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Mind-Body Problems: Science, Fiction, and God

LSE public discussion


What happens when a novelist and philosopher talks to a cognitive neuroscientist about faith, reason, fiction, and God? Listen in as Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and her husband Steven Pinker explore what Spinoza would say about Darwin, what role fiction should play in intellectual life, whether any of the arguments for the existence of God are any good, and other topics at the interface of literature, science, and philosophy.

This event marks the publication of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's latest book Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University. She graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, and immediately went on to graduate work at Princeton University, receiving her Ph.D. in philosophy. After earning her Ph.D. she returned to her alma mater, where she taught courses in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, the rationalists, the empiricists, and the ancient Greeks. It was some time during her tenure at Barnard that, quite to her own surprise, she used a summer vacation to write her first novel, The Mind-Body Problem.

More novels followed: The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind; The Dark Sister, which received the Whiting Writer's Award, Mazel, which received the 1995 National Jewish Book Award and the 1995 Edward Lewis Wallant Award; and Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics. Her book of short stories, Strange Attractors, received a National Jewish Book Honor Award. Her 2005 book Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, was featured in articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times, received numerous favorable reviews Goldstein's most recent published book is, Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew who Gave Us Modernity, published in May 2006, and winner of the 2006 Koret International Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought. Her new novel, Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, will be published by Pantheon Books.

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. Aside from Barnard, Goldstein has taught in the Columbia MFA writing program and in the department of philosophy at Rutgers, has been a visiting scholar at Brandeis University, and taught for five years as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2006-2007 she was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Until 2003, he taught in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time, and Slate, and is the author of seven books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, The Blank Slate, and most recently, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.


Speaker(s):

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein | talks
Professor Steven Pinker | talks | www
Chair Dr Helena Cronin | talks

 

Date and Time:

10 March 2010 at 6:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour

 

Venue:

London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton Street
London
WC2A 2AE

http://www.lse.ac.uk/events

More at London School of Economics & Political Science...

 

Tickets:

Free

Available from:

Additional Information:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk|

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