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Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Novelist, Philosopher

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s Orthodox Jewish background and advanced studies in philosophy came together in an original writing style for which she has been widely recognized. As a philosopher, her areas of specialty are philosophy of science, mathematical logic, and seventeenth-century rationalism. With the convergence of two major life events—the death of her father and birth of her daughter—she set out to examine how the life of the mind intersects with the sometimes brutal demands of daily existence. The result was the critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind-Body Problem. More novels followed, and in 1996 she received a MacArthur prize for her ability to “dramatize the concerns of philosophy without sacrificing the demands of imaginative storytelling.”

Newberger Goldstein turned to biography in Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, chosen by Discover Magazine as one of the ten best science books of 2006, and Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, winner of the 2007 Koret International Prize. Other fiction works include Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics. Her latest novel, published in 2010, 36 Arguments for The Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, elicited praise for its focus on real moral questions and the author’s “rare ability to explore the quotidian and the cosmological with equal ease.” In 2008 she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism.

Past Programs Featuring Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Friday, June 4, 2010 | 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm