The Meaning of Madness
ISBN 978-0-9929127-3-4, RPR £15.99
Published October 2015
Winner, BMA Young Authors’ Award
This book proposes to open up the debate on mental disorders, to get people interested and talking, and to get them thinking. For example, what is schizophrenia? Why is it so common? Why does it affect human beings and not animals? What might this tell us about our mind and body, language and creativity, music and religion? What are the boundaries between mental disorder and ‘normality’? Is there a relationship between mental disorder and genius? These are some of the difficult but important questions that this book confronts, with the overarching aim of exploring what mental disorders can teach us about human nature and the human condition.
Heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions
ISBN 978-0-9929127-2-7, RPR £15.99
Published June 2015
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. —John Milton, Paradise Lost
Today more than ever, the education doled out in classrooms is cold and cognitive. But, once outside, it is our uneducated emotions that move us, hold us back, and lead us astray. It is, at first and at last, our emotions that determine our choice of profession, partner, and politics, and our relation to money, sex, and religion. Nothing can make us feel more alive, or more human, than our emotions, or hurt us more. Yet many people lumber through life without giving full consideration to their emotions, partly because our empirical, materialistic culture does not encourage it or even make it seem possible, and partly because it requires unusual strength to gaze into the abyss of our deepest drives, needs, and fears. This book proposes to do just that, examining over 30 emotions ranging from lust to love and humility to humiliation, and drawing some useful and surprising conclusions along the way.
Hide and Seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception
ISBN 978-0-9560353-6-3, RPR £12.99
Published March 2012
What we believe to be the motives of our conduct are usually but the pretexts for it. – Miguel de Unamuno.
Self-deception is common and universal, and the cause of most human tragedies. Of course, the science of self-deception can help us to live better and get more out of life. But it can also cast a murky light on human nature and the human condition, for example, on such exclusively human phenomena as anger, depression, fear, pity, pride, dream making, love making, and god making, not to forget age-old philosophical problems such as selfhood, virtue, happiness, and the good life. Nothing could possibly be more important.
The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide
ISBN 978-0-9560353-3-2, RPR £12.99
Published March 2010
Some people would rather die than think. In fact, they do. — Bertrand Russell
We spend most of our time and energy chasing success, such that we have little left over for thinking and feeling, being and relating. As a result, we fail in the deepest possible way. We fail as human beings.
‘The Art of Failure’ explores what it means to be successful, and how, if at all, true success can be achieved.