Assessments of the value of philosophical inquiry range from Socrates' principled assertion at his trial that "the unexamined life is not worth living" to the snarky (albeit clever) crack, often attributed to physicist Richard Feynman, that "philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds." Practitioners, investigators, and teachers of psychiatry and related disciplines would be well advised to put aside whatever suspicions about philosophy they might share with the jury pool of classical Athens or with self-assured modern physicists and engage in a serious ex Click here to read the full review!
The Problem of War Darwinism, Christianity, and their Battle to Understand Human Conflict By Michael Ruse Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Apr 16th 2019.
Ruse ends with "War is a horrible thing. We should work together toward a bigger picture." Almost no person in this world will disagree with that sentiment. War IS a terrible thing, and we continue to be involved in war year after year after year. Why? Is the answer in our culture? Or is it in our biology? Or, perhaps in our religion? Why do we, knowing of war's consequences, continue to glorify it, to participate in it, to kill and die for it?
Ruse writes, "Since I was a schoolboy, I have been haunted by Wilfred Owen's terrible poem, written as the conflict was about to enter its final year. Click here to read the full review!
Still in Love A Novel By Michael Downing Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 16th 2019.
Despite its title, there is remarkably little romance in this academic novel. It is written in the third person, from the point of view of Mark Sternum, who teaches at a New England college. His one class is a small seminar in creative writing, and he doesn't even teach that on his own. His co-teacher is "the Professor," whose identity is only revealed late in the game. The book starts at the beginning of the semester, and follows it through. There are many threads in the plot, both in Mark's own life and in his following the progress of his seminar students. His boyfriend has gone off to Ital Click here to read the full review!
Therapist Lori Gottlieb's memoir of the personal crisis she faced that led her to go back into therapy is a gripping read. She recounts both her own experience as a therapist with some striking patients, and her finding a new therapist for herself after her boyfriend broke off their engagement. The chapters are pretty short and the writing is vivid. Gottlieb questions her own methods and assumptions, and examines the constraints of the role of therapists, and comes to grow through both her patients and her own psychotherapy practice.
Gottlieb previously published a memoir of her own anorexia, Click here to read the full review!
The Bodymind Ballwork Method A Self-Directed Practice to Help You Move with Ease, Release Tension, and Relieve Chronic Pain By Ellen Saltonstall Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Apr 2nd 2019.
Author Ellen Saltonstall is a yoga instructor who also has a background in massage therapy and dance. She has written several prior yoga-themed books on anatomy, osteoporosis, and arthritis. In The Bodymind Ballwork Method, Saltonstall coalesces her various areas of expertise to offer a comprehensive guide to self-care and healing through the use of rubber balls for self-massage and release. This work is designed to create a sense of "embodied self-awareness," or attention to one's present sensory experience without judgment.
Saltonstall lays the groundwork for this met Click here to read the full review!
Serving the Servant Remembering Kurt Cobain By Danny Goldberg Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 2nd 2019.
Danny Goldberg is a big name in the music business. He knew Kurt Cobain in a professional context and they became friends. He advised Kurt and Courtney Love as they became rich, and he tried to help Kurt stop taking heroin. In Serving the Servant, he recounts his experience with Kurt and his thoughts about Kurt's life. Goldberg was in his 40s while Kurt was in his 20s. It's very much a memoir rather than a biography, and but Kurt died young, so Goldberg knew him for all of the time that he was on a major label. He depicts Kurt as a smart, kind and sensitive artist who was very savvy Click here to read the full review!
Esme Weijun Wang's lively and sensitive collected essays assert no overarching, positive thesis about mental disorder, nor can they be summarized to form one. Yet even their title reveals the compelling theme they convey, through "schizophrenias" in the plural. This is in homage to Bleuler, whom she makes clear she has read. But more importantly, it is a tip-off to the reader that there are no categorical certainties here at all. Perhaps the symptoms she describes from her own experiences with disorder and diagnosis are "schizophrenia" (or the later applied "schizo-affective disorder" blending Click here to read the full review!
The Case against Education Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money By Bryan Caplan Review by Hans Krauch on Tue, Mar 26th 2019.
In this book, Bryan Caplan succeeds, at the very least, to make a case to support a reasonable doubt about the effectiveness of providing a University education to the masses. Caplan himself is a University professor of economics by trade, and thus his arguments for rejecting the usefulness of a university education is based within the realm of economics and statistics – though he does attempt to capture elements outside of these realms within his scope of expertise (with varying degrees of success) in order to give a more complete picture of this problem of education.
Capla Click here to read the full review!
Marlena A Novel By Julie Buntin Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 26th 2019.
This is a story of high school, of teen friendship and family problems. But it is not a YA novel, being darker than that. The writing is more self-conscious and literary than most YA novels too. Cat is 15 years old when she moves to small town Michigan, and she makes friends with Marlena, who is a little older and more messed up. We know from early on that Marlena will die and that Cat will move to New York and have a successful career but she will also have many difficult times. Cat narrates the story from the perspective of many years later, but also recounting the events as if they are in t Click here to read the full review!
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.
Some 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 Click here to read the full review!
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 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 Click here to read the full review!
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.
Kids, 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 Click here to read the full review!
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.
Maya 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 Click here to read the full review!
Let 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. 
Tho Click here to read the full review!
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 Click here to read the full review!
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