October 13, 2017 | Jonathan Lear - Keynote for VHML Capstone Conference


7PM, Friday, October 13, 2017 | Breasted Hall in the Oriental Institute 1155 East 58th Street at the University of Chicago

Reception to follow in the Mesopotamian Hall.

To stream the talk click here.

Jonathan Lear will deliver the Friday Keynote "Gettysburg" for the Capstone Conference for the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.

Abstract: Is there room for an ethical inquiry into the meaning of the events of the summer and autumn of 1863 in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, after the famous battle? Did something go primordially wrong in our attempts to bury the dead and find ways to memorialize them?  And do the dead haunt Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address?  This talk is an inquiry into difficulties we face as we try to remember, memorialize and commemorate.


Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Philosophy. He works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche, specifically the ethical significance of human imagination. He has written extensively on a broad range of philosophical topics, ranging from Aristotle (Aristotle: The Desire to Understand) to Native American culture (Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation). A trained psychoanalyst, Lear has written extensively on the philosophical significance of talking cures. Lear’s most recent book is Wisdom Won From Illness (Harvard University Press, 2017). Lear received the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award in 2009. Lear currently serves as the Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, a research institute that brings together researchers from the University of Chicago and around the world to explore problems of serious human concern.


This event is made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.


Thank you to our conference co-sponsors: The Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom, the Committee on Social Thought, the Lumen Christi Institute, the Martin Marty Center, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the University of Chicago Department of Philosophy, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and the University of Chicago Division of Humanities.

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If you need assistance in order to fully participate, contact Valerie Wallace, Associate Director, Communications at vwallace@uchicago.edu.