Ph.D., Princeton University, philosophy, 1977
Dissertation Title: “Reduction, Realism and the Mind”
Dissertation advisor: Thomas Nagel
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Barnard College, Columbia University, 1972
Morris D. Forkosch Award for the best book of 2014 relating to humanism and humanist values, Center for Inquiry
Creativity Award, Moment Magazine, 2014
Freethought Heroine, Freedom From Religion Foundation, 2011
Humanist of the Year, American Humanist Association, 2011
Humanist Laureate, International Academy of Humanism, 2008- .
Honorary Doctorate, Emerson College, 2008.
Guggenheim Fellow, 2006-2007
Radcliffe Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2006-2007
Koret International Book Award in Jewish Thought (“Betraying Spinoza”), 2006
Willard O. Eddy Lecture Award in Contemporary Philosophy, Colorado State University, 2006
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005
MacArthur Foundation Fellow, 1996-2001. Citation:
“Rebecca Goldstein is a writer whose novels and short stories dramatize the concerns of philosophy without sacrificing the demands of imaginative storytelling. Her books tell a compelling story as they describe with wit, compassion and originality the interaction of mind and heart. In her fiction her characters confront problems of faith: religious faith and faith in an ability to comprehend the mysteries of the physical world as complementary to moral and emotional states of being. Goldstein’s writings emerge as brilliant arguments for the belief that fiction in our time may be the best vehicle for involving readers in questions of morality and existence.”
Best Books of 2005 (“Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel”): Discover, Chicago Tribune, New York Sun
Bunting Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2001 (declined)
Honorary Doctorate, Spertus Institute, Chicago, Ill, 2000
Honors in Fiction, Massachusetts Book Awards (“Properties of Light”), 2001
100 Great 20th Century Works of Fiction by Women (“The Mind-Body Problem”), Feminista: The Journal of Feminist Construction, 2000
Bogliasco Foundation Fellow, 1998
Prairie Schooner Award for Best Short Story of 1997, University of Nebraska Press
Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Mazel, University of Hartford, 1996
National Jewish Book Award for Mazel, 1995
National Jewish Book Honor Award for Strange Attractors, 1994
Whiting Foundation Writer's Award, for The Dark Sister, 1993-94
American Council for Learned Societies Fellowship, 1984
Whiting Foundation Fellowship Award, philosophy, 1975-76
National Science Foundation Fellowship Award for philosophy of science, 1972-75
Montague Prize for excellence in philosophy, Barnard College, 1972
Professor of Philosophy, New College of the Humanities, London, U.K. 2012-
Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, Autumn 2013
Franke Visiting Fellow, Whitney Humanities Center,Yale University, Autumn 2012
Miller Scholar, Santa Fe Institute, Autumn 2011
Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 2007- .
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Trinity College, Hartford CT, 2001-2006
Scholar in Residence, Brandeis University, 1999-2000
Professor of Creative Writing, MFA Program, Columbia University, 1993-1996
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Honors Program, Rutgers University, 1988-1990
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Barnard College, 1976-86
Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away (Pantheon, 2014) Published in the UK (Atlantic Grove, 2014) Translations forthcoming: Greek, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese.
Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity (Nextbooks/Schocken, 2006).
Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel (Atlas Books/Norton, 2005). Translated into Czech, Italian, and German. Translations pending in other languages.
Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (Pantheon, 2010). Published in the UK by Atlantic Grove; translated into 10 languages.
Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics (Houghton Mifflin, 2000). Translated into German.
Mazel (Viking, 1995, reissued by The University of Wisconsin Press, 2000). Translated into German.
Strange Attractors: Stories (Viking, 1993, Penguin, 1994). Translated into Italian.
The Dark Sister (Viking, 1993, reissued by the University of Wisconsin Press, 2004)
The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989)
The Mind-Body Problem (Random House, 1983; Dell, 1984; reissued by Penguin, 1994). Translated into German.
The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature, The Tanner Lectures in Human Values, delivered at Yale University, March, 2011, University of Utah Press, 2012
Selected Short Stories
Demons Dreamers and Madmen. Tikkun, March, 1999.
The Secret of My Art. Prairie Schooner, University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
Gifts of The Last Night. Commissioned by National Public Radio, 1993; reprinted in Prairie Schooner, Spring, 1997. Reproduced in Hannukah Lights: Stories from the Festival of Lights, Audio Editions, 1998. Reprinted in The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary American Jewish Writing, University of Nebraska Press, 1998.
Rabbinical Eyes. Commentary, 1991. Reprinted in R. Goldstein, Strange Attractors. Penguin, 1994.
The Legacy of Raizel Kaidish. New Traditions, 1984. Reprinted in Jay David (Ed.), Growing up Jewish. (William Morrow, 1996. Reprinted in Ilan Stavins (Ed.), The Oxford Book of Jewish Short stories. Oxford University Press, 1998. Reprinted in R. Goldstein,Strange Attractors. Penguin, 1994.
Selected Essays, Chapters, and Reviews
Literary Spinoza, forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook on Spinoza, edited by Michael della Rocca, Oxford University Press
Barney Sedran, in Great Jews in Sports, edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy, Hachette Publishers, 2012
The Hard Problem of Consciousness and The Solitude of the Poet,” Tin House, March, 2012
Commentary in The New American Haggadah, edited by Jonathan Safran Foer, Little Brown, 2012
Explanatory Completeness and Spinoza’s Monism,” in Spinoza and Monism, edited by Philip Goff, Palgrave, 2011
Umberto Eco and the Elders of Zion, New York Times Book Review, Nov. 18, 2011.
Sell Descartes, Buy Spinoza, Prospect Magazine, 2011.
When Clarity Isn't a Virtue, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 1010.
Hearts Full of Sorrow (Review of Nicole Krauss's "Great House"), New York Times Book Review, Oct. 14, 2010.
Love, Tough and Not: I.J. Singer’s "The Brothers Ashkanazi," The Book, The New Republic online, July 27, 2010.
Does Moral Action Depend on Reasoning? Yes and no, happily. Big Questions Essay Series, John Templeton Foundation, 2010.
Theory, Literature, Hoax, New York Times Book Review (back page feature), April 29, 2010.
On the Seventh Day (review of Judith Shulevitz's "The Sabbath World"), New York Times Book Review, March 20, 2010.
What's In a Name? In B. Bryson (Ed.), Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society. London: HarperPress, 2010.
Five Best Novels of Ideas, Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2010.
Proud Atheists (Interview with Steven Pinker), Salon, Oct. 15, 2007.
Review of Mark Lilla's “The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West,” New York Times, Sept 16, 2007.
Why I’ve Learned to Love the Novel, New Scientist, Aug. 25, 2007.
Review of Saul Bellow’s Novels 1956-1964, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25, 2007.
Review of Robert Richardson’s “William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism,” New York Times Book Review, Dec. 17, 2006.
Review of Daniel Mendelsohn’s “The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million,” New York Observer, Sept. 18, 2006.
Review of Deborah Blum's “Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death,” New York Sun, Aug. 9, 2006.
Reasonable Doubt, New York Times Op-Ed page, July 29, 2006.
Review of "Philosophy Made Simple" by Robert Hellenga, New York Times Book Review, April 24, 2006.
Review of “The Literary Animal,” ed. J. Gottschall & D. S. Wilson, Nature, April, 2006.
Essay In J. Brockman (Ed.), What we believe but cannot prove: Today’s leading thinkers on science in the age of certainty. New York: Free Press.
Against Logic. In Derek Rubin (Eds.), Who We Are. Schocken, 2005.
Writers with Wombs. In Ruth Ellenson (Ed.), The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt. Dutton, 2005
The Two Cultures. In M. Kramer (Ed.), The Jewish Experience in Contemporary Literature: Two Worlds? Special Issue ofMaggid. The Toby Press, 2004.
The Seed Salon (with Steven Pinker). Seed, Summer 2004
Dark Afterthoughts on Fiction and the Self. Black Clock, California Institute of Arts.
Writers on Writing: Carried From the Couch on the Wings of Enchantment. New York Times, December 16, 2002.
Truth and Imagination. In Berel Lang (Ed.), Method and Truth: The Search for Norms Across the Disciplines. Trinity College, 2002.
Portrait of the Artist as a Risk-Taker. Shma, 2000
Passover Kitchen, NEST, Spring 2000
Millennium visions. Tikkun, December 1999
Against Logic, Tikkun, 1998
Essay in Simon Wiesenthal (Ed.), The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. Schocken, 1997.
Imagination and The Moral Life. In Joram Graf Haber (Ed.), Ethics for the 90s. MacMillan, 1997
Strange, in Tonya Boldin (Ed.) 33 Things Every Young Girl Should Know. Random House. 1997
The Ashes of the Akedah, The Ashes of Sodom (with Yael Goldstein). In Judith A. Kates and Gail T. Reimer (Eds.), Beginning Anew: A Woman's Companion to the High Holidays. Simon and Schuster, 1997.
Looking Back at Lot's Wife. Commentary, 1992. Reprinted in Christina Buchman and Celina Spiegel (Eds.), Out of the Garden:Women Writers on The Bible. Balantine 1994. Reprinted in Linda Hogan & Brenda Peterson (Eds.), Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism, and Awakening. North Point Press/Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004.
Recent Honorary and Keynote Lectures
How Did I Get Here from There? Reflections of a Wayward Philosopher, in series "Great Thinkers of Our Time," Hunter College, February 17, 2012
Why Did Einstein Write a (Bad) Love Poem to Spinoza, The Santa Fe Institute, December 6, 2011
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Yale University, March 23, March 24, 2011.
"36 Arguments for the Existence of God," The Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture, Montreal, CA. Oct 27, 2010.
"Can the Philosophical Novel Be Justified?" The Claire Miller Lecture (Keynote), Chapel Hill Colloquium, Keynote, University of North Carolina, October 16, 2010.
"36 Arguments for the Existence of God," The Shaindy Rudoff Memorial Lecture, Random House, New York, NY, May 5, 2010.
"Secular Saints," Keynote Address, The Secular Student Alliance's New England Leadership Summit, Harvard University, April 17, 2010.
"Mind-Body Problems: Science, Fiction, and God." Solomon Schechter Lecture, Cambridge University Jewish Students Society, March 11, 2010.
Keynote Lecture, Opening Day Ceremonies, Berklee College of Music, Boston, September 4, 2009.
“Confessions of A Wayward Philosopher,” Plenary Speaker, Annual Conference of Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Charlotte , North Carolina , November 13, 2008.
Commencement Day Speaker, Emerson College , Boston, May 19, 2008
“Confessions of A Wayward Philosopher,” University of Texas El Paso Annual Distinguished Literature Lecture, March 6, 2008/
“Spinoza’s Mind,” John Macnamara Memorial Lecture, McGill University, Feb. 8, 2007.
“Spinoza's Mind: How Spinoza Thought About the Mind and How Spinoza's Mind Thought.” Jewish Community Endowed Fund Lecture, Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University, Oct. 25, 2007.
Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture, Institute for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Portland, OR, May 2007.
“Betraying Spinoza,” Willard O. Eddy Award Lecture, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Sept. 28, 2006.
“The Renegade Jew Who Gave us Modernity.” Blanchard W. Means Memorial Lecture, Trinity College, April 24, 2006.
" Jewish Dualism and Hebraic Memory." Keynote Address, Session on the Fiction of Rebecca Goldstein, Annual Meeting on Contemporary Jewish Fiction, Modern Language Association, West Palm Beach, 2003.
Recent Major Professional Activities
Judge, Koret Book Prize, 2003
Judge, Sammy Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, 2007- .
Judge, National Book Award in Fiction, 2008