The Ethics of Dream Interpretation

Wednesday, 17 November 2004 - 5:00pm

17 Logan Hall, 249 South 36th Street

The Ethics of Dream Interpretation

Jonathan Lear

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

Award-winning University of Chicago philosopher and psychoanalyst Jonathan Lear discusses the ethical dimension of Freud’s theory of dreams. What is the enduring significance of Freudian dream interpretation? How well did the Viennese theorist understand the ethical implications of his approach?

Jonathan Lear's work at the intersection of philosophy and psychoanalysis has helped renew Freud's reputation as a philosopher. Lear graduated Yale, studied at University of Cambridge in England, and took his PhD from Rockefeller University before training as an analyst at Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. Before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1996, he was the Kingman Brewster Professor of the Humanities at Yale University.

Prof. Lear is a three-time winner of the Gradiva Award from the National Association for Psychoanalysis for his books Happiness, Death and the Remainder of Life (2000), and Open Minded: Working Out the Logic of the Soul (1998), and for his article "The shrink is in" (The New Republic, December 25, 1995).

Other works include Therapeutic Action: An Earnest Plea for Irony (2003), 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. He is currently writing a book on Freud to be published as part of the Routledge Philosophers Series.

Slips of Tongue: The Unspeakable Monster
An exhibition of photography, video, and installation

Opening reception immediately following Jonathan Lear's lecture
The Philomathean Society Art Gallery
College Hall, 3rd floor

The Department of Fine Arts, MFA Photography, at PennDesign, in collaboration with the Penn Humanities Forum presents four artists, Jonathan Prull, Barbara Smyla, Delmira Valladares, and Brent Wahl. Each artist explores themes associated with this year’s Penn Humanities Forum topic: “Sleep & Dreams.”

Working in a variety of mediums, the artists present artworks at the Philomathean Society Art Gallery that reveal their individual interpretation on the subject of dream analysis and psychotherapy. At times absurd, humorous, and disturbing, these uncanny recollections and manifestations submerge into the realm of sleep in order to let slip and reveal phobias and delusions. The artists investigate such subjects as sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, memory, hysteria, wish fulfillment, and the study of brain activity during sleep.