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patients. This discussion is strengthened by the use of case examples and a consideration of the problems that occur in applying abstract principles to actual cases. For example, it is difficult to predict the benefits or harms of an involuntary hospitalization for an individual patient. Similarly, the section on the definition of death is useful, pointing out inconsistencies in die guidelines proposed by a recent presidential commission. . These excellent chapters are a model of how philosophy can be useful to clinicians and policymakers. Clarification and analysis can help us understand difficult practical problems. Bernard Lo Internal Medicine, University of California San Francisco, California 94143 The Biology of Race. By James C. King. Revised ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981. Pp. 180. $15.95. This interesting and well-written book provides a good and fundamental introduction to the biological concept of race. King begins the first chapter with a discussion of the concepts of species and subspecies and the utility of such definitions for current research in evolutionary and population biology. A detailed but elementary discussion of the relationship between phenotype and genotype follows and is further supplemented with a basic description of molecular genetics and its relationship to developmental processes. Darwinian natural selection, and the processes influencing the maintenance of genetic variation at the population level, are also presented. In each of these background chapters, the biological points are made and supplemented with die cogent reporting of studies drawn from die empirical literature. This technique is helpful, not only because it illustrates more concretely the central arguments, but also because it gives the reader insight into the nature of biological research and the variety of different experimental procedures required for the investigation of genetic and evolutionary questions in natural populations. King's development ofthe behavioral phenotype as presenting special empirical problems, particularly in studies of human populations, is particularly effective because of the prior presentation of extensive biological background. Indeed , without an appreciation for the nature of biological research in die fields of genetics and population studies, the controversy over the concept of race in human biology cannot be understood. King's style of exposition, relying heavily on empirical example and devoting whole chapters to die most important concepts , is excellent in diis regard. The presentation, however, goes considerably beyondjust "a biologist's view." In the closing chapters, King presents a fascinating albeit simplified history of the sociological, historical, and political misconceptions regarding human variation and the question of race. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 26, 4 ยท Summer 1983 \ 677 Shortcomings of the book include King's tendency to oversimplify biological issues currently under active investigation and debate and his somewhat dated view of the genetic organism as a computer or cybernetic device. (If the genetic organism is like a computer, it is like no computer currently known.) One could just as easily argue that, as a thoughtful introduction to the biology of race, King's simplification misses few if any of the salient issues and provides a welcome starting point for the interested reader. Michael Wade Department ofBiology University of Chicago Biofeedback: Clinical Applications in Behavioral Medicine. By David S. Olton and Aaron R. Noonberg. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1980. $24.95. This book addresses behavioral medicine, an approach which has rapidly branched from its relatively austere and rigid roots into an emphasis on behavioral assessment, analysis, and therapy. As such, behavioral concepts as they have been absorbed into medicine have incorporated in practice, if not in principle, many aspects of brief psychotherapy. There are major differences which lend themselves to the so-called medical model utilized by physicians. The assessment and analysis are directed toward a precise definition of the problem. A careful identification of all the contingencies diat relate to that behavior is made. The identified problem and contingencies are individually objectified and are viewed as if outside the patient, somewhat as traditional medicine attempts to view disease as an externally imposed phenomenon. The patient, widi therapist, develops strategies to mobilize internal and external resources in confronting this "enemy." The patient is challenged to keep records actively and make correlations of the occurrence of the symptom with other events in his life. Similarly...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 677-678
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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