Why you should listen
In her latest book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein makes the case for the importance of philosophy -- even as neuroscience tells us more about our brains, and connective technologies teach us more about the world around us. It's written in the form of a Socratic dialog, a form that Goldstein is passionate about teaching and exploring.
Meanwhile, her novels, from The Mind-Body Problem (Contemporary American Fiction) to 2011's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (Vintage Contemporaries), use techniques of fiction to untangle philosophical questions, such as: How should we balance heart and mind? What should we have faith in?
In 1996 Goldstein became a MacArthur Fellow, receiving the prize popularly known as the “Genius Award.” She was designated Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association. She's also the author of Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity, a combination memoir and history.