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Radical Hope
Shortly before he died, Plenty Coups, the last great Chief of the Crow Nation, told his story--up to a certain point. "When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground," he said, "and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened." It is precisely this point--that of a people faced with the end of their way of life--that prompts the philosophical and ethical inquiry pursued in "Radical Hope." In Jonathan Lear's view, Plenty Coups' story raises a profound ethical question that transcends his time and challenges us all: how should one face the possibility that one's culture might collapse? This is a vulnerability that affects us all--insofar as we are all inhabitants of a civilization, and civilizations are themselves vulnerable to historical forces. How should we live with this vulnerability? Can we make any sense of facing up to such a challenge courageously? Using the available anthropology and history of the Indian tribes during their confinement to reservations, and drawing on philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, Lear explores the story of the Crow Nation at an impasse as it bears upon these questions--and these questions as they bear upon our own place in the world. His book is a deeply revealing, and deeply moving, philosophical inquiry into a peculiar vulnerability that goes to the heart of the human condition.
Published by Harvard University Press on 06/30/2009
Book details: 208 pages.

Jonathan Lear clearly introduces and assesses all of Freud's thought, focusing on those areas of philosophy on which Freud is acknowledged to have had a lasting impact. These include the philosophy of mind, free will and determinism, rationality, the nature of the self and subjectivity, and ethics and religion. He also considers some of the deeper issues and problems Freud engaged with, brilliantly illustrating their philosophical significance: human sexuality, the unconscious, dreams, and the theory of transference. Freud is one of the most important introductions and contributions to understanding this great thinker to have been published for many years, and will be essential reading for anyone in the humanities, social sciences and beyond with an interest in Freud or philosophy.
Published by Psychology Press on 07/17/2019
Book details: 278 pages.

This is a philosophical introduction to Aristotle, and Professor Lear starts where Aristotle himself started. He introduces us to the essence of Aristotle's philosophy and guides us through all the central Aristotelian texts--selected from the Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Politics and the biological and logical works. The book is written in a direct, lucid style that engages the reader with the themes in an active and participatory manner. It will prove a stimulating introduction for all students of Greek philosophy and for a wide range of others interested in Aristotle as a giant figure in Western intellectual history.
Published by Cambridge University Press on 02/11/1988
Book details: 328 pages.

Wisdom Won from Illness
Can reason absorb the psyche’s nonrational elements into a conception of the fully realized human being? Without a good answer to that question, Jonathan Lear says, philosophy is cut from its moorings in human life. He brings into conversation psychoanalysis and moral philosophy, which together form a basis for ethical thought about how to live.
Published by Harvard University Press on 01/02/2017
Book details: 330 pages.

A Case for Irony
Vanity Fair has declared the Age of Irony over. Joan Didion has lamented that Obama’s United States is an “irony-free zone." Here Jonathan Lear argues that irony is one of the tools we use to live seriously, to get the hang of becoming human. It forces us to experience disruptions in our habitual ways of tuning out of life, but comes with a cost.
Published by Harvard University Press on 10/24/2011
Book details: 210 pages.

Happiness, Death, and the Remainder of Life
Separated by millennia, Aristotle and Sigmund Freud gave us disparate but compelling pictures of the human condition. But if, with Jonathan Lear, we scrutinize these thinkers' attempts to explain human behavior in terms of a higher principle--whether happiness or death--the pictures fall apart. Aristotle attempted to ground ethical life in human striving for happiness, yet he didn't understand what happiness is any better than we do. Happiness became an enigmatic, always unattainable, means of seducing humankind into living an ethical life. Freud fared no better when he tried to ground human striving, aggression, and destructiveness in the death drive, like Aristotle attributing purpose where none exists. Neither overarching principle can guide or govern "the remainder of life," in which our inherently disruptive unconscious moves in breaks and swerves to affect who and how we are. Lear exposes this tendency to self-disruption for what it is: an opening, an opportunity for new possibilities. His insights have profound consequences not only for analysis but for our understanding of civilization and its discontent.
Published by Harvard University Press on 06/01/2009
Book details: 204 pages.

Aristotle and Logical Theory
Dr Lear explores Aristotle's philosophy of logic through logical consequence, validity and proof.
Published by CUP Archive on 03/13/1986
Book details: 136 pages.

Open Minded
Explores the relationship between philosophers' and psychoanalysts' attempts to discover how man thinks and perceives himself
Published by Harvard University Press on 07/17/1998
Book details: 345 pages.

Therapeutic Action
This book argues that, properly understood, irony plays a crucial role in therapeutic action. However, this insight has been difficult to grasp because the concept of irony itself has been distorted, covered over. It is regularly confused with sarcasm; it is often mistakenly assumed that if one is speaking ironically, one must mean the opposite of what one says, that one must be feigning ignorance, that irony and earnestness cannot go together. All of these assumptions are false. So part of the therapeutic action of this book is conceptual therapy: we need to recover a vibrant sense of irony. This book, then, is not merely about the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis; it is an enactment of conceptual therapy. It is thus written as an invitation to clinicians--psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists--to renew their own engagement with the fundamental concepts of their practice.
Published by Other Press, LLC on 07/17/2019
Book details: 246 pages.

The Monkey-Proof Box
Written by Jonathan Lear, The Monkey-Proof Box: Curriculum design for building knowledge, developing creative thinking and promoting independence is a manifesto on how to dismantle the curriculum we’re told to deliver and construct in its place the curriculum we need to deliver. A group of monkeys. A box full of nuts. A lever. A chute. The monkeys excitedly poke at the box with rocks ... nothing happens. Meanwhile, one monkey sits to the side, observing. Then, when the others wander off, he gets up and – with a curious push of his palm – presses the lever and the nuts tumble down the chute! Not believing his luck, he eats the nuts, presses the lever again and is rewarded with yet more nuts. He’s cracked the challenge of the monkey-proof box. In their early years, children experience a world full of monkey-proof boxes – it’s a time of discovery, observation and experimentation, as they engage in the frustration and joy of learning how to release life’s nuts. Then, as they progress through school, learning becomes more formal, easier in many ways. The nuts are handed to them on a plate and something important is lost. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this absorbing book, Jonathan sets out how primary school teachers can resist the ‘nuts on a plate’ approach and deliver a curriculum rich in authentic learning experiences that help children learn from one another and grow into empowered, knowledgeable and creative thinkers who are driven by insatiable curiosity. In doing so, he inspires educators to unclutter their classrooms of the latest shiny initiatives and to foster a more refined pedagogical approach – incorporating elements of facilitated and concept-based learning – that simply improves pupils’ learning. Suitable for teachers, middle leaders and head teachers in primary school settings. Contents include: Part I: Curriculum. 1 – Slippers; 2 – Less is more; 3 – Skills; 4 – Tightrope walking; 5 – Planning; 6 – ‘Love and hugs, Dave C.’; 7 – Softly, softly, catchee monkey; 8 – Hitches and hiccups. Part II: Pedagogy. 9 – Monkey sex; 10 – Rapid and sustained nonsense; 11 – Nuts on a plate; 12 – Nuts scattered in a clearing; 13 – Across the curriculum; 14 – The awkward banana; 15 – Caveman Dave and the TARDIS; 16 – Mastery and independence; 17 – The monkey-proof box; 18 – A spanner in the works; 19 – Freedom.
Published by Crown House Publishing Ltd on 03/25/2019
Book details: 184 pages.
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