Heidi M. Ravven is professor of religious studies and has been on the faculty since 1983. She teaches Jewish studies and the philosophy of religion and she has also become a neurophilosopher. Ravven is a specialist on the philosophy of the 17th century philosopher, Baruch Spinoza. She was the first to argue that Spinoza's moral philosophy is a systems theory of ethics.
Ravven was also the first philosopher to propose that Spinoza anticipated central discoveries in the neuroscience of the emotions.
In 2004 Ravven received an unsolicited $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to write a book rethinking ethics. That book, The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will was published by The New Press in May, 2013. It is an extended and multidisciplinary inquiry into moral agency: why we are moral, why and when we are not, and how to get people to be more moral. Ravven is a member of the advisory editorial board of the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and informatics. She is responsible for advising and editorial activities in neurophilosophy and ethics.