What We Are Reading Today: Consent by Donna Freitas

Updated 14 August 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Consent by Donna Freitas

  • The book recognizes the infuriating actions of institutions like universities

Consent is Donna Freitas’ account of the stalking and unwanted attention she faced as a graduate student in college.

Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor, and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today. 

She highlights the hurdles and obstacles she had to go through, at first to try and deal with this on her own for a year before speaking up.

The book recognizes the infuriating actions of institutions like universities. 

Freitas was a bright-eyed PhD candidate at Georgetown who was inspired and passionate about her future as a professor when her life started to take a dark turn. “It is a very personal story to the author and yet it is a story that, while some pieces are changed and some have come out worse than others, many women in the world have experienced at one point or another,” said a review in goodreads.com.

Women and men “should understand how harassment and stalking feel and know that they do have a voice,” it added.


What We Are Reading Today: Conscience by Patricia S. Churchland

Updated 26 August 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Conscience by Patricia S. Churchland

  • Churchland brings together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture

In her brilliant work Touching a Nerve, Patricia S. Churchland, the distinguished founder of neurophilosophy, drew from scientific research on the brain to understand its philosophical and ethical implications for identity, consciousness, free will, and memory, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

In Conscience, she explores how moral systems arise from our physical selves in combination with environmental demands.

All social groups have ideals for behavior, even though ethics vary among different cultures and among individuals within each culture. In trying to understand why, Churchland brings together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture. 

She shows how children grow up in society to learn, through repetition and rewards, the norms, values, and behavior that their parents embrace.

Conscience delves into scientific studies, particularly the fascinating work on twins, to deepen our understanding of whether people have a predisposition to embrace specific ethical stands.