Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein, A Conversation

The Seed Salon: “Steven Pinker is a psychologist. Rebecca Goldstein is a novelist. Both are obsessed with realism and the pursuit of objective knowledge. They met to talk about consciousness, game theory, and gossip.”

“Rebecca Goldstein has a PhD in philosophy from Princeton, and has taught at Barnard, Rutgers, and Columbia. Currently she is Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College. She is the author of five novels (The Mind-Body Problem, The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind, The Dark Sister, Mazel, and Properties of Light) and a collection of stories (Strange Attractors). Among her honors are two Whiting Foundation Awards (one in philosophy, one in writing), two National Jewish Book Awards, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and the Prairie Schooner Best Short Story Award. In 1996 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.”

“Steven Pinker has a PhD in experimental psychology from Harvard, and has taught at Stanford, MIT, and Harvard, where he is currently the Johnstone Professor of Psychology. Pinker’s research on language and cognition has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the American Psychological Association. His books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, and The Blank Slate, have earned the William James Book Prize (three times), the Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize, and two shortlistings for the Pulitzer Prize.”

Read this very interesting exchange here, at Seed Magazine.