Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 38
Featured Reviews
Primitive Colors by Joshua GertPrimitive Colors
by Joshua Gert
Tue, Aug 21st 2018
Addiction and Self-Control by Neil Levy (Editor)Addiction and Self-Control
by Neil Levy (Editor)
Tue, Aug 14th 2018
Ethics in Everyday Places by Tom KochEthics in Everyday Places
by Tom Koch
Tue, Aug 14th 2018
A New Understanding of Mental Disorders
Computational Models for Dimensional Psychiatry
By Andreas Heinz
Review by Jesse Butler on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
 A New Understanding of Mental Disorders by Andreas HeinzPsychiatry has always involved a fair degree of controversy and debate, but many now regard the field to be in a fundamental state of change concerning its underlying theoretical foundations. In this book, Andreas Heinz follows suit with this view of psychiatry and presents a synthesis of ideas intended to establish a new foundation for the field to move forward in a progressive and integrated manner. The central goal of Heinz’ proposal is to situate our understanding of mental disorders in relation to basic learning mechanisms and what we know about them through the study of computation
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Beyond the Self
Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience
By Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer
Review by J. Jeremy Wisnewski on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
Beyond the Self by Matthieu Ricard and Wolf SingerBeyond the Self is a series of dialogues between the neuroscientist Wolf Singer and the Buddhist monk and author Matthieu Ricard. Both are extremely well-known in their respective worlds. Wolf Singer ran the Max Plank Institute for Brain Research; Matthieu Ricard is the French translator for the Dalai Lama and has authored numerous well-received books (including The Quantum and the Lotus, with Trinh Thuan, among others). Their conversations take up issues central to cognitive science and the philosophy of mind and action. The dialogues are rich in content, avoiding needless technicality withou
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How Fascism Works
The Politics of Us and Them
By Jason Stanley
Review by Christian Perring on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
How Fascism Works by Jason StanleyJason Stanley's book on How Fascism Works sets out various tactics politicians use to divide people and oppress those at the lower rungs of society. It serves as a follow-up to his 2016 book How Propaganda Works.  This new work is a powerfully written work, using plenty of examples of fascist politics around the world, with an emphasis on the USA and the politics of the Republican Party. There are 10 main chapters, setting out the ways that fascism creates its own mythology about the differences between people and how society needs to return to a time of former glory. They fight experts a
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The Late Sigmund Freud
Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life
By Todd Dufresne
Review by David Mathew on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
The Late Sigmund Freud by Todd DufresneIn the final chapter of his life, Sigmund Freud wrote a letter to his admirer Lou Andreas-Salomé in which he summarises his present and future in the following terms:   "A crust of indifference is slowly creeping up around me; a fact I state without complaining. It is a natural development, a way of beginning to grow inorganic" (quoted in volume under review, p.21).     Contestably, this "natural development" – and indeed the very words that comprise this cited gobbet – could stand as an interesting echo of Todd Dufresne's own argument. Where Freud was
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A Journey Into Yin Yoga
By Travis Eliot
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Mon, Sep 3rd 2018.
A Journey Into Yin Yoga by Travis EliotAuthor and yoga instructor Travis Elliot became known to many through his yoga DVD series, The Ultimate Yogi.  That collection of twelve yoga routines consisted of various themed classes, one of which was a 65-minute yin yoga practice.  In this book, Elliot builds on the popularity of that particular class by offering a comprehensive approach to the practice of yin yoga.  More than just a yoga practice manual, A Journey into Yin Yoga is filled with stories from Elliot's life—starting with the near-fatal car accident that brought him to the practice—as well as feature
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The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics
By Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, Sep 11th 2018.
The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)There was a time when “animal ethics” referred to a subfield of environmental ethics. Then there was a schism, with two sorts of ethicists going their separate ways: the ones who tended to think that it was important not to focus on species, but on animals as individuals; and the others, who thought the opposite. Still, “animal ethics” referred to an enterprise that wasn’t wholly sympathetic to animals. You could, for instance, “do animal ethics” in a way that involved denying direct moral standing to animals (a position for which Peter Carruthers has
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Morals Not Knowledge
Recasting the Contemporary U.S. Conflict between Religion and Science
By John H. Evans
Review by Shelly Galliah on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Morals Not Knowledge by John H. EvansSociology of religion expert John H. Evans has written a well-researched, multi-disciplinary text that speaks to our current historical moment. Using the sociology of religion; the history of sociology, science, and science's relationship with religion; and data sets from surveys and in-depth interviews, Evans explores and troubles the alleged "foundational knowledge conflict" between religion and science, or that schism resulting from the long-held assumption that religion determines truth about the world "through supernatural revelation" whereas science does so through "observations and
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Beyond Bioethics
Toward a New Biopolitics
By Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky (Editors)
Review by Jordan Liz on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Beyond Bioethics by Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky (Editors)From the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep, to the FDA's approval of BiDil as the first race-specific medication to ongoing discussions concerning the use of gene editing technologies such as "CRISPR," medical innovations during the past couple of decades have raised a number of significant ethical, social and political questions. Should cloning as human reproduction be limited? Is the pursuit of race-based medicine morally acceptable? Would it be a moral failure to abstain from using gene-editing technologies if they are proven safe to use? For Osagie K. Obasogie and Marcy Darnovsky, the
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Adoption Beyond Borders
How International Adoption Benefits Children
By Rebecca Compton
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Adoption Beyond Borders by Rebecca ComptonRebecca Compton defends international adoption against criticisms and explains how it benefits children. She argues that the arguments against it are mistaken and that adoption can be the best option for orphaned children. One of the first issues she grapples with is the meaning of "orphan". The strict meaning of orphan, as a child whose parents are dead, does not generally apply in international adoption: but the parents are not available to act as parents, and so are not in the picture. Compton emphasizes the difference between growing up in an institution and growing up in a loving family,
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Because We Are Bad
OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought
By Lily Bailey
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Because We Are Bad by Lily BaileyLily Bailey is a British model and now an author. At the age of 23 she is young to have written a memoir, but she has lived all of her remembered life with obsessive thoughts and performing rituals, so she is able to give an account of childhood OCD that hasn't been done in such detail. But her story is so particular to her that it seems unlikely that it is generalizable to other young people. For about the first half of the book she refers to herself as "we" because she is in constant dialog with a kind of imaginary friend -- she doesn't really explain what the duality is. Sometimes it sounds
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Medical Nihilism
By Jacob Stegenga
Review by Mathew Mercuri PhD on Tue, Aug 28th 2018.
Medical Nihilism by Jacob StegengaMany of us seek to acquire medicine when we are ill.  Likewise, as a society we allocate a great deal of our resources to developing and providing medicines.  We do these things because we have confidence that medicine will help us achieve good health when we are unwell, or at least that it has the capability of doing so.  Is this confidence in modern medicine warranted?  In Medical Nihilism, Cambridge philosopher Jacob Stegenga argues that the confidence we place in medicine is not commensurate with the evidence for its usefulness, and thus, we would be wise to dramaticall
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A History
By Remy Debes (Editor)
Review by Carsten Fogh Nielsen on Tue, Aug 28th 2018.
Dignity by Remy Debes (Editor)In his introduction to Dignity. A History the editor, Remy Debes, explains that the aim of the book is "to deliver the first dedicated conceptual history of dignity in its moralized sense". (p. 4). This is an extremely ambitious promise, which I unfortunately do not believe the anthology actually fulfils. In fact, the proposed project is so ambitious that it is unclear whether any one book, be it a monograph or a collection of papers, could ever fully deliver on the editor's promissory note. One problem is the timescale, which the anthology attempts to cover. Most contemporary
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Hume's True Scepticism
By Donald C. Ainslie
Review by Michael Thompson on Tue, Aug 28th 2018.
Hume's True Scepticism by Donald C. AinslieDonald C. Ainslie's (University of Toronto, Professor of Philosophy) scholarly work, Hume's True Scepticism (Oxford, 2015), presents a re-interpretation of David Hume's philosophy in a way that is both broad in scope and rich in detailed analysis. He seeks to explain the historical tradition of skepticism, stemming from the ancients and into modern philosophy, while positioning Hume in what Ainslie argues is the correct way to understand Hume's own admonition for caution when regarding the veracity of claims about our world and the products of our own thinking. Celebrated as the winn
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So Lucky
By Nicola Griffiths
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 28th 2018.
So Lucky by Nicola GriffithsThis novel is the story of a lesbian activist for HIV/AIDS services who runs a non-profit learning that she has MS and turning her activist skills towards attitudes to and services for MS.  Mara is angry at the world and feels very alone. She used to care for her heroin-using sister when she was younger, but her sister died. Her mother lives back at their home in London, while Mara lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her wife has just left her, and her best friend is moving away to a new job. Mara is let go from her own job. She is struggling to deal with the symptoms of her disease, and maybe wor
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How Not to Get Shot
And Other Advice From White People
By D.L. Hughley and Doug Moe
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Aug 28th 2018.
How Not to Get Shot by D.L. Hughley and Doug MoeHow Not to Get Shot is a satirical look at the influence of white people's interpretation and advice regarding how Blacks can protect themselves from whites. Based upon the power of white privilege coupled with the affects of supremacists over the escalation of murders of Blacks in these times, Hughley speaks of 1. What the transparency of white-consciousness has taught him. 2. How revealing white's ignorance about racism truly is. 3. Regardless of exposure to integration many whites' remain clueless regarding cross-cultural norms 4. White's denial of their power due to white privilege is
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