email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Health Care in America The Happiness of Burnout"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People""How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?"17 Lies That Are Holding You Back20 Jazz Funk Greats50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are TrueA Brief History of the SmileA Child of One's OwnA Citizen Legislature/A People's ParliamentA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Colorful History of Popular DelusionsA Cultural History of Modern Science in ChinaA Cursing Brain?A History of Intelligence and "Intellectual Disability"A History of MarriageA History of PsychiatryA Little F'd UpA Loving Approach to Dementia CareA Man's Guide to Healthy AgingA Mind ApartA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeA Natural History of VisionA Red Heart of MemoriesA Short History of MedicineA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsA Universe of ConsciousnessA User's Guide to the BrainA World Full of GodsABC of Eating DisordersABCs to Positive LivingAbnormal Psychology in ContextAbout FaceAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDActs of ConscienceAdvances in Culture and PsychologyAfter HarmAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAfter the Globe, Before the WorldAgainst the MachineAging Our WayAIDS & People with Severe Mental IllnessAkhenatenAl-JununAlgernon, Charlie and IAll About LoveAllergy ReliefAlone TogetherAlpha GirlsAltered EgosAltered StatesAlways On CallAm I Making Myself Clear?Am I Okay?AM/PM YogaAmerica in the FortiesAmerican Science Fiction Film and TelevisionAmong the Great ApesAn American ObsessionAn Anthropologist on MarsAn Illustrated Book of Bad ArgumentsAn Odd Kind of FameAnatomy of an EpidemicAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnimal ArchitectsAnimal MadnessAnimal MindsAnimals in TranslationAnother CountryAntimatterAre the Rich Necessary? Updated and Expanded EditionArt and PoliticsArtemis FowlAs Nature Made HimAsylumAsylum on the HillAsylum to ActionAt Liberty to DieAtonement and ForgivenessAttention Deficit DisorderAttitudeAuthentic HappinessBe Very AfraidBeautiful MindsBeauty's NothingBeckett and AnimalsBecoming a DoctorBeing VirtualBelle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling SinisterBest of the Brain from Scientific AmericanBetrayal TraumaBetter Sex Through YogaBeyond AIBeyond GreekBeyond HealthBeyond ReasonBeyond ToleranceBibliotherapyBipolar DisorderBlack Man in a White CoatBlack MassBlind SpotsBlinkBlood and GutsBodies out of BoundsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBorn Standing UpBrain LongevityBrain-Based Teaching for All SubjectsBrainchildrenBrainwashingBread Upon the WatersBreaking Murphy's LawBreaking WomenBreathingBrian Eno's Another Green WorldBrief EncountersBritain on the CouchBrothelBuddhism and ScienceBuilding Healthy MindsBullspottingBullying PreventionBurn UnitBuzzC StreetCalling Our Spirits HomeCamp ZCampus Sexual AssaultCancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included)Cato's TearsCaughtChained to the DeskChickenizing Farms and FoodChild Slaves in the Modern WorldChildren's Learning in a Digital WorldChina on the MindChoices and ConflictChoosing CivilityChronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts)Classical Pilates Technique DVDCleopatraClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleClosing the AsylumsCognition, Creativity, and BehaviorCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCollege Inc.Coming of Age in AmericaComing of Age in Ancient GreeceConceptual BlockbustingConcrete ReveriesConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfronting Postmaternal ThinkingConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConsciousnessConsider the LobsterConsuming InnocenceContagiousControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCool WomenCorpora in Language Acquisition ResearchCorrect EnglishCorrupted CultureCount Us InCovered in InkCreative AngerCreative Core AbsCreative ThinkeringCreative Writing In Health And Social CareCreatures of AccidentCrime and Punishment in AmericaCritical ConditionCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical Psychology: An IntroductionCross-Cultural Topics in PsychologyCrossingCrossing the Unknown SeaCruddyCultural Healing and Belief SystemsCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCyber BullyingCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDancing After HoursDangerous EmotionsDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath in the AirDebunked!DeceptionDecoding DarknessDeep GossipDefenders of the TruthDefining Moments in ScienceDefying DementiaDeinstitutionalization And People With Intellectual DisabilitiesDematerializingDementiaDementia Caregivers Share Their StoriesDemons of the Body and MindDemons of the Modern WorldDepression In Later LifeDirty DetailsDiscourse of Twitter and Social MediaDistractedDivine MadnessDMT and the Soul of ProphecyDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoes Science Need a Global Language?Doing GoodDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDon't Get Too ComfortableDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR Case StudiesDuplicityDutiful DaughtersDying for TimeEarthly Bodies, Magical SelvesEastern Body, Western MindEating AnimalsEccentricsEcological MedicineEducating People to Be Emotionally IntelligentEinstein and OppenheimerElectroshockElliott Smith and the Big NothingEmergence and EmbodimentEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmotionEmotional Intelligence at WorkEmotions RevealedEncyclopedia of Asylum Therapeutics, 1750-1950sEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Cas AssessmentEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthics for the New MillenniumEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday IrrationalityEveryday SimplicityEverything Is MiscellaneousEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution in MindEvolution's RainbowExploring the Edge Realms of ConsciousnessExuberanceEyes of SophiaFalling for ScienceFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFamilyFamily Desk Reference to Psychology Fashion and Its Social AgendasFashion, Desire And AnxietyFast, Fresh & GreenFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFearless ConfessionsFeminist Philosophy And Science FictionFinal ExamFine LinesFixing My GazeFlesh of My FleshFlesh WoundsFlirting With DangerFlow and YinFlying ColorsFocusFood for Thought:Food, Medicine, and the Quest for Good HealthFool Me TwiceFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFridaFrom Certainty to UncertaintyFrom Joy Division to New OrderFull Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism MattersFull Steam Ahead!Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and ReligionGang of Four's EntertainmentGender and Its Effects on PsychopathologyGender and Mental HealthGeneration DigitalGenetics of Mental DisordersGeniusGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting Inside Your HeadGetting WastedGilded CityGirl in the CurlGirlfightingGirls Gone MildGirls on the VergeGod and the MultiverseGood FortuneGood KarmaGood MedicineGood WorkGracefully InsaneGrassroots SpiritualityGreat Psychologists and Their TimeGulpHabeas CorpusHalf a Brain Is EnoughHandbook of AttachmentHappinessHappinessHappiness Is.Hate Crimes in CyberspaceHealingHealing SpacesHealth And the MediaHealth OnlineHearing the Person With DementiaHeavier than HeavenHello from Heaven!HelmholtzHelvetica: A documentary filmHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemingway's Second WarHerbs for the MindHere Is New YorkHeroes, Rogues, and LoversHeterophobiaHidden MindsHistory of ShitHistory of SuicideHoly Sh*tHoly WarHooked!Hot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy Hot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHot SpotsHotHouseHouse and PsychologyHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Doctors ThinkHow Emotions WorkHow Our Lives Become StoriesHow Proust Can Change Your LifeHow Science WorksHow to Build a Robot ArmyHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow to Grow OldHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow We AgeHow We Are Changed by WarHumankindHungerHysteria Complicated by EcstasyI Contain MultitudesI Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of PrivacyI of the VortexI Only Say This Because I Love YouI, Little AsylumIdiot AmericaIf Men Could TalkIgnoranceIllness and ImageImagining NumbersImprove Your Writing With NLPIn Bed with MadnessIn Defense of FoodIn Praise of ScienceIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of FatimaIn the Line of DutyIn the Shadows of the NetIn Therapy We TrustIndivisible by TwoInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrative MedicineIntensive CareInto the Gray ZoneIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDInvented KnowledgeInvestigating Digital CrimeIrrationalityIs Shame Necessary?It's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaJudo with WordsKanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKids OnlineKilling MonstersKinds of MindsKissing DoorknobsKnowing the Nature of FearKnowledge MonopoliesKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondLandscapes in My MindLaw, Mind and BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st CenturyLessons Learned on My Way HomeLicentious GothamLies! Lies! Lies!Life CoachingLife MakeoversLimboListening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkListening to PainListening to the WorldLittle PeopleLittle Red Riding Hood UncloakedLiving DeeplyLiving Well with Pain and IllnessLiving with ArthritisLiving with SchizophreniaLiving, Thinking, LookingLoneliness as a Way of LifeLong Shadow of Small GhostsLosing My MindLove and Sex with RobotsLove Your Body, Love Your LifeLove, Sex & TragedyLust in TranslationMad Mary LambMade in AmericaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMadnessMadness in CivilizationMaidentripMake It CountMake It Fast, Cook It SlowMaking Babies the Hard WayMaking Dying IllegalMaking SpaceMaking the Big LeapMaking Your Mind MatterMale Female EmailMalefemaleMan As The PrayerManaged Care ContractingMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManic Depression and CreativityManlinessManning UpMapping the MindMarriage ConfidentialMary Pope Osborne's Tales from the OdysseyMaster PassionsMasters of the MindMatters of SubstanceMean GenesMedia ArgumentationMedia in the Digital AgeMediating MadnessMedical AnthropologyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedieval Writings on Female SpiritualityMemoires 1995Memory, Brain, and BeliefMental Health and Social SpaceMental Health MattersMental Illness in Popular MediaMerchants of DoubtMild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's DiseaseMiles to Go for FreedomMillennium GirlsMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind WarsMind, Matter and Quantum MechanicsMindstormsMisconceptionsMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)Mollie Katzen's RecipesMom's OK, She Just ForgetsMonsters, Demons and PsychopathsMoody BitchesMoral PanicsMore Than MedicineMortificationMothers Who Kill Their ChildrenMusicophiliaMy Bloody Valentine's LovelessMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Misspent YouthMy Stroke of InsightNakedNaked CityNarratives in PsychiatryNations Have the Right to KillNatureNear Death ExperienceNeurons and NetworksNeuroscience in Science Fiction FilmsNever Out of SeasonNew Versions of VictimsNew YorkNew York September 11Not by DesignNot Your Mother's LifeNothing to HideNurembergNymphomaniaOath BetrayedObesityObjects of Our DesireObliquityOdd CouplesOf Spirits & MadnessOf Two MindsOld AgeOn BlindnessOn Fact and FraudOn the BrinkOn the Origin of StoriesOne Nation Under TherapyOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOptimizing Teaching and LearningOtherhoodOut of the DustOutliersOutsider ArtOver My HeadOxford Guide to the MindPainParanoia of Everyday LifeParents Do Make a DifferenceParty GirlPassingPassionate VegetarianPathways through PainPeople Like OurselvesPerceptual NeurosciencePersons and ThingsPestos, Tapenades, and SpreadsPhilosophy of MindPhotography and LiteraturePilates for MenPink ThinkPlanning for UncertaintyPoets on ProzacPostcards from the Brain MuseumPosthumanismPotatoes Not ProzacPower HerbsPower Yoga for HappinessPoxPractical ClassicsPractical Plans for Difficult Conversations in MedicinePracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPrader-Willi SyndromePredictably IrrationalPretty in PunkPretty Is What ChangesPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenPrime Ministers of CanadaPrint Literacy DevelopmentPrison MadnessPrivate Life in New Kingdom EgyptProblems in MindProtecting the GiftProust and the SquidPrudePsyche on the SkinPsychiatryPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatrylandPsychologyPsychology and the MediaPsychology for ScreenwritersPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPublic Health LawPunishment in Popular CulturePure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQuantum ArchetypesQuantum LeapsR.I.P.Race in Contemporary MedicineRacial ParanoiaRaising a Self-StarterRaising AmericaReady for AnythingReady or NotReady or Not, Here Life ComesReal SexReckoning With HomelessnessReclaiming Our ChildrenReclaiming Soul in Health CareRed Lotus YogaReligion ExplainedRemaking a WorldRepublic.com 2.0Rethinking CommodificationRethinking Middle YearsReviving OpheliaReviving the LeftRewarding Specialties for Mental Health CliniciansRick SingsRights, Risk and Restraint-Free Care of Older PeopleSabbathSame DifferenceSamuel BeckettSatisfactionSavedScared SickScienceScience and NonbeliefScience in the MarketplaceScience TalkScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealitySecond OpinionsSeeds of HopeSelected Ambient Works Volume IISelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf-Help NationSelf-Help, Inc.Selling the Fountain of YouthSells like Teen SpiritSerious ShoppingSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSex, Mom, and GodSex, Time and PowerSexing the BodySexual Orientation and School PolicySexy FeminismShadow, Self, SpiritShop Class as SoulcraftShrink RapSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSimulation and Its DiscontentsSinfully VeganSister CitizenSleeping With Extra-TerrestrialsSlut!Snake Oil ScienceSnoopSo Brilliantly CleverSocial RepresentationsSolar Flow Yoga DVDSold on LanguageSome Kind of GeniusSometimes Madness Is WisdomSorting Things OutSoul Made FleshSounds from the Bell JarSoupsSpace, Place and Mental HealthSpeaking Our MindsSpiritual CrisisSpontaneous HealingStates of MindStatus AnxietyStiffedStill HereStill LivesStrange BehaviorStrategies of Commitment and Other EssaysStrength, Grace, HealingStroke DiariesStumbling on HappinessSun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuperstitionSupersurvivorsSurgery JunkiesSwordfishtrombonesSylvia Plath ReadsTalk to HerTalking About RaceTalking Back to PsychiatryTalking Heads' Fear of MusicTalking ScienceTeach Yourself MeditationTeaching OnlineTeaching SexTeen LoveTeenageTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThanks!The 101 Best Graphic NovelsThe Age of American UnreasonThe Alice Behind WonderlandThe American HotelThe American ParadoxThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical PsychiatryThe Americanization of Social ScienceThe Anatomy of HopeThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Antibiotic EraThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Architecture of MadnessThe Arctic IncidentThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Bard on the BrainThe Barmaid's BrainThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better to Eat You WithThe Biotech CenturyThe Birth of PleasureThe Birth of the PillThe Black DeathThe Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge ManagementThe Book of the PenisThe Brain That Changes ItselfThe Breathing FieldThe Bridge to HumanityThe Brooklyn Nobody KnowsThe Bully SocietyThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Call of the WeirdThe Cambridge Illustrated History of MedicineThe Case Against SugarThe Childless RevolutionThe Clitoral TruthThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Contemplative HeartThe Couch and the TreeThe Course of Gay and Lesbian LivesThe Creation of the Modern WorldThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Cultural Origins of Human CognitionThe Culture of FearThe Culture of PunishmentThe Da Vinci DogThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Deadly TruthThe Decency WarsThe Digital MindThe Disobedience Of The Daughter Of The SunThe Dynamic NeuronThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Emotional BrainThe Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's FamilyThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe End of MaterialismThe End of WarThe English and their HistoryThe Enigma of HealthThe Era of ChoiceThe Eternity CubeThe Event of LiteratureThe Evolving WorldThe f WordThe Fabulous ImaginationThe Faces of TerrorismThe Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State HospitalsThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Fate of Early MemoriesThe Female ThingThe Final LeapThe Firmament of TimeThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The ForgettingThe Game of TruthThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Gift of FearThe Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological InvestigationsThe Good Enough ChildThe Great BetrayalThe Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on WomenThe HandThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Happiness HypothesisThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Hedgehog's DilemmaThe Hero's JourneyThe History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of HistoryThe History of White PeopleThe Homework MythThe Hungry SoulThe Identity CodeThe Immortalization Commission:The Importance of Being LazyThe Indian VegetarianThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Intelligibility of NatureThe Interdisciplinary Science of ConsumptionThe Intuitive WriterThe Invisible PlagueThe Irreducible Needs of ChildrenThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Language ImperativeThe Language Of YogaThe Language PoliceThe Language WarsThe Last PhysicianThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Law Is a White DogThe Lie DetectorsThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Book of HeartbreakThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet HiltonThe Lives of AnimalsThe Lolita EffectThe Lonely PatientThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lucifer EffectThe Lucifer PrincipleThe Madness of Adam and EveThe Madwoman in the AtticThe Magic of RealityThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Manual of EpictetusThe Marketplace of IdeasThe Mature MindThe Measure of Our DaysThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Medical AdvisorThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Metaphysical ClubThe Mind's PastThe Misunderstood GeneThe MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive SciencesThe Monster WithinThe Mood CureThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Mystery of Mary RogersThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe New BrainThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe NineThe Nordic Theory of EverythingThe Norm ChroniclesThe Normal OneThe Obesity EpidemicThe Omnivorous MindThe Orchid ThiefThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Origin of AnxietiesThe Oxford Book of Modern Science WritingThe Pain AntidoteThe Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of SleepThe Paranoia SwitchThe Passion PlanThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines & Healing TherapiesThe Physics of ConsciousnessThe PlaceboThe Placebo Effect and HealthThe Playful BrainThe Pocket Life CoachThe Portfolio and the DiagramThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Praeger Handbook of Learning and the BrainThe Private Life of the BrainThe Professor and the MadmanThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychology of Religion and CopingThe Psychology Of The InternetThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Quantum UniverseThe Quarter-Acre FarmThe Race for ConsciousnessThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Red DevilThe Republican BrainThe Richer SexThe Rise and Fall of Classical GreeceThe Rise of Mental Health NursingThe Roman Search for WisdomThe Root of All EvilThe Routledge Companion to Landscape StudiesThe Same Stuff as StarsThe Savage CityThe Science of Good and EvilThe Science of Optimism and HopeThe Scientist In The CribThe Seat of the SoulThe Second SelfThe Secret History of DreamingThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Secret World of Doing NothingThe Seven Sins of MemoryThe ShakeressThe ShallowsThe Social Psychology of StigmaThe Sociology of PhilosophiesThe Sociopath Next DoorThe Soul Knows No BarsThe Spa DeckThe Spiritual Anatomy of EmotionThe Split MindThe Star ThrowerThe Story Is TrueThe Storytelling AnimalThe Strange Case of Hellish NellThe Symmetry of GodThe Talking CureThe Thing You Think You Cannot DoThe Three CulturesThe Three Failures of CreationismThe Toxic ConsumerThe Triumph of NarrativeThe True PathThe Truth About Chronic PainThe UndertakingThe Volitional BrainThe Wages of SinThe War Against BoysThe Way of StretchingThe Weblog HandbookThe Weight of the NationThe Why CaféThe Wild Ass’s SkinThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Wisdom of PsychopathsThe Wisdom of Your DreamsThe Words We Live ByThe World of CaffeineThe Worldwide Practice of TortureThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThe Wow ClimaxTheaters of MadnessTheatre and AnimalsTheories of Scientific MethodTherapeutic LandscapesTheraScribe 4.0Think CatThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThinking With AnimalsThrough Deaf EyesToo Big to FailTooning InTop ChefTortured SubjectsTotal AstangaTotal PilatesTotally WiredTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITrain Your Brain to Get RichTransforming MadnessTraumatic PastsTreatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental IllnessTreatment Kind and FairTribal ScienceTrick or TreatmentTrusting DoctorsTry to RememberTutoring as a Successful BusinessTwelve Examples of IllusionTwinsUnder the Medical GazeUnderstanding and Treating Violent Psychiatric PatientsUnderstanding Child MolestersUnderstanding FitnessUnforgettableUnholy MadnessUnscientific AmericaUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUnto OthersUp From DragonsUrban Tourism and Urban ChangeUseful BodiesValues in ConflictVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVegan ExpressVegetarian Turkish CookingVertigo VisionsVictorian Popularizers of ScienceViniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViolence Against WomenVoices Of Alzheimer'sVoices of CaregivingVoices of MadnessVoluntary SimplicityWaking Up to What You DoWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWall: A World DividedWarWays of KnowingWays of KnowingWe Shall Be No MoreWe Shall Not Be MovedWe've Got BlogWellbeingWhat Emotions Really AreWhat I Learned in Medical SchoolWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Our Children Teach UsWhat Science Offers the HumanitiesWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and LiteracyWhat's Holding You Back? What's So Wrong with Being Absolutely RightWhen a Family Member Has DementiaWhen Experiments TravelWhen Good Thinking Goes BadWhen History Is a NightmareWhen Johnny and Jane Come Marching HomeWhen Mothers KillWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care CommunityWhen Things Fall ApartWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere Good Ideas Come FromWhere is the Mango Princess?Wherever You Go, There You AreWhile They SleptWhispers from the EastWho Rules in ScienceWhy Are We Attracted to Sad Music?Why Does E=mc2?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Have Kids?Will They Ever Trust Us Again?WisdomWise Mind, Open MindWitch Beliefs and Witch Trials in the Middle AgesWitchcrazeWith Their EyesWithin ReasonWomanWomen and Mental IllnessWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWriting in FlowYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga Beauty BodyYoga for EveryoneYoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do ItYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Regular Guys DVDYoga In BedYoga on DemandYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYogalosophyYou Are Not Your IllnessYou'd Be So Pretty If . . .Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with LonelinessZen-Brain Reflections
How much can we know of the world independent of our conceptual structure? Not much, says Bryan Magee. Working in the Kantian tradition, and with a surety that will likely make scientific realists uneasy, Magee believes that the world as conceived from our perceptions is a phenomenon "not at all the same" as reality independent of experience (p. 2). Consider two things: 1. The sensory apparatus possessed by human beings is contingent. It might have happened that we did not have the particular combination of senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) that we do. There was a time, for instance, when no creatures possessed a sense of sight. Visible light existed then just as it does now. It simply was not, as it were, visible. 2. There are a variety of senses possessed by non-human animals that we do not have, as well as a variety of sensors we have invented to detect phenomena that we, all by ourselves, cannot. It seems plausible to think that humans might have had a large number of senses which we do not have. Magee holds that, if senses that we do not have are as distinct as sight, hearing, or smell, then our conception of reality would be radically altered if we had even one of them, though we cannot specify exactly what that difference might be. In other words, we miss parts of "total reality" due to our limited sensory apparatus, and because we truly miss them, we cannot even conceptualize what they are.
We do, however, have the means of understanding what sort of difference that might be, a way to understand what affect an additional sense would have on human beings. Some people are without a sense of sight, hearing, or smell. The differences in sensory apparatus between them and the rest of us result in experiential differences. If we could become clear on what affect, if any, these experiential differences have on the way concepts are formed by each group, then we might have some idea of what sort of feature is missing from our conception of reality generally. The kinds of differences in conceptions of reality between, for example, the sighted and the blind are plausibly analogous to the difference between our concept of reality and reality itself. So Magee argues, at least.
Fueled by this ambition, On Blindness: Letters Between Brian Magee and Martin Milligan is a correspondence between two philosophers on the differences between being blind and being sighted. The goal of this project is to elucidate how these experiential differences affect the concepts, specifically conceptions of reality, formed by each. Ultimately, however, this goal is not met. Below, I shall give a brief, thematic synopsis of the correspondence, followed by discussion of a few notable points. The text consists mainly of back-and-forth discussion of two types, philosophical and psychological, which are heavily intertwined. For present purposes, I will roughly separate them, though some mixing is bound to occur.
Most of the philosophical discussion regards questions brought up by Magee in his first letter to Milligan. Topics include how we acquire knowledge and understanding of the world, the relationship between knowledge and experience, whether what we can experience limits what we can understand, and whether the experience of language-users limits what can be communicated. The dialectic is best understood in context, but there are some broad themes. Much of the debate pertains to whether the blind are incapable of understanding a major part of concepts such as SIGHT, SEE, or LIGHT. Milligan shows that the blind, like himself, can gain a very detailed understanding of visual concepts through the way that sighted people use the terms and by relating this information to senses the blind do possess. He argues that all knowledge is propositional and that he can know and understand everything about sight that Magee can. He simply acquires the knowledge differently. In other words, for him, "knowing" is a species of "knowing that" in which the knowledge is acquired through direct experience. Conceding that there is much Milligan can know and do, Magee argues that some knowledge is experiential and that a major part of visual concepts is unavailable to the blind. In other words, the blind are capable of a rich informational understanding of visual concepts, but the experience itself is an essential part of the concept. Helpful examples are numerous, but various positions held, and distinctions made, by Bertrand Russell are central to much of the debate, and are not always fully explained. Although much of the book is intended to be open to non-philosophers, off-hand, uncited references are often used to make points, and technical language and argument abound. An advanced undergraduate course in epistemology (possibly one in philosophy of language as well) would greatly help the reader through this discussion.
Several topics relating what-it's-like to be blind are discussed insightfully. For example, why does Milligan think it reasonable to believe that others have a sense that he does not? (the most obvious reason being that others can do things he cannot) A significant portion of Milligan's letters are spent clarifying problems that are commonly, yet falsely, attributed to the blind. Sighted people rely primarily on, and often cannot imagine living without, vision, due in part to its convenience. Milligan emphasizes, however, that the different senses often provide redundant information and that not all the advantages are on the side of the sighted. The blind often develop their other senses to a greater extent, developing an "object sense," the ability to detect one's surroundings through a combination of subtle echoes and air pressure changes.
There is much discussion of what it is like to be sighted, as well. The uniqueness of sight among the senses and its "overwhelming" character are present in three major themes: 1. seeing as a greedy and lustful appetite: people do not expect to hear, smell, or taste all the time, but if they are unable to see, even for a short time, it causes severe distress, 2. whether the majority of the content of our empirical concepts is derived from visual experience, along with implications for the blind, and 3. for sighted people, the central part of many concepts, such as the concept of a person, is visual. How do these concepts differ for the blind? Unfortunately, the correspondence is ended when experiential and conceptual differences have only begun to be explored.
Though implications for varying conceptions of reality do not receive explicit discussion between Magee and Milligan, in the Introduction and the Letter to the Reader Magee presents his view and some consequences he sees as following from it. Magee argues that a great majority of reality passes us by and that we are unable even to conceptualize what we miss. Using an analogy, which he admits is imperfect, between things we cannot conceptualize either because of the limits of our sensory apparatus or because the concepts do not yet exist (e.g., quantum physics for someone in the eighteenth century), Magee concludes that human knowledge is, and always will be, "little and limited, but, above all, scrappy" (p. 175). This section is relatively self-contained, but a general understanding of Kant's general challenge to transcendental metaphysics, of which Magee makes much use, would be particularly helpful.
Points of Note
The quality of the book is greatly increased by the fact that its authors do not feel obligated to stick to "philosophical questions." Much of the correspondence consists of discussing the impressive extent to which the blind can overcome their lack of sight, both in terms of visual concepts and in practical matters. Having never been exposed to the blind for any significant amount of time, I found this quite enlightening. In this portion of the text, and to some extent in the philosophical discussion, detailed examples are plentiful. This might at times, though certainly not always, aid in making the book more approachable for readers with a less robust philosophical background.
One particularly interesting intersection between the philosophical and psychological portions of the discussion is Magee's discussion of the uniqueness of sight among the senses in Letters 6 and 7. As mentioned above, people do not expect to hear, smell, or taste all the time, but the inability to see, even momentarily, is very distressing. The visual world is permanent in a way that sounds, smells, and tastes are not. Combining this with the fact that sighted people often assume that visual appearances are what things are "really like," Magee suggests that, without sight, a Kantian ontology that does not conflate things-as-experienced with the things-in-themselves might have come naturally to us (pp. 106-107). This needs to be further qualified, however, before it is workable. The blind don't seem to "naturally" come to this sort of ontology, and Magee himself admits that our sense of touch shares the constancy of sight in the sense that lack of relevant sensory input is severely disorienting. Qualifying for this, the suggestion that without senses of sight or touch we might naturally develop a more Kantian ontology is interesting and, I think, plausible. This indirectly suggests a potential way to expand on the sort of project under review, by explicating the experiences and conceptual content of a person with none of our more "permanent" senses.
The book's most glaring, and damaging, weakness is that it is an unfinished project. As stated above, the goal of the correspondence is to make clear what experiential differences exist between the sighted and the blind and (mainly) discuss what affect those differences make on the concepts formed by each, specifically the conception of reality at large. Yet, experiential differences and conceptual content are just beginning to be explored when the correspondence is ended. Throughout the book, Magee speaks as if the majority of the philosophical discussion is little more than a side-track from their real goal. If one were to read his words uncritically, one might think that very little is accomplished philosophically. This is not the case. A consensus is not reached, but several philosophical issues are laid out, with important distinctions drawn. The authors eventually agree, however, to stick to only discussion requiring reference to the blind/sighted distinction. Although issues such as the relationship between experience and knowledge/understanding have consequences for the dependence of concept formation on experience, Magee speaks as if most of this preliminary discussion is a side-track caused by Milligan, so some readers might miss the fact that the "side-track" begins with Milligan answering questions posed by Magee.
This points to another weakness, the attitude of Magee. An author's attitude is not something I would normally dwell on in a review. In this case, however, it has such a significant negative impact on the book that I believe it cannot be ignored. At several points, Magee speaks as if Milligan were incapable of controlling his emotions, almost as if to a child. On these occasions, Magee is both unjustified and exhibiting the same overly emotional qualities he criticizes. Much of this "emotional control" talk is in the context of Magee (e.g., p. 92) claiming that Milligan (p. 42) attacks views Magee does not hold. It seems clear that not only is Milligan not making these accusations, as Milligan gives good reason to believe (p. 140), but that Magee is the one violently attacking views not held by his opponent. Nonetheless, in his Letter to the Reader, Magee again accuses Milligan of attacking views Magee does not hold, and of spending so much time doing it that Milligan "never got as far as considering the first questions I raised," which is obviously false (p. 162). Finally, again in the Letter to the Reader, he trivializes Milligan's view, implying that Milligan's philosophical views are held only to avoid admitting that his lack of visual experience makes his conception of reality "radically impoverished" and that, in doing this, he is being intellectually dishonest. Although the next edition of the book would be improved by changing the Letter to the Reader, this book is permanently affected by what is said in the correspondence, which is why I dwell on this issue.
On a more philosophical note, the conclusions drawn by Magee in the Letter to the Reader seem to go beyond his premises. His main argument, for example, is supported by five points. We know that (1) "our sensory and mental apparatus is contingent," (2) reality is contingent, (3) other creatures possess senses, and apprehend reality in ways, that we do not, (4) it is possible that we might have had additional senses that would make as much difference "to our apprehension of the world" as that between seeing and not seeing, and (5) that we naturally form a coherent view of the world from our given resources, as evidenced by the blind (173). He concludes that (Call this conclusion "C1"): "one might suppose that we sighted people would draw the obvious conclusion that…the view of the world that we thus form presumably leaves out more than it includes" (p. 173, emphasis added). A problem emerges, however, when considering a further conclusion (call it "C2") he draws from this, that human knowledge and understanding of the world will always consist of hopelessly limited, and arbitrarily related, scraps (p. 175). One of these conclusions does not follow; and which one it is depends on what exactly Magee means, in C1, in saying that our view of the world misses more than it includes.
If C1 is understood to mean that we miss much of reality as experienced through senses we do not have, then this follows from his five premises. Claims, such as C2, about knowledge or understanding of reality itself do not seem to follow from this, however, since reality, as Magee holds, is independent not only of our experience but also of the "modes in which we experience" (p. 107). On the other hand, if C1 is to mean that our view of the world misses substantial portions of reality itself (i.e., "most of reality passes us by" in a literal sense), then it's not clear that this follows from his five premises, which regard only our modes of experience. On a similar vein, C1 could mean that "most of reality passes us by" in the weaker sense that we would come closer to it, in our conception of the world, were we to have different sense faculties. If this is the case, then, again, C2 does not follow, but now because C1 is too weak. Milligan has shown that it is possible to develop an impressive understanding of senses that we do not have and information gained through them. The claim that a great majority of reality is, in principle, inaccessible to humans is too strong to follow from this third interpretation of C1. No interpretation of both C1 and C2, at least that I can think of, allows both conclusory steps.
One final point is that readers may find it useful or more enjoyable to read the Letters in different orders, or skip sections entirely, depending on their purpose for reading the book. For example, Letters 4&6 and 5&7 are paired in terms of subject matter, psychological and philosophical respectively, and each pair is independent of the other. There is something to be said for reading a book in the order the author intended, and, here, this would keep true to the timeline of the correspondence. If their purpose is to read Magee's thoughts on what the limits of our perceptual apparatus should tell us about our conception of reality, readers might want to read the Introduction and the Letter to the Reader, then skim the index for relevant passages.
If the reader is looking for the discussion promised in the Introduction, this may not be the book for them.
With regard to the goal of the project, the book must be taken for what it is, unfinished. Additionally, the majority of the philosophical discussion regards whether or not the phenomenological aspects of conscious experiences are better categorized as knowledge or something else; and, to my eye, it contributes no leaps forward. For these reasons, this is probably not a book for individual scholars to own; and I am reluctant to recommend it. That being said, much in the book is quite interesting, it is an enjoyable read, and it definitely warrants a spot in institutional libraries.
© 2010 Matthew Hudgens-Haney
Matthew Hudgens-Haney is currently earning an M.A. in Philosophy at Georgia State University and will soon begin work towards a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Georgia.