The Platonic-Aristotelian Idea That Reason Should Rule the Psyche – and its Psychoanalytic Fate


Histories of the Self: A Lecture Series

In the Republic, Socrates argues that reason should rule over the whole soul because it has wisdom and foresight. And Aristotle endorsed this outlook in his conception of the happy life. But what could this claim possibly mean? Is it to be understood solely as part of an ancient psychology and ethical outlook? Or might it have a contemporary legacy?

Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought, Professor in the Department of Philosophy, and Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium on Culture and Society at the University of Chicago. He is the author of numerous studies in philosophy and psychoanalysis, including Happiness, Death and the Remainder of Life (2000), Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), A Case for Irony (2011), and Freud (2015). His next book is titled Integrating the Non-Rational Soul.

Sponsored by the Departments of Rhetoric, Philosophy, and Classics, and the Program in Critical Theory