From the acclaimed writer and thinker—whose award-winning books include both fiction and nonfiction—a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden but essential role in today’s debates on love, religion, politics, and science.
Imagine that Plato came to life in the twenty-first century and set out on a multicity speaking tour: How would he handle a host on Fox News who challenges him on religion and morality? How would he mediate a debate on the best way to raise a child between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a Tiger Mom? How would he answer a neuroscientist who, about to scan Plato’s brain, argues that all his philosophical problems can be solved by our new technologies? What would he make of Google, and the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With a philosopher’s depth and a novelist’s imagination, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us—from sexuality and child-rearing to morality and the meaning of life—by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he encounters the modern world. By reviving the Platonic art of the dialogue for the twenty-first century, she demonstrates that the questions he first posed continue to confound and enlarge us.
About Rebecca Goldstein
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein received her doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University. Her award-winning books include the novels The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and Mazel, and nonfiction studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza. She has received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships, and she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. She lives in Massachusetts.
Rebecca Goldstein is represented by Random House Speakers Bureau (www.rhspeakers.com).
“A MacArthur Fellow and award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, Goldstein always delivers something exciting for inquiring minds. Here, she imagines Plato brought to life, hashing out challenges from Fox News on religion and morality, keeping Freudians and tiger moms from coming to blows, and wondering why crowd sourcing trumps experts. C'mon, philosophy is fun, and it sells. Think Daniel Dennett, Alain de, Botton, Jim Holt...” —Barbara Hoffert’s MY PICK, Library Journal
“A witty, inventive, genre-bending work...Goldstein’s philosophical background serves her impressively in this reconsideration of Plato’s work, and her talent as a fiction writer animates her lively cast of characters....[Her] bright, ingenious philosophical romp makes Plato not only relevant to our times, but palpably alive.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)