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Sorrowful investigator (UK)

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Primal man : the new consciousness
Primal man : the new consciousness
by Arthur Janov and E. Michael Holden
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware, 2 Jun. 2016
I used to know primal therapy intimately. I'm afraid much of this is nonsense. As a sad indictment of some of its large claims, for example, Holden himself later reverted to Christianity, spoke in tongues, and died at 61 of cancer. Janov, now 91, has never engaged with independent researchers and has continued to spin the primal myth, completely indifferent to the exposing stories of many of Janov's dissatisfied ex-clients.


Homo: A Brief History of Consciousness
Homo: A Brief History of Consciousness
Price: £6.47

1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 29 May 2016
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Rubbish.


The Way We Die Now
The Way We Die Now
by Seamus O'Mahony
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important honest account of death, 29 May 2016
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This review is from: The Way We Die Now (Hardcover)
A very welcome addition to the small literature of authoritative and honest accounts of death. The book is full of eye-opening medical anecdotes and references. O'Mahony, a consultant, is critical of modern medicine but also of relatives and patients who want to control what cannot be controlled. The author doesn't align with any particular interest group, e.g. the assisted dying lobby, but thinks and writes as he sees things. Probably not for everyone, this look at death avoids sentimentality and focuses squarely on the inescapable unpleasantness of death and dying. Clearly written, easy to read and well worth purchasing.


Cosmic Pessimism (Univocal)
Cosmic Pessimism (Univocal)
by Eugene Thacker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly missing the mark, 23 Oct. 2015
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This is concise and overpriced at 69 very short pages which includes some drawings and blanks, and certainly it's focused on pessimism. But it doesn't add or subtract much from existing works by master pessimists. Thacker is capable of much more, but here he ends up coming across as a second rate Cioran at best.


Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce? (Debating Ethics)
Debating Procreation: Is It Wrong to Reproduce? (Debating Ethics)
by David Benatar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on our most important decision, 17 Sept. 2015
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An updating of Benatar's antinatalist views, along with scholarly refutation, this book brings to our attention the serious arguments for and against having children. This topic is typically treated in a cavalier, dismissive way in most publications, so this book is a very welcome, authoritative addition to a slowly growing movement that includes works by Crawford, Coates, Perry et al.


Submission
Submission
by Michel Houellebecq
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.18

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Houellebecq is a smart, informed thinker and fits quite well into the ..., 17 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Submission (Hardcover)
I'm a Houellebecq fan and this book, much hyped in advance, has most of his typical characteristics. The first person narrator is a cynical academic given to musing listlessly on Huysmans and other literary and aesthetic matters, on the decline of his sexual drives, the meaninglessness of his life, and on the fictional future rise of a French Islamic political party. In light of all the advance publicity, I thought this book was both more subtle and trivial than its friendly critics say. Houellebecq is a smart, informed thinker and fits quite well into the tradition of Camus. Francois, the 'hero', does end up accepting his old university job back at an increased salary, and relishes the chance to have at least three wives that he can afford to support. Islamic patriarchy appears to suit him, even if he must submit to religious beliefs that are medieval. After all, if it's nihilism and waiting for death, or a token acceptance of religious and cultural Islam, what's not to like in converting? Not really convincing, but interesting, decadent and a always politically incorrect.


Women After All - Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy
Women After All - Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy
by Melvin Konner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Down with men, 9 Aug. 2015
A much over-hyped book purporting to gather new interdisciplinary evidence for male badness and female superiority and to signal the ascendancy of female values. Nothing very new, it goes back at least to Ashley Montagu''s 'The Natural Superiority of Women' and plays in squarely to the shrillness of politically correct outcries about male awfulness and ceaseless pleas for female equality. Although Konner pretends to be concerned with the good qualities in some men and the bad qualities in some women, the message here is almost entirely one way. Now, it's true that patriarchal traditions have led us into many dangerous institutions and events - men are clearly much more implicated in violence, war, crime, economic exploitation and so on - and this has to be addressed. It's true too that in many ways women are kinder, more co-operative, loving, etc. But Konner is ignoring the politically correct, enfeebled culture that feminism is already helping to create. Feminism, like other bids for 'social justice' provides some necessary corrective but doesn't know where to stop. Things are not proceeding in a reliably progressive direction (despite Pinker's recent optimistic work). If and when natural and man-made disasters and savage wars break out, women, effeminate gay men and disabled people are not going to be the ones defending you against barbarism (see 'The Road'). Women have always (well, for some time) exercised power in their own way, and always will, but any vision of a totalitarian female future is deeply suspect, indeed dangerous. You have to wonder what Konner's motivation is for denigrating men and idealising women so much. Stacks of cherry-picked genetic, arcaaeological and other data prove nothing. Worth a look but deeply flawed.


Confessions of an Antinatalist
Confessions of an Antinatalist
by Jim Crawford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.22

5.0 out of 5 stars An invittaion to honesty, 26 May 2015
An amiably offbeat book about one of the most central concerns of all time, candidly and humorously written and inviting a thoughtful readership. A great introduction to the question of whether to have kids in a cruel world like ours.


Every Cradle Is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide
Every Cradle Is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide
by Sarah Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the serious and fearless reader, 26 May 2015
A brilliant and brave confrontation of the hardest, most unpopular moral questions. Sarah Perry writes clearly and cuts into key issues. Many will be uncomfortable with her treatment of the subjects of antinatalism and suicide and criticise her accordingly. But for those who are serious enquirers and open-minded, this will prove to be a challenging and comprehensive text. Highly recommended.


Beckett and Decay (Continuum Literary Studies)
Beckett and Decay (Continuum Literary Studies)
Price: £19.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely scholarly overview of Beckett's central theme of decay ..., 12 April 2015
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A timely scholarly overview of Beckett's central theme of decay. Well written, covering the topics of infirmity, time, memory, tiredness, lessness and nothingness. Physical and mental decay are both addressed.This book is a welcome addition to a growing literature 'confronting the reality of existence' (also known as philosophical pessimism and depressive realism) and deserves a significant discriminating audience.


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