Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 20, Number 43
Featured Reviews
The Myth of the Moral Brain by Harris WisemanThe Myth of the Moral Brain
by Harris Wiseman
Tue, Jul 12th 2016
Action by Amy Rose SpiegelAction
by Amy Rose Spiegel
Tue, Jul 12th 2016
On Being Raped by Raymond M. DouglasOn Being Raped
by Raymond M. Douglas
Tue, Jul 5th 2016
What Freud Really Meant
A Chronological Reconstruction of his Theory of the Mind
By Susan Sugarman
Review by Sebastian Petzolt, DPhil on Tue, Oct 25th 2016.
What Freud Really Meant by Susan SugarmanThe premise of Sugarman's book What Freud Really Meant (WFRM) is that Freud's theories are frequently misunderstood as overly simplistic and unacceptably misanthropic, along the following lines: Freud thought we are slaves to primitive instincts -- esp. the sex drive --, which compel us to devote our entire life to a single-minded pursuit of pleasure. If we can't meet our instincts' demands, we fall mentally ill. Sugarman's goal is to rectify this misunderstanding: she attempts to present Freud's system as a complex but plausible whole -- intricate but coherent, subtle but meaningful. Her hop
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Big Dreams
The Science of Dreaming and the Origins of Religion
By Kelly Bulkeley
Review by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 25th 2016.
Big Dreams by Kelly BulkeleyKelly Bulkeley is seriously interested in both dreaming and religion. He has published Dreaming in the Classroom: Practices, Methods, and Resources in Dream Education (with Philip King and Bernard Welt) Dreaming in the World's Religions: A Comparative History, and American Dreamers: What Dreams Tell Us about the Political Psychology of Conservatives, Liberals, and Everyone Else (Beacon Press, 2008). This book, which proposes to combine research on dreaming with ideas about the origins of religion, is both scholarly and frustrating. That is because it provides the reader with interesting revi
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A Thousand Miles from Nowhere
A Novel
By John Gregory Brown
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 25th 2016.
A Thousand Miles from Nowhere by John Gregory BrownA Thousand Miles from Nowhere has been framed as a novel about the social effects of Hurricane Katrina. It is set in Virginia and Louisiana after the disaster, and features Henry Garrett's unhappy wanderings as he tries to put together his life. But New Orleans is mostly in the background, and Henry spends much more of his time thinking about literature and his own past. As much as this is a novel about a hurricane, it is also about Henry's own personality problems that shade into mental illness. He spends most of his time in his head and allows his marriage to fail. His wife Amy leaves before
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The Self
Naturalism, Consciousness and the First-Person Stance
By Jonardon Ganeri
Review by Robin Luke Varghese on Tue, Oct 18th 2016.
The Self by Jonardon GaneriUnderstanding human subjectivity is always a fascinating challenge for philosophers. Jonardon Ganeri's book, The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness and the First-Person Stance is a fresh attempt in this direction. The significance of this book in the philosophical literature on the topic of self is that it tries to bring together two major philosophical traditions together. The general approach of the author is to resolve the problems of human subjectivity originated in the Western Philosophy by offering solutions to those problem by footing on the philosophical debates which took place in the fi
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While the City Slept
By Eli Sanders
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 18th 2016.
While the City Slept by Eli SandersEli Sanders is a Seattle journalist, and in While the City Slept he paints a detailed picture of the local neighborhood where Isaiah Kalebu murdered Teresa Butz in 2009. Theresa lived with Jennifer Hopper, and Kalebu attacked the two women in their home. Sanders tells the life story of all three people, explaining how their paths crossed and what happened as a result. It's a humanizing approach for all three of them, giving an amazing amount of detail, starting even before their births, and showing their families and childhood experiences as well as the years closer to their lives in Seattle.&
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The Beast of Cretacea
By Todd Strasser
Review by Catia Cunha on Tue, Oct 18th 2016.
The Beast of Cretacea by Todd StrasserIshmael lives with his brother and foster parents in the Black Range on Earth where the Shroud hangs over everything. Storms rage so hard the only way to get from place to place is to rely on the guide ropes set up around the community. Earth is rapidly becoming uninhabitable. Ishmael must get his family off planet before it’s too late. In order to do that, he must enlist at the Mission Office. Leaving on his mission will be difficult, especially now that he knows his brother has enlisted as well, but working off-world is the only way Ishmael can earn enough money to save them all. Wit
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Run Down
A Pratt & Ellis Mystery
By Rick Blechta
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Oct 18th 2016.
Run Down by Rick Blechta First a few words about the genre. Most of us love mysteries. Why? Because when well written they provide a challenge to what Hercule Poirot calls "the little grey cells". As well, the detective is a sort of stand in for the reader: pay attention, miss no small detail, look for connections in those details, seek information and connections, pay close attention to character development, and to themes and images. And like dogs and people detective stories come in all sorts of varieties. From a teacup-size Chihuahua to a Great Dane, there is an incredible amount of variety among dog breeds. But
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Embodied Selves and Divided Minds
By Michelle Maiese
Review by Moujan Mirdamadi on Tue, Oct 11th 2016.
Embodied Selves and Divided Minds by  Michelle MaieseMichelle Maiese's Embodied Selves and Divided Minds argues that the understanding of human consciousness as essentially embodied, is crucial for the understanding of the sense of self, personal identity, and mental disorders. She notes that the prevailing view in inquiries into human consciousness, has been one where the brain is seen as the focal point of our consciousness. It has been taken for granted that our mental capacities and our "internal model of the world" is brought about through "the computational processes in the brain" (p.1). Arguing against this claim, Maiese endorses the esse
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Sexting and Young People
By Thomas Crofts, Murray Lee, Alyce McGovern, and Sanja Milivojec,
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 11th 2016.
Sexting and Young People by Thomas Crofts, Murray Lee, Alyce McGovern, and Sanja Milivojec,Sex has always sold, whatever it is one is selling. This can be particularly true when the sex in question is somehow scandalous or atypical. Not surprisingly, then, sexting, which informally can be described as sending nude or semi-nude photos over an electronic device like a smartphone or computer (3), has been the subject of much media attention and public discussion. This has especially been the case with respect to sexting done by young people since the practice combines our discomfort with new forms of technology and with childhood sexuality. Indeed, sexting by young people has created s
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The Second Girl
By David Swinson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 11th 2016.
The Second Girl by David SwinsonFrank Marr used to be a police detective, but he took early retirement. He has a bad drug habit and he is struggling with his moral standards. He wants to do the right thing, but he is ready to take just about any short cut to get what he wants.  Mostly, he hurts the bad guys and protects the innocent, but he has trouble living with himself. His drug habit helps him live with himself, but his anger and desperation may lead him to self-destruction. He has seen the worst of humanity and he is feels so alone. There is some chance he can achieve some connection with others, but he might be he
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Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health
Issues and Implications
By Élodie Giroux (Editor)
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 4th 2016.
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health by 	Élodie Giroux (Editor) Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health is a comprehensive last word on the current debate between naturalistic and normative conceptions of health and disease. It explores from many points of entry the utility of and reasons behind philosophical efforts to seek a definition of health concepts. The debates arise from the seminal 1975 work of Christopher Boorse, whose "Biostatistical Theory" (BST) shaped the debate between naturalist and normativist views of health and disease and provided the main naturalist definition of health still accepted today. Boorse adds a paper to this edited volume to
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Two Great Problems of Learning
Science and Civilization
By Nicholas Maxwell
Review by Richard Vytniorgu on Tue, Oct 4th 2016.
Two Great Problems of Learning by  Nicholas MaxwellThere are potentially two ways of reading Two Great Problems. The first is as a clarion call to a particular re-structuring of academia. The second is in terms of the essay's philosophical persuasiveness, by reflecting on its commitment to 'civilization' and an Enlightenment. As far as I am concerned, the project is far more successful according to the first approach. However, I shall consider both in turn.   Nicholas Maxwell's essential and perennial message -- that universities need to shift their activity from knowledge-inquiry to wisdom-inquiry -- is reprised in Two Great Problems w
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Just Life
A Novel
By Neil Abramson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 4th 2016.
Just Life by Neil Abramson Abramson's novel features a vet Samantha Lewis devoted to dogs who runs a dog shelter. Other central characters are an ex-cop who had to shoot his own canine in the line of service and a city official who needs to contain a deadly virus killing children in Riverside, NYC, a priest with troubling secrets, and of course many dogs. Just Life is a thriller that is about humans and dogs, and highlights the plight of stray dogs in cities. Sam is a lonely angry woman who battled her scientist father about his experiments on dogs when she was younger, but in a strange twist she decides to seek him out
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Cognitive Unconscious and Human Rationality
By Laura Macchi, Maria Bagassi and Riccardo Viale (Editors)
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Wed, Sep 28th 2016.
Cognitive Unconscious and Human Rationality by Laura Macchi, Maria Bagassi and Riccardo Viale (Editors)Various paradigms have sought, over the years, to explain how we think and make decisions, with high loading on the idea of rationality. However, researchers have also made reference to rational irrationality when informing perhaps on how we respond to pricing of wine in bottle stores, or when we lose a ticket and so on. If we divide the brain into non-conscious emotions, more conscious feelings or apperception of emotion, and finally the upper order functions of thinking, we can immediately appreciate we would need to understand the impact of the less rational, more emotional or non-conscious
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By M. R. Carey
Review by Christian Perring on Wed, Sep 28th 2016.
Fellside by M. R. CareyJess wakes up in hospital to find that she has been in a fire and she is disfigured. Then she is shocked to be charged with starting the fire and causing the death of a young boy.  She has been a drug addict and she accepts the charge even though she has amnesia and can't remember what happened. She does not fight the charge so she ends in in a women's prison, Fellside. This is a private prison in the UK, where some of the nastiest inmates are in control of what happens inside, and prison officers and doctors are in league with the prisoners running drugs. Jess finds herself at the mercy
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