Shulman Lecture series to explore Freud and science in the 21st century

January 18, 2013

Renowned philosopher Jonathan Lear will deliver the opening lecture in the spring 2013 Shulman Lectures in the Science and the Humanities.

Titled “Wisdom Won from Illness: Psychoanalysis, Self-Consciousness, and the Peculiarity of Human Entanglement,” Lear’s talk will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 5:30 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The spring series will explore “Freud and Science in the 21st Century: The Nature of Human Nature.” Other speakers will include Linda Mayes and Helena Rutherford, who will discuss the psychobiology of parenting; Andrew Gerber, who will examine neurobiological evidence for schemas; and Tamar Gendler, who will speak on regulating internal strife.

Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present. Lear also serves on the faculty of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis. He has taught courses on freedom and love as fundamental values in psychoanalysis (and life); self-consciousness; and ethics and morality.

The author of “A Case for Irony,” “Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation,” and “Therapeutic Action: An Earnest Plea for Irony,” Lear received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2009.

The lecture series is organized in conjunction with a Yale College seminar taught by William Hurt Sledge, the George D. and Esther S. Gross Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine; Moira I. Fradinger, associate professor of comparative literature; and Linda C. Mayes, the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology in the Child Study Center.

The Shulman Lectures are presented under the auspices of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke. The series is named after Robert Shulman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics, and Biochemistry, and senior research scientist in diagnostic radiology, in recognition of his roles as a founding fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center and as a strong supporter of the integration of science and the humanities.

For more information, contact Susan Stout at 203-432-6556 or

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