Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 23, Number 42
 
Featured Reviews
Ethics Beyond the Limits by Sophie Grace Chappell and Marcel van Ackeren (Editors)Ethics Beyond the Limits
by Sophie Grace Chappell and Marcel van Ackeren (Editors)
Tue, Sep 10th 2019
Silent Partners by Rebecca DresserSilent Partners
by Rebecca Dresser
Tue, Sep 10th 2019
Pornography by Mari MikkolaPornography
by Mari Mikkola
Tue, Sep 10th 2019
 
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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Shame
By Bogdan Popa
Review by Brian Morreale on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
Shame by Bogdan PopaShame is an emotion that results from exposing a personal action or decision to an audience. Often times, many people are shamed from doing something deviant or inappropriate. When a person does something deviant it is likely because the act is not in agreement with societal norms. Shaming in the 19th century would lead to public exclusion. In many cultures shame is used to "correct" behavior, especially in Asian cultures. Similarly, in Bogdan Popa's book Shame: A Genealogy of Queer Practices in the 19th Century he argues that shame is a way to motivate (and contr
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The Survival List
By Courtney Sheinmel
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 15th 2019.
The Survival List by Courtney SheinmelThis is a novel for young people about a 17 year old girl, Sloane, whose older sister Talley dies by suicide. After the death, Sloane finds a mysterious list that her sister made, and the plot involves her trying to work out what the list means. They live in Minnesota but Sloane eventually takes a trip to the West coast and meets people who had known Talley. She eventually uncovers some family secrets and gets a better understanding of her sister's life. The early chapters of the novel tell of the day before Talley died, introducing us to Sloane and their father, and Sloane's best friend Juno
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How History Gets Things Wrong
The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories
By Alex Rosenberg
Review by David Meskill on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
How History Gets Things Wrong by Alex RosenbergHistorians debate many things, from the Founding Fathers' motivations to the role of violence in the rise of capitalism, from the possibility of writing "grand narratives" to the best use of digital data. But about basic historical methods, there is little disagreement, only confident consensus. The work on historical method that in recent years has attracted the most attention – Jo Guldi and David Armitage's The History Manifesto – asserted in passing that historians possess a tool-box of "sophisticated" and reliable techniques. Of the roughly 50 reviews of the manifesto
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Democracy in Chains
The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
By Nancy MacLean
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLeanGerrymandering to restrict African American votes. Laws requiring voters to show picture Identification. Closing state picture identification offices in largely African American counties.  Videoing at polling booths. Closing polling places in poor counties. Distributing false information about the locations of polling places. Stripping voter registrations based upon minor differences in signatures separated by many years. Posing as polling workers then falsely offering to deliver absentee ballots. Prior to reading Nancy MacLean's book I had little context in which to understand these wel
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Our Symphony with Animals
On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies
By Aysha Akhtar
Review by Michael Sakuma on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
Our Symphony with Animals by Aysha AkhtarI have a, mixed, love-hate relationship with western medicine.  In the span of 100 years it has significantly extended our lifespan and changed the things that most often kill us from things in the environment (malaria and pneumonia), to ourselves (i.e. excessive French fries and smoking).  Medicine, built on the cold-mechanistic shoulders of science, views us, in large degree as machines.  We can replace, tighten and modify most all of our parts, in the same way that we can soup up a muscle car or renovate an old Chevy.  Doctors all too often lack bedside manner, seemingly
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The Stillwater Girls
By Minka Kent
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 8th 2019.
The Stillwater Girls by Minka KentThis story has two female narrators whose lives are destined to interact. First, Wren, who is 19 and lives with her younger sister Sage in a cabin in the forest, with no electricity or technology. The other is Nicolette, who is married to a successful photographer, Brant (what? Brant is named after a goose?). The couple live in a comfortable on the edge of a forest in upstate New York, and go into Manhattan for sophisticated art events. We follow the two narrators as they tell their sad stories and the connection is made. It turns out that Wren used to live with another sister and their mother
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Getting Started with EEG Neurofeedback
Second Edition
By John N. Demos
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Oct 1st 2019.
Getting Started with EEG Neurofeedback by John N. DemosAs I have noted before (https://metapsychology.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=book&id=4805&cn=458), neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, has a checkered history with often a dearth of evidence leading to accusations of charlatanism if one practices it. The brain is a noisy electronic signaling hub, and so we amplify and filter the signals into bins, most commonly Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta and Gamma, and make attributions about what this means, having to match what are called EEG or rather QEEG signatures to common symptoms and disorders. There then follows, on that basis, a series of inter
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Speculation
Within and About Science
By Peter Achinstein
Review by William Peden on Tue, Oct 1st 2019.
Speculation by Peter AchinsteinOver the past 50 years, Peter Achinstein has earned a reputation in the philosophy of science for careful, thought-provoking, and methodologically significant conceptual analyses. This new book matches that reputation: he begins with a detailed analysis a particular notion, speculation, and the clarified concept serves as the glue to hold together the book's wide-ranging discussions. Achinstein also investigates issues of interest for practicing scientists and the ideas of practicing scientists appear frequently in the book. Indeed, two of the most influential philosophers who discussed specul
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Nietzsche and Suffered Social Histories
Genealogy and Convalescence
By Jeffrey M. Jackson
Review by Dale Wilkerson on Tue, Oct 1st 2019.
Nietzsche and Suffered Social Histories by Jeffrey M. JacksonInterest in the "therapeutic" aspects of Friedrich Nietzsche's thought is growing in academic circles, after years of toiling in the shadows of more traditional philosophical interpretations in the tertiary scholarship. Studies such as Michael Ure's Nietzsche's Therapy: Self-Cultivation in the Middle Works (2008), Daniel Ahern's The Smile of Tragedy: Nietzsche and the Art of Virtue (2012), and Horst Hutter and Eli Friedland ed. Nietzsche's Therapeutic Teaching: For Individuals and Culture (2013) advance the general thesis that Nietzsche intended to help ninet
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Keeping Lucy
By T. Greenwood
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 1st 2019.
Keeping Lucy by T. GreenwoodPart feminist road trip, part morality tale about attitudes towards children with Down syndrome, Keeping Lucy is a satisfying read. It is 1969 when Ginny Richardson gives birth to a baby girl, Lucy, with the genetic condition. The doctors keep her drugged while her husband and his father sign the baby over to a local "school," Willowridge, where she will live permanently. Ginny protests but is given assurances that Lucy is better off having no contact with her family. It is 2 years later when Ginny's old friend Marsha calls her to tell her that there has been an exposé in the
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A Decent Life
Morality for the Rest of Us
By Todd May
Review by Michael Maidan on Tue, Sep 24th 2019.
A Decent Life by Todd MayTodd May once defined his work as 'poststructuralist anarchism', a political philosophy that combines the ideals of anarchism with the theories of French post-structuralism, a school of philosophical thought to which he devoted several books. In recent years, he published a series of works on aspects and the meaning of human life: A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe (2015), A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability (2017), and recently, A Decent Life: Morality for the Rest of Us (2019). Academic philosophers are usually shy of approaching thes
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The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism
A Revolution for Science and Philosophy
By Nicholas Maxwell
Review by Ali Barzegar on Tue, Sep 24th 2019.
The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism by Nicholas MaxwellThis book introduces the reader to the life-long work of Nicholas Maxwell on the metaphysics of science and its implications for the broader issues relating to academic enterprise and global problems threatening humanity. The book has three parts. In part 1, a solution to the mind-body problem or more generally the human world/physical universe problem is proposed. The problem is this: physics describes the world as fundamentally composed from particles and fields whereas we experience a totally different world of perceptual qualities such as colors, sounds and smells. So, it seems there is a
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Evil
A History
By Andrew P. Chignell (Editor)
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Sep 24th 2019.
Evil by Andrew P. Chignell (Editor)More than two decades ago, my colleague and practice partner, Prof Victor Nell, commented to me that we, as psychologists, had not yet learned to investigate the nature of evil. He set out to do just that. This argument, at the time of writing, seems never more cogent. At this time, once again, American gun crime has turned to mass murder. The issues as always, are as to what constitutes mental illness, and what constitutes pure evil. Hitler was conceived of as a madman, but obviously was not. Germans as Nazis were plentiful and happy to raise their hand in the salute to evil, and turn on each
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Outside Looking In
By T.C. Boyle
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 24th 2019.
Outside Looking In by T.C. BoyleT.C. Boyle has established himself as a big name novelist, reflecting on twentieth century themes, and writing fictionalized accounts of some major figures. This one is about Timothy Leary, once a Harvard professor, who gained notoriety for promoting hallucinogens. But Boyle makes his main character a graduate student, Fitz Loney, who has Leary as his advisor, and who follows Leary even after they get kicked out of Harvard. Fitz is already married to Joanie, and they have a son, Corey, he has responsibilities. But he is fascinated by a large project to find ultimate truths about nature, G
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