TUESDAY, December 5, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

recipient of the Robert S. Liebert Award in Applied Psychoanalysis

Professor Jonathan Lear

John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor
Committee on Social Thought
Department of Philosophy, The University of Chicago


Professor Lear will explore a notion of authenticity that differs from the contemporary understanding of the authentic person as the self-motivated author of his or her own life. He will to explore a conception of authenticity as the capacity to speak for one's culture or way of life. What sort of historical and psychological factors facilitate such development?  What does this form of authenticity look like? The relation of this capacity to a capacity for irony, and to a basic stance of hope will be explored. As a personal example, he will consider Plenty Coups, the last great chief of the Crow Nation. Ideas will be developed that were introduced in his two recent books, Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (Harvard UP) and Therapeutic Action: an Earnest Plea for Irony (Other Press)