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2010 - Volume 31, Numbers 3 and 4, Summer and Autumn

A Compassionate Scholar: A Tribute to Dr. Robert Eugene Haskell
April 16, 1938 – July 17, 2010

The scholarly community and his many friends, colleagues and students mourn the passing of one of its brightest stars, Robert “Rob” Haskell, Ph.D. Rob died suddenly due to complications following treatment for cancer. A notable figure in interdisciplinary studies, he studied with Ernest Becker at San Francisco State University and Joseph J. Kockleman at Penn State University. In an academic career that spanned more than 50 years, Rob produced an impressive and impactful corpus on the interdisciplinary underpinnings of cognition and unconsciousness.

Though his great passion and achievement was empirical theory building, his compassion for the concrete struggles of daily life led to work beyond the boundaries. Never one to be a joiner of causes, he nonetheless championed them. In 1979, as he was removing his wife and daughter from Harrisburg and the fallout from Three Mile Island, he took time to write several important essays on the dangers and challenges of nuclear energy and fallout. Similarly, his essays on the integrity, or lack thereof, of student–teacher evaluations, now some decades old, remain among the most cited. In these, and other examples of academic advocacy, we have a model of the committed scholar who retained integrity over despair and remained engaged with his fellow travelers until the end. We shall continue to miss and remember him.

The Problematic Coherency of Lucid Dreaming 

This paper advances reasons why lucid dreaming is considered problematic to the psychoanalytic venture. It is shown that the conscious thought mechanism of lucid dreaming is obstructive and in opposition to the repressed and therefore conflictual within the unconscious parameters. A negative value is attached to the mechanism of lucid dreaming which is presented as an ill-advised endeavor that undermines meaning through its promotion of conscious interference and ego inhibition of dream symbolism. Viewed as a deterrent to self-knowledge and the interpretative process of working through, lucid dreaming does not advance an authentic inner presentation and is therefore of no interest to the betterment of the psyche. At the core of the argument is the significance of the willful autonomy of an ego-conscious presence on the continuance of the dream schematic.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Lauren Lawrence, M.A., 31 East 72nd Street, New York, New York 10021. Email: LaurenLawrence@aol.com

Interpreting the “Biologization” of Psychology 
 

Behavior and cognition, once conceived as psychological or interpersonal in origin, are increasingly thought to arise from biology. After investigating the validity of this trend of thinking, the article attempts to interpret what it means to the discipline of psychology. Two main categories of interpretation are discussed. First, this trend could mean that biological factors ultimately underlie traditionally psychological explanations i.e., biological factors are a sufficient condition for understanding behavior and cognition. Second, this trend could indicate that biological factors are important, and perhaps even traditionally overlooked, but are not sufficient in themselves to explain human behavior and cognition i.e., biological factors are necessary conditions among other necessary conditions. The practical and methodological implications of each of these two interpretations are clarified, with a special focus on relevant research limitations. We conclude that the evidence does not bear out a sufficiency thesis and, instead, supports more convincingly a necessity understanding of these trends.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Brent D. Slife, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, 1001 SWKT, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602. Email: brent_slife@byu.edu

Genetically Based Animal Models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children, adolescents, and adults. Research suggests ADHD has a heritable component. The present article presents and assesses several genetic animal models of ADHD. The paper reviews the literature involving the following genetic animal models of ADHD: the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR); the Wistar–Kyoto hyperactive rat; the coloboma mouse; the fast kindling rat; the acallosal mouse; the whirler mouse; and the genetically hypertensive (GH) rat. Research investigating animal models of ADHD has concentrated on hyperactivity, but impulsiveness, learning, and attention are also being examined. The use of animal models allows for the control of possibly confounding variables and has proven very useful in the screening of new therapies. These models have not been shown to be the equivalent of the human disorder, and no model encompasses all of the symptoms of the human disorder, but they are useful nevertheless.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Patricia Murphy, Ph.D., Black Hills State University, Department of Psychology, 1200 University Street, JA 212, Spearfish, South Dakota 57799. Email: Patricia.Murphy@bhsu.edu

The Pleasures of Revenge

Revenge is universal in human cultures, and is essentially personal and retributive. Its moral status is contested, as is its rationality. Revenge is traditionally associated with pleasure, but this association is not accounted for in contemporary philosophical treatments of revenge. Here I supply a theory of normal narcissistic functioning that can explain this association. Normal narcissism is an adaptive form of inter-psychic processing which has to do with the regulation of a coherent set of meta-representations of the agent. It can be given a general account by integrating views drawn from clinical traditions, empirical psychology, and contemporary cognitive neuroscience. I explore the neural correlates of normal narcissism, its characteristic accompanying emotions and pleasures/displeasures, and its fundamental dynamics. It is proposed that this allostatic regulatory system plays a prominent role in retributive behavior, including revenge. Revenge is understood as a form of narcissistic repair, and a variety of puzzles concerning revenge (e.g., delay, urgency, pleasure) are solved from this point of view.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Richard T. McClelland, Ph.D., Philosophy Department, Gonzaga University, 502 E. Boone Street, Spokane, Washington, 99258. Email: mcclelland@gem.gonzaga.edu 

Out of the Cave: Understanding Rationality 

The history of philosophy is in many ways a history of how we understand rationality. However, philosophers have historically adopted a fairly narrow approach toward rationality, focusing almost exclusively on issues of structure and the justification of beliefs. In this essay, I argue that considerations of reflective equilibrium should lead philosophers to take into account the empirical features of rationality. After all, our philosophical understanding of rationality must ultimately reflect these features or risk failure. I consider what specific lessons philosophers might take from anthropology and psychology. Anthropology highlights cultural features of rationality which philosophers have tended to overlook, while psychology indicates that philosophers may be correct in emphasizing the importance of the self. Including such wider empirical considerations in their reflections, philosophers are forced to consider our more ordinary use of the concept of rationality, which often looks far different and requires a broader characterization than philosophical analysis allows. Shifting the focus in these ways allows us to re-focus what questions philosophy can ask about the nature of rationality.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Deborah Heikes, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama 35899. Email: heikesd@uah.edu

Critical Notice

Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind
Book Author: 
Robert D. Rupert. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, 288 pages, $55.00 hardcover. 
Reviewed by Colin Klein, University of Illinois at Chicago

Robert Rupert is well-known as a vigorous opponent of the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). His Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind is a first-rate development of his “systems-based” approach to demarcating the mind. The results are impressive. Rupert’s account brings much-needed clarity to the often-frustrating debate over HEC: much more than just an attack on HEC, he gives a compelling picture of why the debate matters.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Colin Klein, Philosophy Department, MC 267, 601 S. Morgan Street, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607–7114. Email: cvklein@uic.edu

Book Reviews

Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want you to Know about Shock Treatment
Book Author:
 
Linda Andre. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009, 359 pages, $26.95 hardcover. 
Reviewed by David Cohen, Florida International University

For a still undetermined number of people, entering the circle of psychiatric care begins a tragic process of disablement. Troubled or confused when they first contact officially accredited helpers for what are usually self-limiting and situational difficulties, their ensuing experiences with drugs or electroshock (electroconvulsive therapy, ECT) has a good chance of leaving them with diffuse stress syndromes and impaired cognition, sometimes for years. When this occurs, their injury is likely to be compounded because it is squarely denied or glossed over by those who have inflicted it and by nearly everyone else who should know better. Lacking a clear vocabulary to articulate their worsened predicament, and floundering in a previous or new subordinated social status, they watch helplessly as their discourse is dismissed as “mental illness.”

Requests for reprints should be sent to David Cohen, Ph.D., School of Social Work, Florida International University, 11200 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199. Email: cohenda@fiu.edu

The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion
Book Authors: 
Michael A. Jawer and Marc S. Micozzi. Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 2009, 558 pages, $24.95 paperback. 
Reviewed by Ronald P. Gruber, Stanford University 

Michael A. Jawer and Marc S. Micozzi present a broad analysis of emotions and feelings as they connect to both the brain and body in The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion. As an additional feature, the authors attempt to relate emotions to what they call the sixth sense — the spiritual. This book is a comprehensive collection of opinions, anecdotes, and scientific studies; the authors weave these into the supporting structure of their theory. The book is a comfortable, easy read; it is well-organized and referenced from beginning to end. It is appropriate for both professionals and academics in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive science, yet at the same time does not exclude a much larger audience — the educated public.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Ronald P. Gruber, M.D., 3318 Elm Street, Oakland, California 94609. Email: rgrubermd@hotmail.com


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