Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 08
 
Featured Reviews
Depression by Mary Jane Tacchi and Jan ScottDepression
by Mary Jane Tacchi and Jan Scott
Tue, Jan 16th 2018
Treating People Well by Lea Berman and Jeremy BernardTreating People Well
by Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard
Tue, Jan 9th 2018
Facts and Values by Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin MarchettiFacts and Values
by Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin Marchetti
Tue, Jan 9th 2018
 
Don't be Fooled
A Philosophy of Common Sense
By Jan Bransen
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Feb 20th 2018.
Don't be Fooled by Jan Bransen First an exchange with the author: I am working my way through your book on common sense and will be writing a review for "Metapsychology" when I am finished. My common sense tells me that I should ask you for a comment on critical thinking (informal logic) as taught in most philosophy departments today. I particularly like your comment, "No, common sense is not reactionary. I argue in the book that the basic slogan "Automatic pilot if possible and investigative attitude if necessary" shows that the capacity for critical thinking is a crucial part of common sense." Are critical thinking co
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Five Constraints on Predicting Behavior
By Jerome Kagan
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Feb 20th 2018.
Five Constraints on Predicting Behavior by Jerome Kagan Five Constraints on Predicting Behavior, written by Jerome Kagan, is a seminal narrative that has the potential of reshaping the growing field of cognitive neuroscience. The principal reason is that his narrative addresses the obstacles that have prevented neuroscientists from understanding how time-bound, electrochemical states and changes, which define brain patterns across time, can translate into phenomena of perception, cognition, and behavior. Thus, it is not a narrative on any specific psychological phenomenon, but a call for action that offers a broad overview of the current state of t
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Current Controversies in Bioethics
By S. Matthew Liao and Colin O'Neil (editors)
Review by Kostas Koukouzelis on Tue, Feb 20th 2018.
Current Controversies in Bioethics by S. Matthew Liao and Colin O'Neil (editors)Following progress in bioethics the volume at hand presents five currently important, albeit controversial topics in five areas of the ongoing bioethical discussion. The topics which also organize the layout of the book deal with research ethics, clinical ethics, reproductive ethics, neuroethics and public health ethics. The editors have very helpfully organized the material by including a pair of original essays for each topic by leading philosophers on the field in order to help readers enrich their approach with new perspectives, arguments and counter-arguments. The first topic, i.e., that
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Straying
A Novel
By Molly McCloskey
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 20th 2018.
Straying by Molly McCloskeyThis short novel reflects on the marriage of Alice to Eddie and her affair with Cauley, from the perspective of Alice as an older woman who has had a successful career and is just recovering from the death of her mother. She looks back on her sudden marriage after visiting Ireland from the USA, noting the intensity of her feelings, her restlessness as a young wife, and the self-destructiveness and excitement of her affair. The narrator shifts around in time, starting with the affair, going back to the marriage, coming to the present when Alice is living in Ireland again, taking a break from wo
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The Arabic Freud
Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt
By Omnia El Shakry
Review by Kate Mehuron on Tue, Feb 13th 2018.
The Arabic Freud by Omnia El ShakryOmnia El Shakry, in The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt, demonstrates the hybridization of Islamic discourses and psychoanalytic thought in postwar Egypt. She lays aside certain Western assumptions about either Islam or psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is not assumed to be a secularizing humanism that challenges Islam. The latter is not taken as an ahistorical object of inquiry or as a monolithic religious discourse. Rather, Islam is presented as a rich, multivalent historical and discursive tradition. El Shakry posits a dialectical dynamic between psychoanalysis and medie
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Ethics at the End of Life
New Issues and Arguments
By John Davis (Editor)
Review by William Simkulet, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 13th 2018.
Ethics at the End of Life by  John Davis (Editor)Ethics at the End of Life: New Issues and Arguments is a collection of 14 newly published essays tackling some of the more scarcely discussed topics in contemporary ethics concerning life and death.  Editor John Davis claims the collection has “a focus on cutting-edge work and new issues.”  This is somewhat misleading, as most of the topics discussed in this collection are covered more thoroughly and persuasively elsewhere, and the discussion of any particular topic in this collection is incomplete, usually assuming the author is familiar with the touchstones issues in th
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Ambivalence
A Philosophical Exploration
By Hili Razinsky
Review by Tereza HadravovŠ on Tue, Feb 13th 2018.
Ambivalence by Hili RazinskyHili Razinsky's book opens with a simple observation with far-reaching consequences. The fact that people actually are frequently, extensively, and deeply ambivalent creatures has not been, Razinsky argues, sufficiently acknowledged by most, if not all, philosophers. They usually treat ambivalence as a marginal and  "conceptually embarassing" (79) phenomenon. If diagnosed, it needs to be explained away: the very disclosure of ambivalence in a person's psychology is the main reason for her getting rid of it.  Ambivalence is understood as only a temporal and shallow, and thus unimporta
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You Know Me Well
By David Levithan and Nina LaCour
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 13th 2018.
You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCourSan Francisco. Mark and Kate are high school seniors set to graduate. There is just a week to go. While they are in the same class, they didn't know each other. But they are thrown together during a night of partying in the city. But their romances are with others: Mark has been in love with his best friend Ryan for years, while Kate has been set up with Violet but is nervous about following through. Neither romance is going smoothly, and Mark and Kate help each other out, suddenly becoming close friends, while becoming more distant from their long-term friends. There's lots of emotional drama
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How to Stop Time
By Matt Haig
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 6th 2018.
How to Stop Time by Matt HaigMatt Haig is an impressive writer. His novels The Dead Fathers Club and The Possession of Mr. Cave havebeen reviewed positively in Metapsychology, as was his more recent memoir Reasons to Stay Alive. He addresses big questions in approachable ways. In How to Stop Time, he raises the question of whether we would want to be able to live a lot longer -- up to 1000 years, and shows some of the difficulties this would bring. The narrator of his story, Tom Hazard, was born in 1581, and he still looks like he is in his early 40s. He is resistant to disease, having lived through the Great Plague
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Against Marriage
An Egalitarian Defense of the Marriage-Free State
By Clare Chambers
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 6th 2018.
Against Marriage by Clare Chambers Marriage has been the contested subject of a great deal of debate in the recent culture wars, which pits conservative, and often religious believers against progressive, and often liberal, egalitarian and feminist thinkers. Much of this debate recently has surrounded the issue of who should be allowed to marry with one side claiming that only the traditional view of marriage between one man and one woman should be allowed and recognized by the state. The other side claims, however, that we need to move toward some sort of 'marriage equality' and that the state should recognize a broader range
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Structuring Mind
The Nature of Attention and how it Shapes Consciousness
By Sebastian Watzl
Review by Aline Maya Paredes on Tue, Feb 6th 2018.
Structuring Mind by Sebastian WatzlAlthough abundant studies about how attention works at a neurological level exist today, as Sebastian Watzl observes, the problem of what attention is remains practically untouched. Attention is an elusive phenomenon, familiar to us all in a way, but hard to ground in a formal definition. So, this book is a welcome contribution to a better understanding of the matter; not only because of the specific data and insights it gathers, but even more for the common assumptions it questions from the available literature. The, perhaps even more elusive, nature of consciousness is addressed too in Struc
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The Meaning of Belief
Religion from an Atheistís Point of View
By Tim Crane
Review by B. Bailie Peterson on Tue, Feb 6th 2018.
The Meaning of Belief by Tim Crane Tim Crane's The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist's Point of View is a thin volume rich in content.  Within, Crane provides an account of religious belief from a neutral standpoint; takes on important criticisms; and provides a positive account of how we ought to understand and react to the religious beliefs of those we disagree with.  His take is both refreshing and important, charting new territory while constantly locating the project within an ongoing historical conversation about the social, psychological, and philosophical elements of religious belief.  This wo
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Philosophical Issues in Pharmaceutics
Development, Dispensing, and Use
By Dien Ho (Editor)
Review by Hans Krauch, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 30th 2018.
Philosophical Issues in Pharmaceutics by Dien Ho (Editor) Pharmaceutics is the foundation of contemporary medicine. Indeed, there are few ailments that plague mankind today where we cannot prescribe some kind of drug. The philosophy of ethics is that which shapes and forms the bricks of that foundation of medicine – to bring medicine back to its original purpose of eliminating/reducing suffering and improving quality of life. The practice of medicine has taken a bureaucratic/corporate nature over the last century -- meaning government regulation and corporate finance mandates the direction drugs find their way to patients. When the importance
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Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease
By Benjamin Smart
Review by R.A. Goodrich, Ph.D. on Tue, Jan 30th 2018.
Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease by Benjamin SmartBenjamin Smart's short philosophical volume is a model of clarity for students, teachers, and practitioners in relevant domains, beyond philosophy, of anthropological and psychological, bio-medical and socio-cultural research. The four key chapters of Concepts and Causes in the Philosophy of Disease, although brief, are tightly integrated. Indeed, Smart wastes no time pursuing a set of salient debates about the nature of disease and its cause in the three major contexts of medical practice and enquiry: the clinical, the pathological, and the epidemiological. We shall firstly consider the wider
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Deleuze and the Concepts of Cinema
By Daniela Angelucci
Review by Max Delahaye on Tue, Jan 30th 2018.
Deleuze and the Concepts of Cinema by Daniela AngelucciDaniela Angelucci is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Roma Tre where she teaches philosophy of film.  Deleuze and the Concepts of Cinema is geared for a university audience studying Deleuze (1).  Angelucci discusses ten core concepts in ten short chapters which tend to begin with an explanation of historical texts and then blend into a briefer discussion of a film or two.  Angelucci does a fine job reviewing the Movement-image and the Time-image; a task which always bears repeating.  For those not already familiar, the movement-image is not a "sum of still sections"
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