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Plato vs the Arts: Does Fiction Have a Practical Purpose? - Rebecca Goldstein

Complete video at: Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, discusses her love of Plato and laments his distaste for the narrative arts. She defends fiction as powerful enough to change the reader's "orientation toward the world." ----- Award-winning novelist and philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's latest novel, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, tackles one of the great debates of our time - between God-believers and the so-called "new atheists" - and explores the rapture and torments of religious experience in all its variety. Join her and her husband, cognitive theorist Steven Pinker at the RSA for a very special conversation, addressing a fascinating array of topics at the the interface of literature, science, religion and philosophy, including the dynamic between reason and emotion, the role of fiction in intellectual life and the mystery of consciousness. - RSA Rebecca Newberger Goldstein grew up in White Plains, New York, and graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, receiving the Montague Prize for Excellence in Philosophy, and immediately went on to graduate work at Princeton University, receiving her Ph.D. in philosophy. While in graduate school she was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Whiting Foundation Fellowship. 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.
Length: 04:08


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