|Birth Day:||February 23, 1950|
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After graduating from Barnard College, she earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Goldstein married her first husband, physicist Sheldon Goldstein, in 1969, and they divorced in 1999. They are the parents of the novelist Yael Goldstein Love and poet Danielle Blau. In a 2006 interview with Luke Ford, Goldstein said:
In 1983, Goldstein published her first novel, The Mind-Body Problem, a serio-comic tale of the conflict between emotion and intelligence, combined with reflections on the nature of mathematical genius, the challenges faced by intellectual women, and Jewish tradition and identity. Goldstein said she wrote the book to "...insert 'real life' intimately into the intellectual struggle. In short I wanted to write a philosophically motivated novel."
A MacArthur Fellowship in 1996 led to the writing of Properties of Light (2000), a ghost story about love, betrayal, and quantum physics. Her most recent novel is 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (2010), which explores ongoing controversies over religion and reason through the tale of a professor of psychology who has written an atheist bestseller while his life is permeated with secular versions of religious themes such as messianism, divine genius, and the quest for immortality. The book has a long nonfiction appendix (attributed to the novel's protagonist) that details 36 traditional and modern arguments for the existence of God together with their claimed refutations. The book was chosen by National Public Radio as one of the "five favorite books of 2010" and by The Christian Science Monitor as the best book of fiction of 2010.
Goldstein, born Rebecca Newberger, grew up in White Plains, New York. She was born into an Orthodox Jewish family. She has one older brother, who is an Orthodox rabbi, and a younger sister, Sarah Stern. An older sister, Mynda Barenholtz, died in 2001. She did her undergraduate work at City College of New York, UCLA, and Barnard College, where she graduated as valedictorian in 1972. After earning her Ph.D. from Princeton University, where she studied with Thomas Nagel and wrote a dissertation titled "Reduction, Realism and the Mind," she returned to Barnard as a professor of philosophy.
In 2007, she married cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker.
Goldstein has written two biographical studies: Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (2005) and Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (2006). Betraying Spinoza combined her continuing interest in Jewish ideas, history, and identity with an increasing focus on secularism, humanism, and atheism. Goldstein has described the book, which combines elements of memoir, biography, history, and philosophical analysis, as "the eighth book I'd published, but [the] first in which I took the long-delayed and irrevocable step of integrating my private and public selves.". Together with 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction it established her as a prominent figure in the humanist movement, part of a wave of "new new atheists" marked by less divisive rhetoric and a greater representation of women. In 2011 she was named "Humanist of the Year" by the American Humanist Association and "Freethought Heroine" by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
In 2014, she published Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, an exploration of the historical roots and contemporary relevance of philosophy. The book alternates between expository chapters on the life and ideas of Plato in the context of ancient Greece and modern dialogues in which Plato is brought to life in the 21st century, and demonstrates the relevance of philosophy by arguing with contemporary figures such as a software engineer at Google headquarters, a right-wing talk show host, an affective neuroscientist, and others.
In addition to Barnard, Goldstein has taught at Columbia, Rutgers, and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and since 2014 she has been a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities in London. In 2016 she was a Visiting Professor in the Department of English at New York University. She has held visiting fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute, Brandeis University, the Santa Fe Institute, Yale University, and Dartmouth College. In 2011, she delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Yale University, titled "The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature." She serves on the Council on Values of the World Economic Forum and serves on the Advisory Board of the Secular Coalition for America.
Rebecca was raised in White Plains, New York. Rebecca later married cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker.
Currently, Rebecca Goldstein is 71 years, 0 months and 7 days old. Rebecca Goldstein will celebrate 72nd birthday on a Wednesday 23rd of February 2022. Below we countdown to Rebecca Goldstein upcoming birthday.