweaves many disciplines to give a coherent picture of intimate relationships.  These disciplines include social psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, and sexual behavior.  Without getting bogged down with the jargon or advanc
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Inheritance
How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes
By Sharon Moalem
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 29th 2014.
Inheritance by Sharon MoalemInheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes is a popular science book about the relation between genes and health.  This is his third book: he has previously written How Sex Works and Survival of the Sickest.  Moalem tells many stories of individual patients whose genetic make-up has led to health problems.  But one of his main points is that we can change our lives to change the ways that our genes express themselves, and thus we can improve our health.  He has a catchy informal style that conveys real interest in his wo
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Beckett and Animals
By Mary Bryden (Editor)
Review by Kimberly Poppiti, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 29th 2014.
Beckett and Animals by Mary Bryden (Editor)In Beckett and Animals, editor Mary Bryden, Co-Director of the Beckett International Foundation and Professor of French Literature at Reading University, has compiled sixteen essays, including one of her own, into a coherent and comprehensive 200+ page study of the title subject.  Readers are presented with diverse investigations into the presence and significance of animals found within Beckett's works, and are challenged to consider the significance of these animals both within and beyond these texts while also considering what their presence reveals about both human and non-h
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Shades of Blue
30 Years of (un) Ethical Policing
By Michael Rudolph
Review by Anthony O'Brien, RN, MPhil on Tue, Jul 29th 2014.
Shades of Blue by Michael RudolphThe cover of this book declares it to be a novel. A novel is a work of fiction, so perhaps that clears up the question of whether author Michael Rudolph really did witness his police colleague Ronnie "the reverend" Souter shoot a fleeing unarmed suspect in the back, leave him to die and then place a weapon beside him to create the misleading impression that the suspect was armed. The cover of fiction might also provide author Rudolph with the necessary dramatic license to make up a story about a ghost, and a taxidermied couple preserved in an upmarket New York neighborhood. Shades of Blue
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The Little Book of Heartbreak
Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages
By Meghan Laslocky
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 29th 2014.
The Little Book of Heartbreak by Meghan LaslockyThis curious book has lots of short chapters about different historical cases of heartbreak, and how loss has been represented in music, art and literature.  There's a little bit of science in there too.  It is a sort of high-brow bathroom book, to be read in short bursts, and not necessarily from beginning to end.  It isn't really going to be much help to those who are currently suffering from a broken love match, but it has some interesting chapters.  Laslocky writes from a personal point of view, and she's very chatty in her style, but she has read some scholarly books t
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Beyond Loss
Dementia, Identity, Personhood
By Lars-Christer Hydén, Hilde Lindemann, and Jens Brockmeier (Editors)
Review by Jennifer Radden on Tue, Jul 22nd 2014.
Beyond Loss by Lars-Christer Hydén, Hilde Lindemann, and Jens Brockmeier (Editors)This collection is particularly timely. There is a widespread and growing interest in dementia today, in part because, as the editors note in their introduction, the coming decades will see a dramatic increase worldwide in the number of those suffering aged-related dementias. At the same time, neuroscience has invited new philosophical analyses of cognition, embodiment, social relationships, and personal identity.  The book's purpose, suggested by the "Beyond" in its title, is to break free of the usual ways of thinking about dementia, where the sufferer is first and foremost a patient, a
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Hard Luck
How Luck Undermines Free Will & Moral Responsibility
By Neil Levy
Review by Jonathan Matheson on Tue, Jul 22nd 2014.
Hard Luck by Neil LevyHard Luck is a challenging, provocative, and engaging book that wrestles with a number of key issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and moral psychology.  In it, Levy advances a sophisticated argument that there is no such thing as free will.   However, rather than presenting another argument about the incompatibility of free will and determinism Levy's claim is that "it is not ontology that rules out free will, it is luck." (2) While luck objections to free will are not new, Levy provides a novel and detailed account while engaging a great deal of the contemporary lite
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The Art of Medicine
Over 2,000 Years of Images and Imagination
By Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton
Review by Jacob Stegenga on Tue, Jul 22nd 2014.
The Art of Medicine by Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton Art has long played a role in representing aspects of medicine. The Art of Medicine is a coffee-table book which presents highlights from one of the world's great holdings of medical art, from the Wellcome Collection, a museum founded in 2007 in London. This museum is part of the Wellcome Trust, originally founded by Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome in 1936, now one of the world's largest non-governmental providers of funds for biomedical research. Sir Henry (1853-1936) collected a massive number of artworks, including books, sculptures, prints, and paintings, and the Wellcome Collection h
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A Life Worth Living
Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning
By Robert Zaretsky
Review by Finn Janning, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 22nd 2014.
A Life Worth Living by Robert ZaretskyThe French writer, Albert Camus was 'a moralist who insisted that while the world is absurd and allows for no hope, we are not condemned to despair.' Like this, the historian Robert Zaretsky presents Camus in the book, A Life Worth Living -- with the subtitle, Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning. Camus was a moralist, but not a moralizer. He did not judge from a higher or more lucrative position, but tried to grasp what took place. He tried to create meaning where none was given. Zaretsky organizes his portrait of Camus around five key-concepts: Absurdity, Silence
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Seeds of Hope
Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants
By Jane Goodall
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 22nd 2014.
Seeds of Hope by Jane Goodall In Seeds of Hope, Goodall combines new age tree hugging with powerful political criticism of multinational corporations for their exploitation of agriculture and the developing world.  She starts off discussing her close relationship with trees from the days of her youth.  Not only do they hold great meaning for her, but she also talks to them and envisions them talking back to her. She continues that theme with a full embrace of spirituality, the wisdom of nature, and our need to be respectful of the plant and animals worlds.  It is a very personal form of expression
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Finding Meaning, Facing Fears
In the Autumn of Your Years
By Jerrold Lee Shapiro
Review by Lynne Trevisan, D. C. on Tue, Jul 15th 2014.
Finding Meaning, Facing Fears by Jerrold Lee ShapiroIn Finding meaning, facing fears in the autumn of your years author Jerrod Lee Shapiro, Ph. D. addresses the 45-65 years of life, where we are no longer "young" nor are we "old" by Western society's definition. This book takes a look at some of the more common experiences that occur during this age-range and how individuals can grow through the period in order to have a more fulfilling and meaningful life overall.  The book is divided into four parts: the basics; challenges and characteristics; planning for retirement; and realities and opportunities. Each section has exercises
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Celibacies
American Modernism and Sexual Life
By Benjamin Kahan
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Jul 15th 2014.
Celibacies by Benjamin KahanIn Celibacies: American Modernism & Sexual Life, Benjamin Kahan develops the idea that modern celibacy is a distinct form of sexuality, rather than simply the lack of sexuality, as is often stated. Kahan argues that celibacy is a coherent sexual identity, one that takes multiple expressions, forms or identities and that celibacy as a crucial social identity emerged in the 1840s. By using various examples of people and their expressions of celibacy Kahan describes how celibacy can be viewed as reform,  as predicated by economic motives, as a way of protecting oneself in times of f
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Would You Kill the Fat Man?
he Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
By David Edmonds
Review by Eli Weber on Tue, Jul 15th 2014.
Would You Kill the Fat Man? by David EdmondsMany philosophers will recognize David Edmonds as one of the voices of Philosophy Bites, a popular podcast that engages with a variety of different philosophical topics.  However, Edmonds is also an expert in the sub-field that has come to be known as "trolleyology."  This somewhat derisive term refers to an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to utilize intuitive responses to various moral dilemmas to identify substantive moral principles and draw conclusions about human moral psychology.  Edmonds does an outstanding job of introducing the reader to the historical
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The Birth of Intersubjectivity
sychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self
By Massimo Ammaniti and Vittorio Gallese
Review by Christophe Al-Saleh on Tue, Jul 15th 2014.
The Birth of Intersubjectivity by Massimo Ammaniti and Vittorio GalleseIntersubjectivity is a process of "continuous and reciprocal interactions and exchanges typical of humain beings from their first days of life" (p.xv), in which humans come to know each other's mind, after Bruner's phrase. The authors (a developmental psychoanalyst and a neurobiologist) insist on the necessity to adopt a multidisciplinary anti-reductionistic approach: "The progress of research in molecular genetics, endocrinology, and neurobiology will be integrated and confronted with psychological and psychopathological research. In a number of research domains, multidirectional and intera
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Gone Girl
A Novel
By Gillian Flynn
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 15th 2014.
Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnThis review will contain spoilers, so don't read it if you intend to read the book.  Gone Girl has won high praise and has been a best-seller.  It is true that it is memorable in the way that it derails the reader's expectations.  The plot starts out with a married couple, transplanted from Manhattan to small-town Missouri, celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.  Husband Nick tells the story in the present while we see Amy's diary entries from selected days, from the time she first met Nick to the time close to the present when she writes about she is scared for
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