Oct 7, 2018
Welcome to 'Episode 48 (Part I)', where we'll be talking to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about the nature and purpose of philosophy.
Professor Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is one of the most influential thinkers in the world of public philosophy. Amongst many other philosophical texts, Goldstein is the author of The Mind-Body Problem, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction and Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. For many, Goldstein’s talent for bringing philosophy to life through her wit and beautiful storytelling is unapparelled. In the words of A. C. Grayling,
“Like Plato… Goldstein has both literary and philosophical gifts of the highest order: the combination is superb.”
The list of Goldstein’s accomplishments is exhaustingly extensive; let us mention just five of many. Professor Goldstein was named a MacArthur Fellow (popularly known as the “genius award”) in 1996 and elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. In 2011, she was designated Free-thought Heroine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Humanist of the Year by The American Humanist Association, and in September of 2015, awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House. The reason cited?
"For bringing philosophy into conversation with culture. In scholarship, Dr Goldstein has elucidated the ideas of Spinoza and Gödel, while in fiction, she deploys wit and drama to help us understand the great human conflict between thought and feeling."