Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 23, Number 46
Featured Reviews
Speculation by Peter AchinsteinSpeculation
by Peter Achinstein
Tue, Oct 1st 2019
Nietzsche and Suffered Social Histories by Jeffrey M. JacksonNietzsche and Suffered Social Histories
by Jeffrey M. Jackson
Tue, Oct 1st 2019
Keeping Lucy by T. GreenwoodKeeping Lucy
by T. Greenwood
Tue, Oct 1st 2019
Risk and Reasoning in Clinical Diagnosis
By Cym Anthony Ryle
Review by Douglas W. Heinrichs M.D. on Tue, Nov 12th 2019.
Risk and Reasoning in Clinical Diagnosis by Cym Anthony RyleDr. Ryle, a practicing primary care physician, has written a book directed at other practicing physicians and the general public. His goal is to explicate the process of diagnostic reasoning in medicine, particularly in primary care settings, in order to encourage clinicians to reflect on that process and reduce errors and biases as well as to help patients understand the inevitable uncertainties in the diagnostic process. He starts by stressing the central role of accurate diagnosis in effective medical care. He argues that the basic principles of effective diagnostic reasoning are an applica
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Psychology of Family Law
By Eve M. Brank
Review by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D. on Tue, Nov 12th 2019.
Psychology of Family Law by Eve M. BrankThe psychology of family law, written by Eve M. Brank, is an informative read for those who are interested in understanding the often obscure relationship between legal codes and the scientific facts, principles, and logical considerations upon which they rely. Under the category "facts", the author offers a thoughtful and thorough examination of the evidence that has been used to either justify existing codes or to make alterations after enactment. In her deliberate attempt to clarify the nature of existing codes, she considers not only contributing sources, but also neglected or discounted s
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Character Strengths Interventions
By Matthijs Steeneveld Anouk van den Berg
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Nov 12th 2019.
Character Strengths Interventions by Matthijs Steeneveld Anouk van den BergThis is a set of 50 character strength cards derived from the VIA Character Strengths.  These character strengths were initially developed through the initiative of renowned psychologist Martin Seligman during his tenue as president of the American Psychological Association.  Seligman focused on the theme of positive psychology, and his goal was to create a means to communicate about the best qualities of people.  Following extensive research by Seligman and others, the VIA Institute on Character established a free online survey measuring the 24 identified character strengths.&n
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Too Close
A Novel
By Natalie Daniels
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 12th 2019.
Too Close by Natalie DanielsIt's rare to find a great novel that has received almost no attention, but Too Close is amazingly good. It is a novel of extremely dark humor, although the publisher has tried to market it as some kind of thriller, which is odd since there is very little mystery. If anything, it is more a contemporary horror story, but it is moving and often very funny. Author Natalie Daniels (a pen name for Clara Salaman) is British, and some of the humor may require some familiarity with contemporary British life. It is being made into a British TV drama for broadcast in 2020. There
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Can Animals Be Persons?
By Mark Rowlands
Review by Fayna Fuentes López on Tue, Nov 5th 2019.
Can Animals Be Persons? by Mark RowlandsThe status of nonhuman animals as persons has been the subject of intense debate over the last decades, especially since the dawn of the animal liberation movement. This debate includes, on the one hand, an elucidation of which characteristics are necessary for one to qualify as a person, along with a discussion on whether animals can, or do, possess these traits. And on the other hand, the animal ethics literature has examined the moral implications of personhood, often arguing that personhood cannot be the base of moral status. Additionally, and perhaps more interestingly, contemporary discu
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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
By Richard Gipps, Michael Lacewing (editors)
Review by Sebastian Petzolt, DPhil on Tue, Nov 5th 2019.
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis by Richard Gipps, Michael Lacewing (editors)With The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (OHPP), Gipps and Lacewing present a rich and well-edited collection that strengthens the connection, and clarifies the distinction, between the handbook's two title disciplines. OHPP will be of interest to both philosophers and psychoanalysts and is apt to inspire further dialogue between them. OHPP consists of 33 chapters, divided into eight sections. (Intellectual Prehistory, five chapters; Twentieth-Century Engagements, four chapters; Clinical Theory, six chapters; Phenomenology and Science, five chapters;&
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Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen
By Yasmin Khan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 5th 2019.
Zaitoun by Yasmin KhanThe cover of Zaitoun is beautiful and it will make you want to look inside. It turns out that the dishes that British author Yasmin Khan describes are also photographed with great skill bringing out the vibrant colors, and there are also location shots showing places and people. It is a lovely book and would make a great gift. The contents are divided up into the mazzeh, salads, soups, main courses and desserts. There are geographical associations with each: Haifa, Akka, Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Gaza, Bethlehem, Nazareth and Galilee. Khan writes about Palestinian culture
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The Royal Baths Murder
By J.R. Ellis
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 5th 2019.
The Royal Baths Murder by J.R. EllisRelishing in commentary about murder mysteries, The Royal Baths Murder is set at a book festival devoted to murder mysteries, and one of the featured authors is bumped off. Not only that, but the murder is done in a manner similar to that of a murder in one of the books written by another mystery writer, who is also a suspect. It is an "impossible murder" where the killer leaves the murder scene even though there was no way to leave unobserved. The murdered man is Damian Penrose, who was hated by many other authors as well as his ex-wives, so there are plenty of suspects. The d
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Delusions and Beliefs
A Philosophical Inquiry
By Kengo Miyazono
Review by José Eduardo Porcher on Tue, Oct 29th 2019.
Delusions and Beliefs by Kengo MiyazonoKengo Miyazono's concise and densely-packed book Delusions and Beliefs: A Philosophical Inquiry is an original and important contribution to the growing philosophical literature on the nature of clinical delusions. To outsiders, this may justifiably beg the question: why would philosophers be interested in delusion? To insiders, this comes as no surprise since delusion poses a multitude of conceptual puzzles. Are delusions beliefs? Are they irrational? Are they pathological? Moreover, delusions also pose a multitude of explanatory puzzles. What is t
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how DNA makes us who we are
By Robert Plomin
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Oct 29th 2019.
blueprint by Robert PlominThe author of blueprint, Robert Plomin is an American psychologist, geneticist and neuroscientist and perhaps the most important voice, over many years, in the field of behavioral genetics. It is difficult today to imaging how scientifically taboo it was to study the genetics of human behavior after the racist horrors, bogus research and eugenics projects carried out by the Germans in the Nazi period. The field of behavioral genetics got off to a politically rocky beginning in the 1960s, but has gradually gained respectability, although some of its applications, particularly in the area o
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The Dutch House
By Ann Patchet
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 29th 2019.
The Dutch House by Ann PatchetTom Hanks performs the unabridged audiobook of The Dutch House, and as with most celebrity performances, it makes it a lot harder to get lost in the story, because one is always noticing "this is Tom Hanks reading." Clearly the fact that this is a "Read with Jenna" choice and the book is a best seller goes hand-in-hand with choosing a celebrity to perform the audiobook. The performance itself is good -- Hanks has proven talent not just at acting but in vocal performances for animated movies. But performing an audiobook is a skill unto itself, and there are many better performers. Listenin
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The Birth of Ethics
Reconstructing the Role and Nature of Morality (The Berkeley Tanner Lectures)
By Philip Pettit
Review by Harry Witzthum, PhD on Tue, Oct 22nd 2019.
The Birth of Ethics by Philip Pettit A famous song by Ella Fitzgerald says that Birds do it, bees do it, even educated flees do it. What some species do, apart from falling in love, is living in social groups. The human species is not special in that way: as other species, we do live in social groups. What is special about us as a species, is that we have and use natural language and that we use moral and ethical concepts in navigating through social space and in ruling political communities. The question that occupies the hearts and minds of thinkers throughout the millennia is how to understand and explain this intriguing
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Hellenistic Philosophy
By John Sellars
Review by Aline Maya Paredes on Tue, Oct 22nd 2019.
Hellenistic Philosophy by John SellarsHellenistic Philosophy, written masterfully by John Sellars, is the definitive guide to this fundamental period of philosophy. And, although Sellars is widely renowned for his meticulous yet accessible work, it is still surprising to realize how this work might prove therapeutic in these days. From the first pages of the book, Sellars shows convincingly why Hellenistic philosophy formed the basis of psychological theories and modern philosophical schools: from its very own conception, Hellenistic philosophy aims to achieve a better life, with less anxiety about the future, the gods and mundan
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A Novel
By Michael Hughes
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 22nd 2019.
Country by Michael HughesMichael Hughes's Country is self-consciously literary in modeling itself on Homer's Iliad. But it is also very much rooted in the contemporary culture of Ireland. Or at least, the paramilitary culture of the struggle in the 1990s. Often the dialog is coarse, and the plot focuses on the verbal clash between military men. It is rooted in masculinity and virtue, with each man trying to out-man the others. We know that as with the Iliad, it is a tragedy, and the plot is fueled by anger and desperation. Every page is full of energy. It's an amazing achievement. As with the 
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Philosophy of Sex and Love
An Opinionated Introduction
By Patricia Marino
Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
Philosophy of Sex and Love by Patricia MarinoPatricia Marino's Philosophy of Love and Sex: An Opinionated Introduction is a wonderful addition to the growing literature – and indeed growing number of textbooks – in this area of philosophy, which is still only a few decades old. The subtitle of the book raises two questions. The first is in what way this book is an introduction to the philosophy of sex and love, and the second is why Marino calls it an opinionated introduction. The answer to the first question, I believe, is because Marino does not assume prior expertise in the area and hence prov
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