Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 42
 
Featured Reviews
The Late Sigmund Freud by Todd DufresneThe Late Sigmund Freud
by Todd Dufresne
Mon, Sep 3rd 2018
A Journey Into Yin Yoga by Travis EliotA Journey Into Yin Yoga
by Travis Eliot
Mon, Sep 3rd 2018
The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics
by Andrew Linzey and Clair Linzey (Editors)
Tue, Sep 11th 2018
 
The Character Gap
How Good Are We?
By Christian B. Miller
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Oct 16th 2018.
The Character Gap by Christian B. Miller*"For a generous psychology. We help a person more by giving him a favorable image of himself than by constantly reminding him of his shortcomings. Each individual normally strives to resemble his best image. Can be applied to teaching, to history, to philosophy, to politics. We are for instance the result of twenty centuries of Christian imagery. For two thousand years man has been offered a humiliating image of himself. The result is obvious. Anyway, who can say what we should be if those twenty centuries had clung to the ancient ideal with its beautiful human face."  – Albe
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Why Does Inequality Matter?
By T.M. Scanlon
Review by Harry Witzthum, PhD on Tue, Oct 16th 2018.
Why Does Inequality Matter? by T.M. ScanlonIn his new book, the eminent moral philosopher T.M. Scanlon focusses on the topic of inequality and why it should matter to us. Indeed, on the face of it, inequality is a moral term with explosive political power that fuelled revolutions in the past. In the 18th century, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in his book The Social Contract very succinctly: "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave then they". Men are born as equals, but inequality is rampant. These words were the prelude t
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Scientific Ontology
Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology
By Anjan Chakravartty
Review by Justin Bzovy on Tue, Oct 16th 2018.
Scientific Ontology by Anjan ChakravarttyIn defending a voluntaristic conception of naturalized metaphysics, Anjan Chakravartty brings ancient skepticism to bear on contemporary scientific ontology. He considers scientific ontology to be inherently meta-scientific, since scientific practice underdetermines scientific ontology, but maintains that scientific ontology is not separate from science itself. This means that the work is more philosophical and less focused on case studies than much of recent philosophy of science. Scientific ontology focuses on metaphysical inferences and presuppositions that are sufficiently informed by or s
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The Thorn Necklace
Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process
By Francesca Lia Block
Review by Perry Miller, PhD on Tue, Oct 16th 2018.
The Thorn Necklace by Francesca Lia BlockAs narrated in her June 2018 interview, Francesca Lia Block is an accomplished writer with over 25 publications. Whether readers are encountering her work firstly in The Thorn Necklace or having a degree of familiarity with her prolific oeuvre, they will find in The Thorn Necklace a unique tapestry of themes, images, and voices woven together by a master storyteller in the presentation of her own life story. The book is unique in that she is not only presenting her life story but, in the recovery groups tradition of sponsor-sponsee guidance (which she also gently critiques)
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Knife Creek
A Mike Bowditch Mystery
By Paul Doiron
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 16th 2018.
Knife Creek by Paul DoironKnife Creek is a well-constructed detective story set in rural western Maine. It is narrated by Mike Bowditch, who is a Park Warden with responsibility for the local area. He and his girlfriend are in the woods getting chased by wild pigs when they stumble upon the corpse of a baby. Bowditch starts investigating by asking questions in the local area, and he makes another discovery, two women living in a remote rented house in seclusion, both wearing red wigs. The one who talks to him is hostile, and he is suspicious. But when he goes back to the house again to follow up, it explodes and h
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The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind
My Tale of Madness and Recovery
By Barbara K. Lipska
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. LipskaThe amount of books one can buy which tell the tale of authors who suffered and recovered from some seemingly insurmountable illness is climbing steadily, and some even make it into the movies: recently, Brain on Fire described the most deadly of these which the initially wrote off to mental illness rather than the neurochemistry of glutamate.  Some books describe the experience of neurologists who slip and fall on icy pavement, some of a neurologist who discovers, after a ride at the fair, how a leg refuses to climb into bed with him. In all of these descriptions, experts who should know
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Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility
By Katrina Hutchison, Catriona Mackenzie & Marina Oshana (Editors)
Review by Susanne Uusitalo, PhD on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility by Katrina Hutchison, Catriona Mackenzie & Marina Oshana (Editors)Moral responsibility is a classic topic in philosophy, but it has various aspects; it can deal with challenges of free will, our moral agency, blaming and praising or something else. This volume touches upon many of the discussion, but it also brings together three fields in recent philosophy and this in turn enables discussions about moral responsibility and agency in refreshing and novel ways. The first field is constituted by the recent accounts of moral responsibility that focus on our interpersonal and social practices (after P. F. Strawson). The second concerns the discussions of relatio
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A Minimal Libertarianism
Free Will and the Promise of Reduction
By Christopher Evan Franklin
Review by Kim Davies on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
A Minimal Libertarianism by Christopher Evan FranklinFranklin's A Minimal Libertarianism is an attempt to reconcile the scientific picture of ourselves as situated within the natural causal order, with the manifest picture of ourselves as having such control over our actions – or free will - as is required for moral responsibility and which underpins our practices of holding people morally accountable. This is to be achieved by: i) rejecting non-causal and agent-causal forms of libertarianism which seem to place humans outside the natural causal order ii) accepting agency reductionism, which reduces the causal role of the agent t
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Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7
By Mark C Timmons (Editor)
Review by Adrian Staples on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7 by Mark C Timmons (Editor)The Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Series is annual publication of new work from philosophers in normative ethical theory. It is designed for scholars and for students working in moral philosophy. This collection of thirteen essays is the seventh in the series, edited by Mark C. Timmons. The thirteen essays in this collection were presented at the 2016 meeting of the Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethics. The seventh volume of the series begins with a concise introduction to its contents. As promised, the contributions to the volume cover a wide range of current moral issues and
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The Power
By Naomi Alderman
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
The Power by Naomi AldermanThis science fiction work addresses a feminist fantasy of women's great power -- an ability to deliver electric shocks. The novel, which imagines it is written in the distant future about their distant past, by a man, tells the story of how this power developed and how it changed history. But the events set basically in the current time with cable news and cell phones. It has many characters, in the UK, the USA, Africa, and South America. The three main ones are Roxy, initially a girl in England, Eve, a sort of nun in the American South, and Tunde, a reporter from Nigeria. Women gradually take
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Shadows of the Soul
Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Emotions
By Christine Tappolet, Fabrice Teroni and Anita Konzelmann Ziv (Editors)
Review by Robert Zaborowski on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
Shadows of the Soul by Christine Tappolet, Fabrice Teroni and Anita Konzelmann Ziv (Editors) This is a collection of 14 papers 10 of which were published in French in 2011 as Les Ombres de l'Âme: Penser les Émotions Negatives. The current collection is published in honor of Kevin Mulligan, one of the leading scholars in the area of the philosophy of emotions. As a whole, mainly because of the brevity of the chapters this is a volume pleasant and easy to read. The downside of that is, however, that the reader is faced with shortcomings and simplifications. In the Introduction the three Editors draw on a distinction between negative and positive emotions.
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The Compassionate Connection
The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening
By David Rakel, MD; with Susan K. Golant, MA
Review by Iraklis Ioannidis on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
The Compassionate Connection by David Rakel, MD; with Susan K. Golant, MABy its title, David Rakel's The Compassionate Connection: The Healing Power of Empathy and Mindful Listening might seem like another book about empathy and mindfulness. That, however, would be a premature diagnosis, one that would betray a not so careful reading of the book. This book, though, is all about giving care and connecting with others, be it with "an ailing friend or a loved one," with "a patient or client or coworker" (p. 230), or with a "manager" or a "parent" (p.150). If empathy and mindfulness are the essential conditions for connecting with others, then Rakel is writin
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Psychoanalysis
Topological Perspectives: New Conceptions of Geometry and Space in Freud and Lacan
By Michael Friedman and Samo Tomič (Editors)
Review by Diana Soeiro, Ph D. on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
Psychoanalysis by Michael Friedman and Samo Tomič (Editors)Topology is a branch of mathematics that formalizes places and shifts without measurements. It became popular during the nineteenth century dealing with aspects of geometrical figures that remain invariant when they are being transformed. In that sense, for example, a circle and an ellipse are topologically considered to be equivalent because both have the ability to transform into each other with no cutting or pasting. (Nobus 2003, 63) Trained as a forensic psychiatrist, Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) worked as a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. His philosophical perspective was strongly influence
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Always Forever Maybe
By Anica Mrose Rissi
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose RissiThis YA novel is about a girl being physically abused by her boyfriend, and how she gets sucked into believing it is her fault. Not only that, but Betts also blows off her best friend Jo because she wants to be with Aiden. There's a real challenge in getting the right balance in narration, since Betts, who tells her own story, has to be a sympathetic character, but also in some ways has to be seen to lack judgment or lose control of her own actions. She is a high school senior and Aiden is older than her, so she is soon on her way to college. Indeed, she is going to a highly rated school, so s
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Democracy Struggles
By Joe Panzica
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Oct 2nd 2018.
Democracy Struggles by Joe PanzicaDemocracy Struggles covers the birth of the United States relationship with democratic ideals from 1789 to the present. It is 172 pages, 13 Chapters with 103 Color Illustrations, 7 Graphs, a Vocabulary Break and Review Segment.      Recurring themes are the survival of the populace, issues of trust and conflicting realities merged with a focus on an idealized self. It speaks to the issues inherent in the attempts for harmony and equality while it questions whether either are possible as both lay beneath the veil of classism and racism. In my opinion we have always had
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