Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 23, Number 12
Featured Reviews
The Problem of War by Michael RuseThe Problem of War
by Michael Ruse
Tue, Feb 12th 2019
I Am Dynamite! by Sue PrideauxI Am Dynamite!
by Sue Prideaux
Tue, Feb 12th 2019
Self-Consciousness and 'Split' Brains by Elizabeth SchechterSelf-Consciousness and 'Split' Brains
by Elizabeth Schechter
Tue, Feb 5th 2019
How to Be a Patient
The Essential Guide to Navigating the World of Modern Medicine
By Sana Goldberg
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 19th 2019.
How to Be a Patient by Sana GoldbergSome people trust their doctors and take their advice. But that's not always a good idea. Different doctors can have different opinions and they make mistakes. In the USA especially, patients go through a great deal of unnecessary testing and treatment (source). Even more alarming, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the USA (source). As most people also experience, dealing with billing and health insurance in the USA is a nightmare. Trying to make a rational decision about treatment options is made much more difficult when providers refuse to be upfront about costs ahead of t
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EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology
Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment
By Arielle Schwartz and Barb Maiberger
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Mar 19th 2019.
EMDR Therapy and Somatic Psychology by Arielle Schwartz and Barb MaibergerEMDR has been around for a long time now, and although initially it had its critics, ("what works is not new, and what is new doesn't work"), it nevertheless has acquired an evidence base and hence credibility as a first-line treatment for PTSD and other conditions. Somatic therapy has been around in various guises for some time and involves bringing the body into an otherwise talking-cure dominated field. Given Damasio's and others work around somatic markers, and the understanding, over time, that emotions are physiological entities, as opposed to feelings, which are more mentation-experienc
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The Age of Culpability
Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility
By Gideon Yaffe
Review by Gabriel De Marco, Ph.D. on Tue, Mar 19th 2019.
The Age of Culpability by Gideon YaffeKids, that is, those who are under the age of 18, should be treated more leniently than adults by the criminal justice system. One of Gideon Yaffe's main goals in this book is to offer a rationale for this belief. The claim to be explained is not simply that the state should generally be lenient towards kids, but rather, that the state should be lenient towards all kids. This does not mean that kids should, in every instance, get less severe punishments than adults who, outside of age, are identical to the kids. Leniency can be manifested in various ways; e.g., different limits on the sentence
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Doing Harm
The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick
By Maya Dusenbery
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 12th 2019.
Doing Harm by Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbury argues that medicine is deeply sexist all the way through. She sets out evidence that medicine has been based on men's biology, that women have been ignored, and that women continue to be ignored. This is especially important when women present with symptoms that doctors can't explain, because then they are dismissed as having a psychosomatic or trivial problem. She focuses especially on women's heart disease, autoimmune disease, chronic pain, and diseases that get labelled as women's hysteria. Dusenbery is a medical journalist, rather than a physician or an academic. She write
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The Existential Drinker
By Steven Earnshaw
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Mar 12th 2019.
The Existential Drinker by Steven EarnshawLet us start at the end. In the Conclusion, Earnshaw writes: In these particular works meaninglessness, self, authenticity, death, and alienation are brought to the forefront of consciousness by the commitment to drink. Throughout the twentieth century psychological and biological explanations have proliferated to capture such orientations, but from the Existential drinker's perspective they are wrong every which way. For such figures, the reasons for drinking are ultimately metaphysical. A means to think, experience, and exist through profound Existential questions. [245] Tho
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The Nature of Moral Responsibility
By Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna, and Angela M. Smith (Editors)
Review by William Simkulet on Tue, Mar 5th 2019.
The Nature of Moral Responsibility by Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna, and Angela M. Smith (Editors)The Nature of Moral Responsibility:  New Essays is a collection of exciting essays on moral responsibility, written in the analytic tradition by influential authors working in ethics, notably including articles from Derk Pereboom, Gideon Rosen, T.M. Scanlon, and Michael Zimmerman.           This collection consists of twelve essays, grouped in sections of four, preceded by an excellent introduction from the editors that surveys some of the best and most influential recent work in the field.  This introduction was, no doubt, written f
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Body Mindful Yoga
Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship with Your Body
By Robert Butera and Jennifer Kreatsoulas
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Mar 5th 2019.
Body Mindful Yoga by Robert Butera and Jennifer KreatsoulasBody Mindful Yoga presents a  novel consideration of body image, combining awareness of language and social factors with self-reflection and yoga.  Authors Robert Butera and Jennifer Kreatsoulas suggest that the book is designed to assist readers with cultivating a more affirming relationship with their bodies.  The techniques described are largely based on a system developed by the first author, The Butera Method of Personal Transformation.  Both authors have a background in yoga therapy, an individualized approach which utilizes application of yoga practices towards
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By Lisa Halliday
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 5th 2019.
Asymmetry by Lisa HallidayThere are two main stories in this work. The first is called "Folly." Alice is in her twenties, working at a publisher in Manhattan, when she starts an affair with a famous novelist near the end of his career, hoping to get a Nobel Prize before he dies. The relationship happens without fanfare and apparently without thought on her part. Alice seems blank and if not naïve, then certainly lacking in sophistication. She does her job and she sees the novelist. He is affectionate to her and she seems to enjoy being with him, but there are no emotional depths examined. She provides a foil for h
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International Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story Work
By Faith Gibson (Editor)
Review by Joshua Gidding on Tue, Feb 26th 2019.
International Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story Work by Faith Gibson (Editor)I may as well make my full disclosure at the outset of this review: I am getting old, I am a depressive, I am worried about getting Alzheimer's, I love reading and writing autobiography, I also love reading and writing about reading and writing autobiography, and I have always been a sucker for the meaning of life.  So this book, a collection of articles mostly by and for clinicians about the use of reminiscence and life stories as therapy, was a big hit with me.  It's based on what is now over five decades' worth of practice and research in "reminiscence work", pioneered by a semina
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Before and After Loss
A Neurologist's Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain
By Lisa M. Shulman
Review by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 26th 2019.
Before and After Loss by Lisa M. ShulmanOne of the most challenging traumatic experiences that we may endure involves witnessing a loved one’s battle with an incapacitating illness until death brings his/her life to an end. Under these circumstances, the surviving person is forced to cope with two consecutive traumas, one induced by the illness and the demands that it poses on all parties involved, and the other brought about by the awareness of the loved one’s death and its consequences. During the loved one’s illness, the recognition of his/her symptoms, the necessities of the therapeutic interventions he/she und
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By Louise M. Pryke
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 26th 2019.
Ishtar by Louise M. PrykeIshtar, also known as Inana and Inanna, is a female ancient Mesopotamian god -- indeed, one of their most important.  She features in many myths and songs. There is a great deal of variation in her role in these, and she is recognized as the most complex of the Mesopotamian gods. She is known for her concern for justice and war, for motherhood, fertility, love and sex, and vengeance. She is strong but flawed, and she dies in one myth, to be reborn. In the epic Gilgamesh, she proposes to the human hero that they marry, and he turns her down flat, with a long list of good reasons why i
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The Basics
By Dan Zahavi
Review by Khashayar Boroomandjazi on Tue, Feb 19th 2019.
Phenomenology by Dan ZahaviWhat is phenomenology? What do phenomenologists do? How can phenomenological studies contribute to other fields than philosophy? These are the guiding questions that Dan Zahavi, who is a philosophy professor at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Oxford, responds to in his recent book, Phenomenology: The Basics.  It provides an approachable introduction to one of the most significant and productive movements in contemporary philosophy through a combination of a problem-centered approach and certain historical considerations.      The book is struct
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The Origins of Happiness
The Science of Well-Being over the Life Course
By Andrew Clark,, Sarah Flèche,, Richard Layard,, Nattavudh Powdthavee, George Ward
Review by Brian Morreale on Tue, Feb 19th 2019.
The Origins of Happiness by Andrew Clark,, Sarah Flèche,, Richard Layard,, Nattavudh Powdthavee, George WardHow can an individual become satisfied and happy in their life? Many researchers, within the last 80 years, have conducted extensive research on what influences happiness. Happiness is the combination of external stimuli that make up the life of an individual. Additionally, overall health of an individual also indicates happiness. Although happiness is an abstract idea, everyone can feel it and know what it is. Everyone experiences happiness for different reasons. Therefore, finding an objective definition is difficult. However, Andrew Clark, Sarah Fleche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee,
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Oh My Goth
By Gena Showalter
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 19th 2019.
Oh My Goth by Gena ShowalterGena Showalter is a prolific author of romance, fantasy and young adult novels, who has published more than 25 books in the last 17 years. Her latest publication is The Darkest Captive: Lords of The Underworld. Oh My Goth was first published by MTV Books in 2006. It has now been revised by the author and republished by Harlequin Teen, released in multiple formats, including an 8.5 hour audiobook version performed by Katie Koster. Strangely, even though originally released by a publisher associated with MTV, Oh My Goth has no reference to Goth music -- no Cure, no Sist
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The Beginnings of Philosophy in Greece
By Maria Michela Sassi
Review by Michael Maidan on Tue, Feb 12th 2019.
The Beginnings of Philosophy in Greece by Maria Michela SassiHow and why did Philosophy begin in Greece? The traditional answer to this question points at a group of thinkers that become consecrated as the predecessors and forefathers of philosophical inquiry. Since the early 20th Century they are known collectively as the Presocratics and, according to a tradition that originates in Plato and Aristotle, these early thinkers have been mainly interested in the study of the physical world. Aristotle declared famously that 'of the first philosophers…most thought the principles which were of the nature of matter were the only principles of all t
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