Originally recorded: March 7, 2016
Originally broadcast: March 13, 2016
2500 years ago, Plato wrote the central texts of the discipline we call philosophy. He asked the questions that people still ask today and set the tone for a conversation that has continued, unabated, for two and a half millennia. On this episode we look at Plato’s work and ask why, despite all the threats, violence, censorship, and even the marginalization, philosophy still exists, why Plato is still at the center of it all, and what it would look like if he were still here, walking among us.Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is a novelist and philosopher. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She is the author of ten books, including both novels and non-fiction, including the critically acclaimed The Mind-Body Problem and Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. The latter was named 2010’s best fiction book of the year by The Christian Science Monitor and among the top eleven best by The Washington Post. Her latest book is Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away.
In 1996, Rebecca became a MacArthur Fellow, receiving the “Genius Award.” In 2005, she was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship. In 2008, she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism. In 2015, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House.
Rebecca has been on Why? before, discussing the relationship between Philosophy and Fiction. You can hear that episode here. Her personal webpage is here
The text of this episode’s monologue can be found here at our blog, PQED.