Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 23, Number 30
 
Featured Reviews
Sex in Antiquity by Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, James Robson (Editors)Sex in Antiquity
by Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, James Robson (Editors)
Tue, Jun 25th 2019
The Quiet Room by Lori SchillerThe Quiet Room
by Lori Schiller
Tue, Jun 25th 2019
Bowen Theory's Secrets by Michael E. KerrBowen Theory's Secrets
by Michael E. Kerr
Tue, Jun 18th 2019
 
The Right to be Loved
By S. Matthew Liao
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 16th 2019.
The Right to be Loved by S. Matthew LiaoMatthew Liao argues that children have a right to be loved by everyone. He had papers on this topic published in 2006 and he has written several articles since then on the topic. This book, published in 2015, offers an extended defense of the claim. Liao has a concise and straightforward style of writing that makes it appealing since one can see the structure of his arguments very clearly. Often, his arguments appeal to moral intuitions and existing practice, so they are somewhat conservative in the sense that they are not aiming to undermine prevalent moral ideas shared by most morally t
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Chimpanzee Rights
The Philosophers’ Brief
By Kristin Andrews et al.
Review by Silke Feltz on Tue, Jul 16th 2019.
Chimpanzee Rights by Kristin Andrews et al.Tommy and Kiko are two chimpanzees kept in conditions not fit for their cognitive and emotional abilities. Both chimpanzees live a secluded life in New York State. Tommy spends long and lonely days in a cage in a shed (Barlow, 2017). Kiko is currently housed by himself near Niagara Falls (Andrews et al., 2019, pg. 1). In order to change this, laws need to be changed. Granting chimpanzees fundamental legal rights, like the right of personhood, would "mark a huge step toward stopping our unfettered abuse of them" (Wise, 2000, pg. 237). If granted personhood, Kiko and Tommy would be taken out of
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Dementia Reimagined
Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End
By Tia Powell
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 16th 2019.
Dementia Reimagined by Tia PowellTia Powell's book on dementia is important and useful. She is a doctor, an academic, and someone who has a great deal of experience with dementia herself, and her book is a discussion of how to live with the expectation we will or might develop dementia, how to behave with people who have dementia, and what policies we should adopt regarding dementia. Both her grandmother and mother had dementia, and she says she expects to develop dementia herself. She has thought a great deal about both the medical aspects and the personal aspects. She sets out some of the science of dementia and the history
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Mind Games
Determination, Doubt and Lucky Socks: An Insider's Guide to the Psychology of Elite Athletes
By Annie Vernon
Review by Finn Janning on Tue, Jul 16th 2019.
Mind Games by Annie VernonFor some, sports is a field with very little on the mind. For others, it's completely different. Annie Vernon, a former Olympic rower and now a sports journalist, has written a book about what takes place between the ears of elite athletes. Called Mind Games, it has a clear premise: "Everyone has the physical tools—it's the mental tools that separate the good from the great." The book is not a practical guide on how to train or toughen your mind, nor is it an academic contribution to the field of sport psychology. Instead, it is like being inside a locker room, full of anecdotes f
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How to Do Nothing
Resisting the Attention Economy
By Jenny Odell
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Jul 9th 2019.
How to Do Nothing by Jenny OdellFirst things first. This book is not about how to do nothing, as the author is at pains to point out on several occasions. It's about how to stop doing something, to wit, falling victim to the "attention economy." What attracted me to the book was the promise of an analysis with recommendations of the threats of universal digitalization in general and social media in particular. That expectation was fulfilled. The author has an impressive background as a Stanford University faculty member and a working artist-in-residence at such places as a police department, a dump, and internet archive
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The Diversity Delusion
How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture
By Heather Mac Donald
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 9th 2019.
The Diversity Delusion by Heather Mac DonaldThere is a lot to like in Heather Mac Donald's The Diversity Delusion. She is a punchy writer who cuts through nonsense with funny put downs. She presents a scathing critique of modern US universities, focusing on affirmative action, requirements that student and faculty populations be diverse, sexual assault policies, required education on sexual correctness, multicultural requirements, gender balance in the curriculum, the huge administrative bloat in higher education, and the departure from the traditional conception of knowledge and the importance of the Western canon. There are many
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Purgatory
Philosophical Dimensions
By Kristof Vanhoutte and Benjamin W. McCraw (Editors)
Review by Andreea-Maria Lemnaru-Carrez on Tue, Jul 9th 2019.
Purgatory by Kristof Vanhoutte and Benjamin W. McCraw (Editors)This is a collection of sixteen exciting essays on the notion of Purgatory, not a from historical or cultural but philosophical point of view, unlike the other essays published on the subject in the last years. Due to space constraints, this review shall linger on only some of the papers. The book is divided in three parts. Its first part is dedicated to a philosophical contextualization of the concept of Purgatory, mainly in regards to ethics and the idea of time. The first chapter of the volume, written by K.K.P. Vanhoutte and B.W. McCraw addresses the definition of Purgatory as "the state,
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The Darkening Age
The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
By Catherine Nixey
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 9th 2019.
The Darkening Age by Catherine NixeyOriginally published in the UK in 2017, The Darkening Age presents a case against Christianity's self-image. Author Catherine Nixey was raised in a Catholic household by deeply religious parents and she studied ancient history as an undergraduate. (She tells the story of her parents' meeting as a nun and a monk in an online article.) Nixey sets out her case in this popular book that is full of dramatic stories. There are 22 pages of notes and 18 pages of bibliography. Her claims are that the early Christians were extremely intolerant of other religions and ways of life, to the e
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Duty and the Beast
Should We Eat Meat in the Name of Animal Rights?
By Andy Lamey
Review by Christopher Bobier on Tue, Jul 2nd 2019.
Duty and the Beast by Andy LameyMany philosophers have argued that farm animals belong to the moral community, and hence, deserve protections from human-caused harms. A common thought is that animal protection entails or otherwise encourages the practice of refraining from eating meat. If we care about protecting animals from harm, the thought goes, we should refrain from eating them. Proponents of New Omnivorism challenge this idea, arguing that animal protection entails that it is morally permissible or even obligatory to eat animals.  Andy Lamey's book, Duty and the Beast, offers the first, book-l
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The Forgotten Creed
Christianity's Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism
By Stephen J. Patterson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 2nd 2019.
The Forgotten Creed by Stephen J. PattersonStephen Patterson argues that early Christianity was a religion that advocated equality for all and that it was against hierarchies of power between masters and slaves, men and women, and between different ethnic groups. It's an attractive view since this is what liberals believe now, and presumably at least some Christians now believe in such equality. Patterson also concedes that this view of equality is not one that the Christian Church continues to believe as it grew. It became an institution that promoted patriarchy and that solidified institutions of power of some groups over others. Ear
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Why Comics?
From Underground to Everywhere
By Hillary Chute
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 2nd 2019.
Why Comics? by Hillary ChuteWhy Comics? Is a survey of the history of comics for adults with a focus on the last 20 or years. Author Hillary Chute is a professor at Northeastern University and while this is not an academic book, it is a big heavy book at well over 400 pages with a lot of writing. After the introduction, there are chapters on disasters, superheroes, sex, the suburbs, cities, punk, illness & disability, girls, war, queer, and fandom. The book is nicely illustrated in full color. Chute discusses most of the big names in comics today: Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky Cru
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White Privilege Unmasked
How to be a Part of the Solution
By Judy Ryde
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Jul 2nd 2019.
White Privilege Unmasked by Judy RydeRyde speaks to her readers through many voices: The psychotherapist, educator, white woman, white child, global asylum seeker advocate and trauma specialist (Director for Trauma Foundation South West (TFSW), Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counseling (BCPC) and the Centre of Supervision and Team Development, Bath, UK. Why refer to Ryde's career? Well, in part because of her expertise in the field of cross-cultural relations but also because the whiteness aspect of her identity with the privilege that has accompanied her on her own journey remained a constant theme throughout her book w
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Naked
The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life
By Krista K. Thomason
Review by Max F. Kramer on Tue, Jun 25th 2019.
Naked by Krista K. ThomasonShame was an important emotion in Christian religious morality, where it played the epistemic role of signaling when one had transgressed by sinning. In contemporary moral philosophy, shame no longer has the same shine to it and has lost out to guilt as the self-referring negative emotion of choice. In Naked, Krista K. Thomason attempts to reclaim shame’s status as a moral emotion, with potentially far-reaching consequences for philosophical accounts of moral emotions in general. The monograph is divided into an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion, and the discussion is i
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Medical Reasoning
The Nature and Use of Medical Knowledge
By Erwin B. Montgomery
Review by Max Hughes on Tue, Jun 25th 2019.
Medical Reasoning by Erwin B. MontgomeryThis rather unusual book is essentially an introduction to the Philosophy of Medicine. More specifically, it is an account of Medical Epistemology. Its aim is to elucidate the philosophical underpinnings of both clinical reasoning and biomedical research. The author is a philosopher in addition to being an eminent neurologist, and the book reflects both elements of the author's background. Right from the beginning, the author makes no attempt to hide the fact that he considers much of medical reasoning to be based on shaky logical foundations. He illustrates the problem by showing how many co
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Sex in Antiquity
Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World
By Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, James Robson (Editors)
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 25th 2019.
Sex in Antiquity by Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, James Robson (Editors)Published in 2014, with 30 academic papers, and at 588 pages, Sex in Antiquity is a major collection of new ideas by respected scholars. It's striking that it has only garnered 2 reviews so far in academic journals. It doesn't even have any reviews on Amazon!  The reviews it has had have been very positive. I am not an expert in history and so my main interest in the book is philosophical. History and philosophy are often interconnected, and at least since Foucault's work on sexuality, they are especially close in the examination of sexuality. This volume is striking in its embr
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