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Rebecca Goldstein

Autor de Gödel. Paradoja y vida

16+ Obras 3,402 Miembros 109 Reseñas 7 Preferidas

Sobre El Autor

Rebecca Goldstein graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College and received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in the philosophy of science. She has taught philosophy at Barnard. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Bowker Author Biography)

Obras de Rebecca Goldstein

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Conocimiento común



There is great background material in this very personal tribute to Baruch Spinoza on the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition and ultimate expulsion if Jews from both those countries.

It’s funny but my family visited Spain recently and while we spent so much time taking in the muslim influence in the country, the history of torture, of burning people at the stake, converting Jews to Catholicism, and rescinding their citizenship was wholly missing from the story.

While Cordoba, Girona, and Barcelona were great centres of Jewish life and letters, including the rise of Kaballa mysticism.

Goldstein see s this history and the subsequent rise of the Sephardim community in Amsterdam as central to Spinoza’s inspired rationalism.
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MylesKesten | 12 reseñas más. | Jan 23, 2024 |
This is a real thinky book, kind of like [b:Sophie's World|10959|Sophie's World (Paperback)|Jostein Gaarder||4432325] but focusing on religion (and almost exclusively Judeo-Christian religion). The main character is a professor of psychology named Cass Seltzer. He's a nice guy who's just written a book called The Varieties of Religious Illusion (yes, there are a lot of William James references). Cass's book includes an appendix that lists out the 36 big arguments for the existence of God and then lists the flaws in each argument. Cass is now a famous atheist because of the success of the book, and we get to follow him around as he deals with his success, very often jumping way back in Cass's life to see how he got where he is. (Hint: he doesn't seem like a stereotypical atheist at all.)

In order to enjoy this book I had to learn to do one thing: every time Cass's mentor Jonas Elijah Klapper started talking I would skim. Yes, folks, that is the secret to enjoying this book. Cass may revere Klapper, but it's obvious that Klapper is an insane blowhard and his crazy complicated rants should not be read closely. If you try to understand what he's saying, you may end up throwing the book across the room. So don't. The book stands up without knowing what the hell Klapper is talking about, I think because he is not actually saying anything meaningful. And that may be the point.

Focus instead of some great characters: Azarya, Roz, and Cass himself. Azaraya is a mathematical genius who also happens to have the future of a rare Hasidic Jewish sect resting on this shoulders. Roz is a boisterous anthropologist who bounces in and out of Cass's life. Cass is so smart and yet really dumb about women. These three are the heart of the novel and you'll rush past the annoying characters (Klapper, Lucinda, Pascale) to read more about them.

This book is not for everyone, but if you like to laugh at academia and its ridiculousness, and are interested in the varieties of religious experience, then go for it. If you want to skip the novel and just read the appendix, do it. But I'd also find the chapters with the Harvard Agnostic Chaplaincy debate between Cass and Felix Findley and read it too. More than a debate about the existence of God, it's a defense of atheism, and even sort of makes you think that atheists like Cass can be filled with a sense of purpose, morality, and faith that is perhaps more meaningful than simply believing in God.
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LibrarianDest | 34 reseñas más. | Jan 3, 2024 |
It's been some time since I read this, and I don't recall any details.
mykl-s | 18 reseñas más. | Aug 13, 2023 |
I think you could learn a lot of philosophy from this, but if you're going to write a dialogue, I think you should punctuate it so that I can tell who is speaking.
markm2315 | 18 reseñas más. | Jul 1, 2023 |



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