Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 25
 
Featured Reviews
Existential Psychotherapy by Daniel SousaExistential Psychotherapy
by Daniel Sousa
Tue, May 15th 2018
The Ethics of Choosing Children by Simon ReaderThe Ethics of Choosing Children
by Simon Reader
Tue, May 15th 2018
Positive Nihilism by Hartmut LangePositive Nihilism
by Hartmut Lange
Tue, May 15th 2018
 
A Mirror Is for Reflection
Understanding Buddhist Ethics
By Jake H. Davis (Editor)
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.
A Mirror Is for Reflection by Jake H. Davis (Editor)In the case of Buddhist ethics, inquiring minds may wonder how it is possible for a conceptual line of thought that is non-dualistic can aspire to the starting line of ethics. Is there not, for ethical discussion to begin, the need for a metaphysics that permits the distinction between right and wrong? Without the two poles of good and evil, can ethics arise at all? If so, what kind of ethics would it be? Would goodness consist in full accomplishment of "right view" (what Thich Nhat Hahn has coined "Interbeing") or in degrees of individual accomplishment along the Eightfold Path? Can individu
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Beautiful Bodies
By Kimberly Rae Miller
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.
Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae MillerKim Miller is a writer who works on food and diet, but also runs her own blog, The Kim Challenge Beautiful Bodies is a combination of memoir about her obsession with her weight, and a history and discussion of the weight loss industry. She was sure that she was overweight even as a child and she gained weight early on, combined with early puberty, and this made her very self-conscious. Miller attributes a lot of her weight concern to her mother's attitudes, and of course there is the weight-loss industry that Miller herself ended up working for. Her family is from the south shore of Long Islan
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The Patient as Agent of Health and Health Care
Autonomy in Patient-Centered Care for Chronic Conditions
By Mark D. Sullivan
Review by Margaret Riley, PhD, RN on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.
The Patient as Agent of Health and Health Care by Mark D. SullivanWhen I requested this book to read and review, I admit I was hesitant:  it is a rather long read (just under 400 pages), and I anticipated it to be "heavy."  Indeed, the topic of health and health care is serious, and has the potential to be controversial - with possible religious and political overtones, as well as confusing information about patient care - diagnoses and treatments.  Personally, I was less concerned about being overwhelmed by the patient care aspect of diagnosis and treatment, than becoming embroiled in politics and policies.  Sullivan's book was a pleasan
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Sinless
By Sarah Tarkoff
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.
Sinless by Sarah TarkoffGrace Luther is 17. It is a couple of decades into the future, and the world has changed dramatically. There is no bad behavior, and there is almost no need for a police force. Everyone worships the one god, Great Spirit. If anyone does do anything wrong, then it is Great Spirit who carries out the punishment. The penalty is bodily disfigurement, or if the crime is very bad, it is death from swelling of the throat. These penalties occur swiftly after the sin. Early on in the book, Grace sees her friend Jude die from such a penalty when he gets into a car accident. His death is a harsh punishme
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The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds
By Kristin Andrews and Jacob Beck (Editors)
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, May 29th 2018.
The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds by Kristin Andrews and Jacob Beck (Editors)Almost 10 years ago, Robert Lurz published The Philosophy of Animal Minds (Cambridge University Press, 2009). At the time, it was the only volume to collect the work of philosophers on the challenging empirical, conceptual, and methodological questions that arise when we try to think systematically about the mental lives of nonhuman beings. Philosophers have paid increasing attention to animal minds in the intervening years, but it's still the case that there are hardly any books devoted to this topic, and apart from Kristin Andrews The Animal Mind (Routledge, 2014), there aren't any that try
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Human Dignity and Assisted Death
By Sebastian Muders (Editor)
Review by Prashant Kumar on Tue, May 29th 2018.
Human Dignity and Assisted Death by Sebastian Muders (Editor) In recent years, Ruth Macklin's assertion that dignity is a "useless concept" [1] and Stephen Pinker's discussion of the "stupidity of dignity"[2] are claims which display skepticism about the notion of dignity (p. 2). In response to such claims, this book explains that, despite the skeptical treatment, the notion of dignity has not yet received a treatment that a) assembles all important perspectives and positions, b) examines the arguments that may be enhanced by it, and c) enriches the yet undertheorized role it currently holds in the literature. In order to give a proper account of the n
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Best Explanations
New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation
By Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (Editors)
Review by Ed Brandon on Tue, May 29th 2018.
Best Explanations by Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (Editors)Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) has a curious status within analytic philosophy. Many acknowledge its pervasiveness in our cognitive activity, but, especially in the arcane game of epistemology, others find it of dubious value. The collection of essays under review reflects this ambivalence but does not do a great deal to resolve it. Crudely speaking, it did not take long for western philosophy to achieve some sort of grasp of deductive reasoning, where conclusions are conditionally guaranteed by their premises. But it didn't do much for the other modes of reasoning that people use. T
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The Recovering
Intoxication and Its Aftermath
By Leslie Jamison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 29th 2018.
The Recovering by Leslie JamisonAccording to the Yale English Department website, Leslie Jamison gained her PhD in May 2016 with her dissertation titled "The Recovered: Addiction and Sincerity in 20th Century American Literature." According to Wikipedia, she was born in 1983, she is the daughter of two academics and is the niece of famed writer Kay Redfield Jamison. She has spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is now an assistant professor in English at Columbia University, is married to another writer, and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She describes herself as a "nice middle class white girl." T
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Philosophy of Medicine
An Introduction
By R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. Upshur
Review by Jamie Watson, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Philosophy of Medicine by R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. UpshurLike philosophy of biology and philosophy of physics, philosophy of medicine is a branch of philosophy of science. This means that philosophy of medicine studies the scientific concepts, commitments, reasoning, and methods associated with medicine. These include the concepts of health, illness, and disease, commitments to various biological theories and medical models, the methods of scientific experiment and probabilistic reasoning. In Philosophy of Medicine: An Introduction (Routledge, 2018), R. Paul Thompson and Ross E.G. Upshur attempt to orient readers to the central philosophical discuss
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Learning ACT
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists
By Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. Walser
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Learning ACT by Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. WalserACT, pronounced ACT and not A-C-T, is a new form of therapy that these authors have had a meaningful relationship with, in terms of bringing it to the world. This book however is not a starter kit, but rather for those who already have a reasonable understanding of how act works. The primary view of ACT community is that bad things come and go, apart from the meanings we attach to them, and how our values play into this.  In short psychological inflexibility has as its consequence that we struggle with challenges, and the hexagon motif here has each point in correspondence with the proces
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Subhuman
The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals
By T.J. Kasperbauer
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Subhuman by T.J. Kasperbauer Subhuman analyzes human attitudes toward animals, arguing that those attitudes are determined by our moral valuations of them, which according to Kasperbauer largely arise from their role as a contrast class to human beings.  The clearest example of the use of animals as a contrast class shows up in dehumanization studies literature. During some of the world's most shocking human tragedies, human groups have been compared to animals that trigger general feelings of disgust (rats, cockroaches, vermin, apes) in order to justify cruel treatment or murder of another group. The Nazis compared
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Becoming Myself
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
By Irvin D. Yalom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
Becoming Myself by Irvin D. YalomIn this memoir, famed existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom sets out his past and his intellectual history. He starts with his home life living in Washington DC, where his immigrant parents ran a supermarket. While they maintained a traditional Jewish life, Yalom was always resistant to religious thought and often explains his antipathy towards religion. But his parents were always very supportive of his education, and he excelled as a student. He went on to become a psychiatrist and he specialized in group psychotherapy. He writes both about his professional life, his marriage to scholar Ma
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Existential Psychotherapy
A Genetic-Phenomenological Approach
By Daniel Sousa
Review by Kate Mehuron on Tue, May 15th 2018.
Existential Psychotherapy by Daniel SousaDaniel Sousa's Existential Psychotherapy: A Genetic-Phenomenological Approach seeks to legitimize two lesser-known psychotherapeutic approaches. First, Sousa intends to establish the therapeutic legitimacy of existential psychotherapy within the big tent of psychotherapies in general. Second, he defends the value of static and genetic phenomenology, drawn from Husserl's phenomenology of time consciousness, to the existential psychotherapeutic enterprise.           Chapter one provides a review and synthesis of the major meta-analyses of empirical
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The Ethics of Choosing Children
By Simon Reader
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, May 15th 2018.
The Ethics of Choosing Children by Simon ReaderIn The Ethics of Choosing Children, author Simon Reader discusses the notion of bioethics and technologies of reproduction (such as ART - Assisted Reproductive technologies, in-vitro fertilization and various forms of prenatal testing) which allows for selection of not only sex, but the termination of and the selection of children with the preference for various traits over others. Reader acknowledges that there is both a social significance and a personal significance in such selections, as well as the notion of choice in the matter. Reader draws from various readings of others to develop hi
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Positive Nihilism
My Confrontation with Heidegger
By Hartmut Lange
Review by Verbena Giambastiani on Tue, May 15th 2018.
Positive Nihilism by Hartmut LangeHartmut Lange is a German writer of prose, essays and plays. In 2003 he was awarded by the Italo Svevo Prize and in 2004 by the LiteraTour Prize. His book, Positive Nihilism. My confrontation with Heidegger – written in 2012 and translated in English by Adrian Nathan West in 2017 – is the result of a lifetime of reading Heidegger’s Being and Time. This book is a useful pocket companion by means of which readers will be enabled to reevaluate central issues of Being and Time. It offers a series of reflections that are aphoristic, poetic, and, sometimes, obscure. Lange argues t
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