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Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature in-depth reviews of a wide range of books written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page frequently and add more than forty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use the form available here.

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In Association with Amazon.com

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716

Metapsychology Online Reviews
Volume 22, Number 25

Featured Reviews
Merit, Meaning, and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will
The Easy Yoga Workbook: A Complete Yoga Class in a Book
Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives

See all this month's new reviews!

The Patient as Agent of Health and Health Care
Autonomy in Patient-Centered Care for Chronic Conditions
By Mark D. Sullivan
Review by Margaret Riley, PhD, RN on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.

The Patient as Agent of Health and Health Care by Mark D. SullivanWhen I requested this book to read and review, I admit I was hesitant:  it is a rather long read (just under 400 pages), and I anticipated it to be "heavy."  Indeed, the topic of health and health care is serious, and has the potential to be controversial - with possible religious and political overtones, as well as confusing information about patient care - diagnoses and treatments.  Personally, I was less concerned about being overwhelmed by the patient care aspect of diagnosis and treatment, than becoming embroiled in politics and policies.  Sullivan's book was a pleasan

Click here to read the full review!


Sinless

By Sarah Tarkoff
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.

Grace Luther is 17. It is a couple of decades into the future, and the world has changed dramatically. There is no bad behavior, and there is almost no need for a police force. Everyone worships the one god, Great Spirit. If anyone does do anything wrong, then it is Great Spirit who carries out the punishment. The penalty is bodily disfigurement, or if the crime is very bad, it is death from swelling of the throat. These penalties occur swiftly after the sin. Early on in the book, Grace sees her friend Jude die from such a penalty when he gets into a car accident. His death is a harsh punishme

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Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff

Beautiful Bodies

By Kimberly Rae Miller
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.

Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae MillerKim Miller is a writer who works on food and diet, but also runs her own blog, The Kim Challenge Beautiful Bodies is a combination of memoir about her obsession with her weight, and a history and discussion of the weight loss industry. She was sure that she was overweight even as a child and she gained weight early on, combined with early puberty, and this made her very self-conscious. Miller attributes a lot of her weight concern to her mother's attitudes, and of course there is the weight-loss industry that Miller herself ended up working for. Her family is from the south shore of Long Islan

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A Mirror Is for Reflection
Understanding Buddhist Ethics
By Jake H. Davis (Editor)
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.

In the case of Buddhist ethics, inquiring minds may wonder how it is possible for a conceptual line of thought that is non-dualistic can aspire to the starting line of ethics. Is there not, for ethical discussion to begin, the need for a metaphysics that permits the distinction between right and wrong? Without the two poles of good and evil, can ethics arise at all? If so, what kind of ethics would it be? Would goodness consist in full accomplishment of "right view" (what Thich Nhat Hahn has coined "Interbeing") or in degrees of individual accomplishment along the Eightfold Path? Can individu

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A Mirror Is for Reflection by Jake H. Davis (Editor)

The Recovering
Intoxication and Its Aftermath
By Leslie Jamison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 29th 2018.

The Recovering by Leslie JamisonAccording to the Yale English Department website, Leslie Jamison gained her PhD in May 2016 with her dissertation titled "The Recovered: Addiction and Sincerity in 20th Century American Literature." According to Wikipedia, she was born in 1983, she is the daughter of two academics and is the niece of famed writer Kay Redfield Jamison. She has spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is now an assistant professor in English at Columbia University, is married to another writer, and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She describes herself as a "nice middle class white girl." T

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Best Explanations
New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation
By Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (Editors)
Review by Ed Brandon on Tue, May 29th 2018.

Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) has a curious status within analytic philosophy. Many acknowledge its pervasiveness in our cognitive activity, but, especially in the arcane game of epistemology, others find it of dubious value. The collection of essays under review reflects this ambivalence but does not do a great deal to resolve it. Crudely speaking, it did not take long for western philosophy to achieve some sort of grasp of deductive reasoning, where conclusions are conditionally guaranteed by their premises. But it didn't do much for the other modes of reasoning that people use. T

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Best Explanations by Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (Editors)

Human Dignity and Assisted Death

By Sebastian Muders (Editor)
Review by Prashant Kumar on Tue, May 29th 2018.

Human Dignity and Assisted Death by Sebastian Muders (Editor) In recent years, Ruth Macklin's assertion that dignity is a "useless concept" [1] and Stephen Pinker's discussion of the "stupidity of dignity"[2] are claims which display skepticism about the notion of dignity (p. 2). In response to such claims, this book explains that, despite the skeptical treatment, the notion of dignity has not yet received a treatment that a) assembles all important perspectives and positions, b) examines the arguments that may be enhanced by it, and c) enriches the yet undertheorized role it currently holds in the literature. In order to give a proper account of the n

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The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds

By Kristin Andrews and Jacob Beck (Editors)
Review by Bob Fischer on Tue, May 29th 2018.

Almost 10 years ago, Robert Lurz published The Philosophy of Animal Minds (Cambridge University Press, 2009). At the time, it was the only volume to collect the work of philosophers on the challenging empirical, conceptual, and methodological questions that arise when we try to think systematically about the mental lives of nonhuman beings. Philosophers have paid increasing attention to animal minds in the intervening years, but it's still the case that there are hardly any books devoted to this topic, and apart from Kristin Andrews The Animal Mind (Routledge, 2014), there aren't any that try

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The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds by Kristin Andrews and Jacob Beck (Editors)

Becoming Myself
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
By Irvin D. Yalom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 22nd 2018.

Becoming Myself by Irvin D. YalomIn this memoir, famed existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom sets out his past and his intellectual history. He starts with his home life living in Washington DC, where his immigrant parents ran a supermarket. While they maintained a traditional Jewish life, Yalom was always resistant to religious thought and often explains his antipathy towards religion. But his parents were always very supportive of his education, and he excelled as a student. He went on to become a psychiatrist and he specialized in group psychotherapy. He writes both about his professional life, his marriage to scholar Ma

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Subhuman
The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals
By T.J. Kasperbauer
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.

Subhuman analyzes human attitudes toward animals, arguing that those attitudes are determined by our moral valuations of them, which according to Kasperbauer largely arise from their role as a contrast class to human beings.  The clearest example of the use of animals as a contrast class shows up in dehumanization studies literature. During some of the world's most shocking human tragedies, human groups have been compared to animals that trigger general feelings of disgust (rats, cockroaches, vermin, apes) in order to justify cruel treatment or murder of another group. The Nazis compared

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Subhuman by T.J. Kasperbauer

Learning ACT
An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists
By Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. Walser
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, May 22nd 2018.

Learning ACT by Jason B. Luoma,Steven C. Hayes and Robyn D. WalserACT, pronounced ACT and not A-C-T, is a new form of therapy that these authors have had a meaningful relationship with, in terms of bringing it to the world. This book however is not a starter kit, but rather for those who already have a reasonable understanding of how act works. The primary view of ACT community is that bad things come and go, apart from the meanings we attach to them, and how our values play into this.  In short psychological inflexibility has as its consequence that we struggle with challenges, and the hexagon motif here has each point in correspondence with the proces

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Dangers For Social Policy

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[Previous ranking is in brackets]

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