Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 150s

153: Consciousness and the Social Brain by Michael Graziano

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153: Graziano, Michael S.A. Consciousness and the Social Brain. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 227 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-992864-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 150: Psychology
  • 153: Conscious mental processes and intelligence

How do we become aware of things? How do we become aware that we are aware? How does this awareness shape the way we think about ourselves and others? And how does this awareness become what we call “consciousness”? These are very complicated and heady questions. Psychology and neuroscience have grappled with them for years (and will continue to do so well into the future). But Michael Graziano, in Consciousness and the Social Brain, tries to parse through all the ideas and data surrounding awareness in order to come up with a viable theory that explains this basic human process.

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152: The Joy of Pain by Richard H. Smith

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152.4: Smith, Richard H. The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 187 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-973454-2.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 150: Psychology
  • 152: Perception, movement, emotions, and physiological drives
  • 152.4: Emotions

There is a feeling for which no word exists in English. Imagine you are watching your favorite football team on television and the opposing team is threatening to drive the ball down the field in order to make a winning score. Play after play, they grind it out for more yardage. On one play, the quarterback falls back in the pocket and is immediately creamed by the defensive linebacker. He whoops and hollers and congratulates himself on a great play, but then everybody notices that the quarterback still hasn’t gotten up. He’s injured and while the folks on the field all want to make sure he’s OK, you cheer in your living room. Your team will win. And it’s all because someone was hurt. You feel joy in another’s misery. This is called schadenfreude (leave it to the Germans to have a wonderful word for this) and Richard Smith’s The Joy of Pain helps us look into the psychological motivation behind this feeling.

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155: Designing the Creative Child by Amy F. Ogata

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155.413350973: Ogata, Amy F. Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 193 pp. ISBN 978-08166-7960-7.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 150: Psychology
  • 155: Differential and development psychology
  • 155.4: Child psychology
  • 155.41: General topics of child psychology
  • 155.413: Cognitive development
  • 155.41335: Creativity
  • +0973: United States

Amy Ogata’s Designing the Creative Child is an exceptionally interesting book on the development of both child psychology and playthings in America during the baby boom years following World War II. Her premise is that the massive influx of new children into the American population changed the landscape of both psychology and education. With this increased population of new subjects from which to glean information, child psychologists and developmental theorists were able to further insights into the infant and child psyche. Also, the influx of new children led to an era of vigorous school-building and education reforms, including new and inventive techniques that combined Montessori and classical models of educations. These new techniques combined with expertly designed playthings were all in an effort to cultivate the boomer child’s imagination.

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150: Freud for Beginners by Richard Appignanesi

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150.1952: Appignanesi, Richard. Freud for Beginners. Illustrated by Oscar Zarate. New York: Pantheon, 1979. 168 pp. ISBN 0-394-73800-4.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 150: Psychology
  • 150.1: Philosophy and theory of psychology
  • 150.19: Systems, schools, and viewpoints
  • 150.195: Psychoanalytic systems
  • 150.1952: Freudian system

The flu has passed. I was able to wake early this morning and really attack the weekend. Luckily for you, that means I might get through two books today. The first one is a very odd summation of Sigmund Freud’s life and work. Odd in the fact that it present Freud’s history as a sort of graphic novel with photo collages and hand-drawn illustrations of his case studies and theories. Let’s take a look.

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158: Why Men Don’t Listen by Barbara and Allan Pease

158.2: Pease, Barbara and Allan Pease. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps: How We’re Different and What To Do About It. New York: Broadway Books, 2001. 250 pp. ISBN 0-7679-0763-9.

First off, before I get into the sure-to-be-polarizing inherent and inescapable differences between men and women presented in this book, let me just say how hard this book was to classify. Both the World Catalog (or “WorldCat”) and the Library of Congress use the old edition of the Dewey and class this book in 305.3 which is books on men and women as social groups. But, the problem is this, while the authors talk about men and women from a historical, anthropological, and sociological perspective, their man focus is on how men and women are fundamentally different on a psychological and neurological level. This pushes the book back into the psychology. Since they use this new information to explain behavior, it should be updated to be 158.2, which is applied psychology dealing with interpersonal relationships.

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