September 4, 2000
Contact: Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Jonathan Lear, philosopher, psychoanalyst and critic as well as defender of both occupations, will talk about “Freud’s Death Drive as Limit of Explanation” in the Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4:30 p.m. Lear’s talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on “Science and the Limits of Explanation,” will be free and open to the public. A reception will follow, outdoors if weather permits.

Jonathan Lear is a professor of philosophy and the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago. Previously, he was the Kingman Brewster Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. He is a graduate of the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Lear’s most recent book is Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul (1998), a volume of essays. “There is something dead in the profession of psychoanalysis and something dead in the profession of philosophy,” he wrote. His work is “above all a response to a sense of deadness. It is an attempt to bring some life into two activities which lie at the heart of our humanity.The Los Angeles Times offered this opinion of Open Minded: “These essays reveal Lear to be counterintuitive, playful, empathetic—oh yes, and funny too. He may be the world's perfect analyst.”

Previous works included Love and its Place in Nature (1990), Aristotle: The Desire to Understand (1988), Aristotle and Logical Theory (1980) and numerous articles on psychoanalysis and philosophy.