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Rebecca Goldstein

(1950- )

GOLDSTEIN, REBECCA (1950– ). U.S. philosopher and novelist, Goldstein was born in White Plains, New York. Her father was the cantor at the Hebrew Institute of White Plains. After going to public school, Goldstein wanted to go to a yeshivah, and thought of "plunging … into religiosity." She went to the Esther Schoenfeld High School on the Lower East Side of New York City, and recollected that it cured her of her "religious phase." She graduated from Barnard College in 1972 and received her doctorate in philosophy from Princeton (1997). Her dissertation, supervised by Thomas Nagel, is titled Reduction, Realism and the Mind. Her fictional works usually have as their protagonists gifted and spirited women who are often forced to explore their commitments (for example to Judaism, to the possibilities of love, to family) against the claims of philosophical schools (for instance, to Spinoza, to Plato). Her novels are graceful and lucid explanations of what these relations mean to her protagonists, and how such characters envision themselves within such traditions. The Mind-Body Problem appeared in 1983, followed by The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind (1989); The Dark Sister (1991); a volume of stories titled Strange Attractors (1993); Mazel (1995), which received the National Jewish Book Award, as well as the Edgar Lewis Wallant Award; and Properties of Light (2000). Her Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel was published in 2005. She is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Sources:[Lewis Fried (2nd ed.)]

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