Feb. 15, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 11

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    Lear to join Social Thought

    Jonathan Lear, a leading American philosopher whose work examines both Freud and the ancient Greek thinkers, has been appointed Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, beginning in autumn quarter.

    Lear, professor and former chairman of philosophy at Yale and a practicing psychoanalyst, is currently Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought.

    "Lear is one of the most important contemporary commentators on Freud and psychoanalysis," said Robert Pippin, Chairman of the Committee on Social Thought. "He is also a very distinguished scholar of Aristotle and of Wittgenstein.

    "His range of specialties is extraordinary and ideally suited to the kind of interdisciplinary research that the committee does," Pippin added. "In particular, his work exploring issues of the philosophy of mind is as important and original as any that is now being done in the field."

    "Lear is one of the few people to investigate the relationship between Greek tragedy and psychoanalysis, and it's very exciting because it revitalizes both fields," said Richard Kraut, professor of philosophy at Northwestern. "Freud was a student of the classics, so it's not far-fetched to find this link, but very few people who study Freud have the solid credentials Lear does to be able to make the connection."

    Lear has been on the faculty at Yale since 1985 and was previously a member of the philosophy faculty at Cambridge.

    The author of numerous articles on Aristotle and Plato, he is also author of three books, Aristotle and Logical Theory (1980), Aristotle: The Desire to Understand (1988) and Love and Its Place in Nature (1991). He is currently completing a fourth volume, Inside and Outside the Mind.

    He received a B.A. in 1970 from Yale, a B.A. in 1973 from Cambridge, his M.A. in 1976 from Cambridge and his Ph.D. in 1978 from the Rockefeller University.

    Also joining the Social Thought faculty is Glenn Most, one of Germany's leading scholars and a professor of classics at the University of Heidelberg. Most will hold the Lurcy Visiting Professorship in Social Thought during spring quarter 1996 and will begin his regular appointment for spring quarters in 1997.

    "Most was the winner, in 1994, of the Leibniz Prize, a five-year award given periodically to an outstanding young scholar in Germany," Pippin said. "Like Lear, he has a wide range of interests -- he received doctorates in both comparative literature and classics.

    "He is very well known for his work on the Greek poet Pindar, on Latin poetry and prose and on German Romantic literature," Pippin continued. "He is also on the editorial board of a project on Nietzsche, and he wrote a book on detective fiction."

    Most received his B.A. in classics from Harvard in 1972; he received his M.Phil. in 1978 and his Ph.D. in 1980, both in comparative literature, from Yale. In 1980, he also received a D.Phil. in classics from the University of Tuebingen.