The Mind-Body Problem

The Mind-Body Problem

by Rebecca Goldstein


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, April 25

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140172454
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1993
Series: Contemporary American Fiction Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.07(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

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, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, and nonfiction studies of Kurt Gödel and Baruch Spinoza. Her most recent work, Plato at the Googleplex, was released by Pantheon Books in March of 2014. She has received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, has been designated a Humanist of the Year and a Freethought Heroine, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Massachusetts.Rebecca Goldstein is represented by Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau (

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Mind-Body Problem 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book looks at what so many 'smart girls' go through! Is it possible to be beautiful and intelligent in America today? Which defines a woman more; to herself and in the world she lives in? I love how she brings academics into it because that is also how I try to understand my world! She is brilliant, insightful and a fun writer who I felt trully understood a younger me. Every young, pretty, smart girl should read this enroute to college because eventually she will have to resolve her own mind-body problem.
gbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A smart, funny book about a young Jewish woman who is studying philosophy and who marries an older man, a math prodigy who is a bit `slow¿ socially. The question asked at the outset of the book is ¿what is it like to live with a genius¿? The book sets off to describe just that (and it turns out he¿s a bit of a jerk), along the way giving insights into the life of the intelligentsia at Princeton, Jewish culture, and a woman¿s view of sex and sexual attractiveness. There are interesting musings on the ¿mind-body problem¿ but occasionally philoso-babble gets in the way; I found more interest in a couple of other areas of duality: (1) the woman¿s desire to embrace her culture and her father¿s faith, while at the same time being a skeptic and rejecting orthodoxy, and (2) her worship for her husband the genius, while at the same time not being satisfied in a marriage that quickly dries up. The writing is honest, is in a ¿voice¿ that¿s a pleasure to read, and delivers on intellectual, physical, and emotional levels. Quotes:On marriage:¿Eliot gives us a picture of the inside of a marriage but without divulging any sexual details. Her Victorian readers were meant to infer the hidden reality from such facts as Dorothea¿s pathetic pallor and the desolate loneliness of that wedding trip. But I am no George Eliot (my misfortune) and you are probably not content to infer (your misfortune). And so I must take you back with me, from the piazza to the apartment, into Signora Trotti¿s oversize antique bed. I had had thoughts, early on, of educating Noam in the bedroom, of teaching him the detours and the backways off the main straight road. But he was an unwilling student, when not altogether truant. It was not even possible to speak with him on the subject. He showed such distaste ¿ not for the act itself, but for all reference to it.¿On mid-life crises:¿But the affair that followed brought little joy. I was but a part of Isaac¿s miserable midlife crisis, the symptom known as the infatuation with the younger woman. He was forty-six years old and coming around to the realization that his life had led to this: to the cold, resentful wife; to the son and daughter pursuing their adolescent rebellion with the same uninspired conformity to the norm as their father was demonstrating in his response to his own life change; and, most painfully, to the unbrilliant career. The conclusion was waiting to be drawn, even if he shrank from its final acknowledgment. The promise of his youth would not be fulfilled, the spark had never caught, the moment for it was over. There would be no fire, and now even the feeble glow of hope was giving out.¿On men:¿I would have liked, at least, to be able to walk these foreign streets inconspicuously; the Roman men would not allow it. Their demonstrativeness surpassed anything I¿d encountered (with the possible exception perhaps of the time I almost caused a riot walking down the Upper West Side¿s Broadway in a pair of yellow shorts on an airless August afternoon). Here in Rome men would walk beside me for blocks, declaiming. One jumped out of his car and fell before me on his knees. I didn¿t enjoy any of it.¿¿This resentment had historical associations. It had been suffered throughout my childhood, when, as the girl in the family, I was expected to help wait on The Men ¿ a class which included that little twerp, my brother. `Hurry up, dish it out. You¿ll keep The Men waiting.¿ God forbid! The women ¿ even guests ¿ always got the last and the worst, the dried and the burnt. God forbid The Men shouldn¿t be satisfied. Any shmuck with a shmuck was a power before us.¿On mothers:¿All mothers worry, Jewish mothers worry more. But my mother can find something to worry about in anything. No topic is innocent. In some way, indirect or Talmudically indirect, some danger to her family might be lurking. `It¿s her way of loving. Try to understand,¿ my father would tell me when I¿d come complaining abou
flydodofly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
excellent, and funny, book, full of interesting thoughts
kattepusen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Problem is that it ends...How original! I loved this book with its vibrant language and intelligent, yet humorous, observations of human nature, science, religion, academia, love/lust etc...The main character, Renee Feuer - a beautiful philosophy graduate student drop-out and wife of a "certified" mathematical genius , is so elegantly presented with her conflicting self-perceptions, her existential struggles, her longing for roots and cultured heritage, and, of course, her battles with love versus lust. Tackles some heavy philosophical material without becoming lecturous and the descriptions of "super-math" seems believable. Also interesting in its dealings with traditional Jewish faith in relationship with the rational sciences and even philosophy - I learned more about Jewish customs from this book than from any religion class I ever took. The relationships between Renee and her husband, best friends, lovers and familiy members are richly presented in all their details and colorful descriptions. The end is lovely - except for the fact that the story is over...
Lenaphoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Renee Feuer is a spirited but floundering Princeton graduate student when she first catches the eye of living math legend Noam Himmel. Their courtship is an intellectual one, spiced with heady discussions on philosophy and math with an occasional dash of physics thrown in. Once the blush of new romance wears off, however, Renee finds intellectual theory wanting as she struggles to come to terms with orthodox Jewish upbringing, her own sexuality, and the husband who is physically present but mentally absent as he works on his next great theory. In addition to being an unusually thoughtful, coming-of-age story, the book paints a fascinating insider portrait of the highs and lows of life in the insular world of academia. While there were a few moments where I found Renee a little too self-absorbed to be wholly sympathetic, her smart, witty voice keeps the narrative moving towards and ending that is surprisingly satisfying on both an intellectual and emotional level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago