The Limits of the Self
Immunology and Biological Identity
By Thomas Pradeu
Review by Uziel Awret on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
The Limits of the Self by Thomas Pradeu Thomas Pradeu's The Limits of the Self: Immunology and Biological Identity aims to reset the traditional boundaries of the organism and biological individuality. Pradeu, an accomplished researcher, brings to bare his knowledge of evolutionary and cancer biology, microbiology, philosophy of biology and especially immunology to propose a novel theory of biological individuality motivated by the rejection of the traditional self-nonself distinction in immunology which fails, among other things, to account for the ubiquity of autoreactivity, continuous self-monitoring and symbiotic relations with
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Nihilism
By Nolen Gertz
Review by John Mullen on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
I can think of no better time, in my long life, for a serious treatment of nihilism, both as an attitude and as a social disorder. Today is a time when our planet's ability to sustain the lives of our grandchildren and great grandchildren is quickly fading; a time when a right-wing politics exchanges pieces of silver in return for opposing all plans for climate mitigation; when an immense electronic system of political and profit-based spying invades deep regions of our lives; a time of hollow autocrats rising to power on no other basis than creating fear and hatred of strangers, as if the imm
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Nihilism by Nolen Gertz

Queenie
A Novel
By Candice Carty-Williams
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsQueenie is a remarkable novel in many ways. The narrator, Queenie, is written with such a clear voice and vivid character that she fully engages the reader. Her friends and family are equally sharply drawn. The book is often very funny, making me laugh out loud often while listening to the unabridged audiobook performed with great energy and conviction by Shvorne Marks. But it is also a challenging work because Queenie reaches such a level of self-defeat that reading about how she lets herself down is frustrating. But ultimately this is an uplifting story that is particularly striking in givin
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Illness
The Cry of the Flesh
By Havi Carel
Review by Alexander Westenberg on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
The original edition of Carel's book Illness: The Cry of the Flesh, published in 2008, made something of a splash. It was a raw expression-cum-examination of the experience of a life-changing, possibly life-ending, illness. Carel had received her diagnosis only two years before the publication of the first edition, and it showed in the uncertain ruminations of the book.  The reader was, at times, given the impression that what was being read were personal diaries, with all the feelings of reading that entails of reading something not meant for others. Perhaps because of this very persona
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Illness by Havi Carel

Watching You
By Lisa Jewell
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 3rd 2019.
Watching You by Lisa JewellI listened to this audiobook over the summer and enjoyed it, but forgot about it. I started listening again recently, and it took me at least half an hour into it before I could tell that I had listened to it previously. Even then, the plot did not come rushing back to memory. Passages sounded familiar but they were also so generic that they might appear in any contemporary British mystery novel. There are many characters and it takes a while to work out what the crime is, let alone who the suspects are. The focus is more on people's stories rather than the mystery. Unfortunately, few of the c
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The Fall of Language
Benjamin and Wittgenstein on Meaning
By Alexander Stern
Review by R.A. Goodrich, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 3rd 2019.
Hovering over Alexander Stern's ambitious volume about Walter Benjamin and Ludwig Wittgenstein on meaning is the thesis promoted by Charles Taylor's 2016 The Language Animal. According to Taylor, we have inherited two abiding conceptions of language. On the one hand, there is the "designative" or instrumental notion of language issuing from the likes of John Locke's 1689 An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding and Étienne Bonnot de Condillac's 1746 Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge. On the other hand, there is the "constitutive" or holistic construal of languag
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The Fall of Language by Alexander Stern

Ambivalence
A Philosophical Exploration
By Hili Razinsky
Review by Robert Zaborowski on Tue, Dec 3rd 2019.
Ambivalence by Hili Razinsky The book is composed of preface, three parts, an appendix, bibliography, and an index. It contains a general introduction - the first chapter of the first part - but no separate conclusion (some concluding remarks are appended to the last chapter of the last part). The book's aim is to explain the phenomena of ambivalence where ambivalence concerns mental attitudes (emotion, belief, value judgment, and desire). In Razinsky's view ambivalence occurs when two opposed mental attitudes are held toward one and the same object. One of her recurrent theses is that people are regularly ambivalent su
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Responsible Brains
Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability
By William Hirstein, Katarina L. Sifferd and Tyler K. Fagan
Review by Diana Soeiro on Tue, Dec 3rd 2019.
When someone is found guilty in the eyes of the law, how do we know if we are before an evil person or a sick person? How can the law find more reliable, and fairer, criteria in order to attribute responsibility and, consequently, culpability? This book argues that neuroscience can make a significant contribution to better justice be performed. According to the authors, whose academic background is in Philosophy, "[N]euroscience is both relevant to responsibility and consistent with our ordinary "folk" conceptions of it. Evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience can illuminate and infor
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Responsible Brains by William Hirstein, Katarina L. Sifferd and Tyler K. Fagan

 


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