Professor of Religious Studies Heidi Ravven presented one of the four major addresses at the XXXIIIrd International Congress on Law and Mental Health, held July 14-19 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“The ‘I’ that is ‘We’: Rethinking Moral Agency Without Free Will and in Terms of Discoveries in the New Brain Sciences” was part of the introductory session on “Baruch Spinoza: Life, Psychology, and Law.” The address was drawn from her book, The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will (The New Press, May 2013).
Several reviews of The Self Beyond Itself have recently been published. The Washington Independent Review of Books said it “marks an important advance in thinking about why people act morally and how we should assign responsibility for moral action.”
The Midwest Book Review called Ravven’s book “a remarkable and very much recommended addition to psychology, philosophy, and reference collections, not to be missed.”
In addition, Bookslut.com said that Ravven’s writing is “a stunning example of balancing numerous scientific, psychological, and philosophical positions to develop her argument,” adding that she is “surprisingly approachable, even when it comes introducing advanced notions of modern brain science or the finer points of Spinoza.”