Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 03
Featured Reviews
What Freud Really Meant by Susan SugarmanWhat Freud Really Meant
by Susan Sugarman
Tue, Oct 25th 2016
Big Dreams by Kelly BulkeleyBig Dreams
by Kelly Bulkeley
Tue, Oct 25th 2016
The Self by Jonardon GaneriThe Self
by Jonardon Ganeri
Tue, Oct 18th 2016
Philosophy of Action
By Lilian O'Brien
Review by Olle Blomberg, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 17th 2017.
Philosophy of Action by Lilian O'BrienThis book is published in Palgrave Macmillan's Philosophy Today series, which is supposed to provide researchers and advanced students of philosophy with an introduction to contemporary discussions in specific subfields of philosophy. In this case, the subfield in question is philosophy of action as it is carried out within analytic philosophy. Lilian O'Brien's focus here is philosophical work concerned with our everyday "folk" understanding of agency and intentional action. There is little discussion of empirical work on action, intention or decision-making. It is a refreshingly short book.
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The Intentional Brain
Motion, Emotion, and the Development of Modern Neuropsychiatry
By Michael R. Trimble
Review by R.A. Goodrich, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 17th 2017.
The Intentional Brain by Michael R. TrimbleIn its fluent evocation of the interplay of philosophy, medicine, and the creative arts, The Intentional Brain echoes Michael Trimble's much acclaimed The Soul in the Brain published nine years previously. Because Trimble has in effect already provided a lengthy review of his own fourteen-chapter volume in the June 2016 issue of CNS Spectrums, what follows will avoid a general summary. Instead, we shall particularly focus upon three issues whose conceptual and methodological facets are explicitly foregrounded. First of all, what does he means by "neuropsychiatry"? Next, is his appeal to a holi
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The Statistical Life of Me
A Statistics-Based Journal
By Emily Higgins
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Jan 17th 2017.
The Statistical Life of Me by Emily Higgins The content of the book entitled The Statistical Life of Me: A Statistics-Based Journal by Emily Higgins can be a bit of a surprise. It is indeed, by and large, a notebook with many empty pages to be filled by a reader who is interested in taking control over his/her daily activities. The book is based on three key assumptions: (1) Most of human thinking, feelings and actions in a person's day-to-day interactions with the material and social worlds are routine activities. That is, they are actions that can be described as automatic, unconscious, and often impulsive. (2) If such routine activ
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High Heat
By Richard Castle
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 17th 2017.
High Heat by Richard CastleHigh Heat is the eighth novel in the Nikki Heat series. It features the NYC detective and her journalist husband Jameson Rook. It starts out with a murder by people declaring themselves to be Muslim terrorists associated with ISIS. The victim is a woman. The murderers send in a video of the murder, and threaten that Jameson Rook will be their next target. There has been a Nikki Heat novel every year since 2009, and this one is especially topical, featuring a maverick businessman presidential candidate who wins public attention and approval by his disregard of normal politics. Rook is thrilled
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Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health
Issues and Implications
By Élodie Giroux (Editor)
Review by Andrew M. Winters on Tue, Jan 10th 2017.
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health by Élodie Giroux (Editor)Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health, edited by Élodie Giroux, is an excellent example of the kind of work capable of being done in empirically informed philosophy. The book is a concise and dense collection of twelve essays, extending 229 pages, divided into three parts: The Biostatistical Theory of Disease: Criticism and Improvements; Health, Normativity and Naturalism; and Implications for Healthcare. The book uses Christopher Boorse's biostatistical theory as a starting point for thinking about naturalistic developments in the philosophy of health, making it a semitechnical read
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Mortal Dilemmas
The Troubled Landscape of Death in America
By Donald Joralemon
Review by Jamie Carlin Watson, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 10th 2017.
Mortal Dilemmas by Donald JoralemonMortal Dilemmas: The Troubled Landscape of Death in America is an accessible and informative contribution to the public conversation over death and dying. To the many scholarly and popular voices, Donald Joralemon adds the anthropologist's to explore five end-of-life challenges through political, legal, religious, and bioethical lenses: assisted dying, uncertain mental states, the definition of death, the role of grief, and memorialization. He bookends his discussion with the question of whether America is a death-denying culture, and he draws on his research into these five dilemmas to argue
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The Lives of Animals
By J. M. Coetzee
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, Jan 10th 2017.
The Lives of Animals by J. M. CoetzeeThis edition of Coetzee's classic work is unchanged from the first edition, which was published in 1999. The only difference is the series in which it appears: it first came out in Princeton's University Center for Human Values Series; it is now being released as a Princeton Classic. Eighteen years after its initial release, is Coetzee's work worth revisiting? Indeed. For of the uninitiated, The Lives of Animals is a remarkable piece of philosophical metafiction. Coetzee first presented the book as a series of lectures at Princeton, where he offered his listeners a story about a famous noveli
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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
A Novel
By Joanna Cannon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 10th 2017.
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna CannonI remember when I was a teenager, one of my school teachers said that a class exercise would help separate the sheep from the goats. I assumed then that it was better to be one of the goats – independent and active rather than passive and waiting to be told what the right answer was. Joanna Cannon's novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep raises the issue for me of what my teacher meant, because the parable of Jesus is clear that the sheep-like followers will go to heaven while the stubborn goats will go to hell. Cannon's novel is all about the conformity of a small community and their in
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Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy
Mindfulness-Based Practices for Healing and Transformation
By Tim Desmond
Review by Kamuran Elbeyoğlu on Tue, Jan 3rd 2017.
 Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy by Tim DesmondSince the appearance of Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches:  Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Applications, which is the first book to appear in Western literature on mindfulness-based therapy approaches, there have been increasing interest among therapists, who wish to integrate mindfulness into their therapeutic approaches. Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy: Mindfulness-Based Practices for Healing and Transformation by Tim Desmond is a compelling example in this trend as it offers a fascinating approach into the heart of both mindfulness and psychotherapy. Tim Desm
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Forgiveness and Love
By Glen Pettigrove
Review by Ben Mulvey, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 3rd 2017.
Forgiveness and Love by Glen PettigroveTouring the seventeenth-century Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, I noticed a series of small doors that lined one of the cloistered walls.  Each door opened into a closet-sized confessional.  There's nothing particularly surprising about confessionals at a Catholic monastery, but I was struck by how many there were.  Altogether these confessionals took up a significant amount of the overall space of the monastery, indicating their importance in the daily rituals of the monks.  The ritualized seeking of forgiveness is an integral part of the Catholic religion's (am
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Hot Milk
By Deborah Levy
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 3rd 2017.
Hot Milk by Deborah LevySophia travels to Spain with her mother Rose to visit a specialist doctor at "The Gomez Clinic" who can treat her mother's systematic and chronic maladies that disable her but come and go. Both mother and daughter live in England, but are ethnically Greek. The daughter had been studying for a PhD in anthropology, but she gave it up to spend her time looking after her mother. The doctor takes a skeptical attitude towards Rose's problems since they don't make sense and seem to serve her desire to have her daughter cater to all her needs. He also pushes the daughter to break free from her servitu
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How to Set a Fire and Why
A Novel
By Jesse Ball
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 3rd 2017.
How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse BallHow to Set a Fire and Why is a short novel with a teenage protagonist. It feels like a "young adult" title except that it is darker than most such teen literature. It's a story about grief and recovery, although it isn't particularly optimistic. Narrator Lucia is in high school and lives with her aunt because her father recently died and her mother is in some kind of mental asylum.  Then we find out that even her aunt is in bad health and Lucia can't be sure what her future holds. She has acerbic wit and she struggles with coping. She is intrigued with arson and is very tempted to burn th
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Social Control of Sex Offenders
A Cultural History
By D. Richard Laws
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Dec 27th 2016.
Social Control of Sex Offenders by D. Richard Laws In Social Control of Sex Offenders: A Cultural History, Richard Laws examines the last 100 years of procedures to contain sex offenders, focusing mainly on social, political and legislative ideas. Laws states that it is nearly impossible for sex offenders to achieve rehabilitiation due to the implemented laws when it comes to controlling such offenders. According to Laws, the system needs to change if sex offenders are to be successfully reintegrated into society. Laws begins by discussing the notion of moral panic, the key attributes of moral panic, and the agents in society that perpetuat
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The Unseen World
By Liz Moore
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 27th 2016.
The Unseen World by Liz MooreLiz Moore's sprawling novel The Unseen World covers several large themes: the politics of the 1950s, hidden identities, artificial intelligence, Alzheimer's disease, and the relationships between parents and children. The book starts in the 1980s, and spends time both in the past and the future. It's ambitious and occasionally tries the reader's patience.  The ideas overshadow the characters. But the plot moves along swiftly, and there are enough mysteries to uncover to keep the momentum going all the way through. The central character is Ada, who is 12 when we first meet her. She lives
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The Boat Rocker
By Ha Jin
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 27th 2016.
The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin  A Chinese man Feng Danlin has moved to New York and makes a living by writing news and editorial articles for an independent Chinese language website. He rails against Chinese corruption and the actions of the Chinese governmet. He is outraged when his ex-wife issues a press release saying she has a book contract for millions of dollars, with a movie contract already in the offing, and an endorsement by President George Bush. The work is an autobiographical novel which promises to glorify herself and shame him. He gets into an online battle with his ex-wife about the fabrication of det
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