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For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Noted philosopher Jonathon Lear to present Burke lecture at OU
     Rochester, Mich. – Renowned author and professor Jonathon Lear will visit Oakland University to present the 2013 Richard J. Burke Lecture in Philosophy, Religion and Society. His lecture, "Wisdom Won from Illness: The Psychoanalytic Grasp of Human Being," will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, in the Oakland Center Banquet Room A.

     Lear will discuss in depth the topic of psychoanalysis and the insight it provides into the human condition, arguing that psychoanalysis is not simply a means to an end — a cure for mental illness – but is itself a significant manifestation of human flourishing.

     The lecture is intended to tackle current compelling issues from war to religion to sexual ethics, and stimulate thought-provoking discussions among scholars, students and the community.

     Lear works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present. He also trained as a psychoanalyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. Lear is the author of numerous books including his most recent, "A Case for Irony," which was published in 2011.

     Richard J. Burke was the first faculty member hired at Oakland and taught at the university for 46 years. He established an endowment for the Richard J. Burke Lecture Series in Philosophy, Religion, and Society. This annual event has since brought major social philosophers to campus, including Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer and Richard Falk.

     Admission is free, but reservations are requested. For more information or to reserve a space, contact Ann Zimmerman at (248) 370-3390 or For more information on Burke and past lectures from the annual series, visit

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at