Ravven to Speak on Spinoza and The New Brain Sciences

RavvenBaruch Spinoza believed that a turn inward in conscious self-reflection in order to understand ourselves and our unique experiences within the entire universe offers the only possibility of freedom and transcendence. Recognizing ourselves in the world within us enables us to engage passionately in wider and wider domains that become dimensions of our very selves. As a result, our motives towards others and toward the wider world are transformed from self-serving to benevolent and responsible. Join us on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in the Panasci Family Chapel on the Le Moyne College campus as Heidi Ravven, Ph.D. discusses how discoveries from the New Brain Sciences may be proving Spinoza right!

This lecture is the first this spring in the continuing lecture series entitled The Future of Being Human. It is being offered in conjunction with a class of the same name that examines the question of what it means to be human in the twenty-first century from a multi-disciplinary lens.

Heidi Ravven, Ph.D. is a professor of religious studies at Hamilton College and a fellow in neurophilosophy in the Integrative Neurosciences Research Program. A major grant from the Ford Foundation funded her work on The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will. A member of the Atrocity Prevention Study Group (Washington, DC.), Ravven has served on the Advisory Committee to Jeffrey Sachs, Chairman of the U.N. Sustainable Development Initiative, and as Advisor to Ambassador Prudence Bushnell for the International Conference reviewing the Rwandan Genocide Crisis.

For additional information on Dr. Ravven and her work, we suggest listening to this interview with Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry. Ravven discusses how the myth of free will took hold, what Spinoza had to say about it, and why if you want to be a moral person, the last thing you should do is surround yourself with like-minded people.

Dr. Ravven’s talk, Becoming at Home in the Universe as Well as in Our Own Skin: Insights from Spinoza and the New Brain Sciences, is free and open to the public. For more information please call 315-445-6200 or e-mail mcdevittcenter@lemoyne.edu.

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