Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality
By Theodore Dalrymple
(Encounter Books, 127 pages, $21.50)
Does it seem to you that most of the findings of psychology are either obvious or daft? Does the whole enterprise reek of morality-canceling relativism by explaining away all manner of bad behavior as being the result of disorders or syndromes that the individual bad actor is helpless before? Does the head trade in all its practitioners (psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, counselors of all stripes) strike you as shamelessly entrepreneurial, forever coining new diagnoses that can be turned into billable hours for the shrinks? Does it seem to you that the entire credentialed profession has no more insight into the complex business that is the human condition than acute observers — playwrights, novelists, bartenders, chief petty officers, your Aunt Eunice — have had for centuries?