Jonathan Lear

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Jonathan Lear
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests

Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, professor of philosophy, and Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium on Culture and Society at the University of Chicago.[1]


He was educated at Yale, Cambridge, Rockefeller University (where he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy with a dissertation on Aristotle's logic directed by Saul Kripke) and the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. Much of his work involves the intersection of psychoanalysis and philosophy. In addition to work involving Freud, he has also written widely on Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein, focusing on ideas of the human psyche. He won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for Psychoanalysis three times for work that advances psychoanalysis. Before moving to Chicago, Lear taught philosophy at Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Clare College, Columbia and Yale Universities. He is married to Gabriel Richardson Lear, a fellow member of the philosophy department at Chicago who also works on ancient philosophy. He is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is the nephew of Norman Lear, and the father of New Girl writer Sophia Lear.

In 2009, he received the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities.[2]


His books include:

  • Aristotle and Logical Theory (1980)
  • Aristotle: The Desire to Understand (1988)
  • Love and Its Place in Nature (1990)
  • Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul (1998)
  • Happiness, Death, and the Remainder of Life (2000)
  • Therapeutic Action: An Earnest Plea for Irony (2003)
  • Freud (2005)
  • Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006)
  • A Case for Irony (2011)

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