Rebecca Goldstein (Novelist / Philosopher)

Rebecca GoldsteinRebecca Goldstein (born February 23, 1950) is an American novelist and professor of philosophy.


She has written five novels, a number of short stories and essays, and biographical studies of mathematician Kurt Gödel and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Goldstein, born Rebecca Newberger, grew up in White Plains, New York, and did her undergraduate work at Barnard College.

Here she is interviewed at the New York State Writer's Institute:

She was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. She has one older brother who is an Orthodox Rabbi and a younger sister. 

After earning her Ph.D. from Princeton University, she returned to Barnard to teach courses in various philosophical studies.

There she published her first novel, The Mind-Body Problem (1983), a serio-comic tale of the conflict between emotion and intelligence, combined with an examination of Jewish tradition and identity. 

Her most recently published work of fiction is 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction.

Her website bio says:

In 2005 she was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2006 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship. In 2008, she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Emerson College, where she gave the commencement address.

Goldstein has been designated Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association, and Freethought Heroine 2011 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. In that year she also delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Yale University."

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