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Eva Brann

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Eva Brann

Eva T.H. Brann (born 1929) is a former dean (1990–1997) and the longest-serving tutor (1957–present) at St. John's College, Annapolis. She is a 2005 recipient of the National Humanities Medal.

Brann was born to a Jewish family in Berlin. She immigrated in 1941 to the United States and received her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1950, her M.A. in Classics from Yale University in 1951, and her Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale in 1956. She also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Middlebury College.

In her early years at St. John's, she was very close to Jacob Klein. After Klein died, Brann increasingly assumed his role as the defining figure of St. John's, the St. John's program, and the continuing dialogue with the Great Books represented by the program.

Her published works (not including translations) include:

  • Late Geometric and Protoattic Pottery, Mid 8th to Late 7th Century B.C.: Results of excavations conducted by the American school of classical studies at Athens (1962)
  • Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, and American Constitutionalism by Leo Paul S. de Alvarez, ed. (Berns, Laurence; Thurow, Glen E.; Brann, Eva; Anastaplo, George; contributors) (1976)
  • Paradoxes of Education in a Republic (1989)
  • The World of the Imagination (1992)
  • Philosophical Imagination and Cultural Memory: Appropriating Historical Traditions by Patricia Cook (Editor), George Allan (Contributor), Donald PhillipVerene (Contributor), Alasdair MacIntyre (Contributor), J. B.Schneewind (Contributor), Lynn S.Joy (Contributor), Robert CummingsNeville (Contributor), Eva T. H.Brann (Contributor), George Kline (Contributor), John S.Rickard (Contributor), Stanley Rosen (Contributor)
  • The Past-Present: Selected Writings of Eva Brann (1997)
  • The Study of Time: Philosophical Truth and Human Consequences (Kritikos Professorship in the Humanities, 1999.)
  • What, Then, Is Time? (1999)
  • The Ways of Naysaying: No, Not, Nothing, and Nonbeing (2001)
  • Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (2002)
  • The Music of the Republic: Essays on Socrates' Conversations and Plato's Writings (2004)
  • Open Secrets/Inward Prospects: Reflections on Word and Soul (2004)
  • Feeling Our Feelings: What Philosophers Think and People Know (2008)
  • Introduction to His Monkey Wife or Married to a Chimp by John Collier (2000)

Translations include:

  • Klein, Jacob, Greek mathematical thought and the origin of algebra. [Die griechische Logistik und die Entstehung der Algebra], 1968
  • Plato's Sophist or the professor of wisdom, 1996
  • Plato's Phaedo: with translation, introduction and glossary, 1998

Critical Evaluation

Of her recent book Feeling Our Feelings, which considers what the great philosophers on the passions and feelings have thought and written about them (she examines the relevant work of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Adam Smith, Hume, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, and also includes a chapter on contemporary studies on the brain), psychotherapist Brian Lynch wrote that it "is a rare attempt at tackling the history of thought about feeling and emotion in philosophy. The only other scholar I have found to do this at this level is Robert Solomon." Susan Shell,of the Department of Political Science, Boston College, wrote:
"A dazzling wealth of stimulating reflection and wise insight. To read Feeling Our Feelings is
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