Jacob Howland, PhD

Jacob Howland, PhD
McFarlin Professor of Philosophy
College of Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion
918-631-2799 Website Chapman Hall Room 239


PhD – Pennsylvania State University BA – Swarthmore College


Jacob Howland is McFarlin Professor of Philosophy and past Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tulsa, where he teaches in the Honors Program as well as in philosophy. He also occasionally teaches courses in ancient Greek. He has written and lectured on the work of Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, and Kierkegaard, as well as on the Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud, and his articles have appeared in leading journals in philosophy, classics, and political science. As of 2011, he had authored four books and one edited book. His research focuses on ancient Greek political philosophy, although he has also published books on Kierkegaard and Socrates and Plato and the Talmud.

Research Interests

Ancient Greek thought (especially the dialogues of Plato), Kierkegaard, Talmud, the Hebrew Bible, and the Holocaust

Teaching Interests

Ancient Greek philosophy, poetry, history, and occasionally language (including courses in the Honors Program), political philosophy, Kierkegaard, philosophy and literature, existentialism, and the Holocaust



  • The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. New York: Twayne Publishers (MacMillan), 1993. Reissued by Paul Dry Books, 2004. Reader’s Subscription Book Club choice, 2004.

  • Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006; paperback, 2008.
    —. Chinese edition, Huaxia Publishing House (Beijing), 2014.

  • The Paradox of Political Philosophy: Socrates’ Philosophic Trial. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1998.
    —. Chinese edition, Huaxia Publishing House (Beijing), 2012.

  • Plato and the Talmud. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011; paperback, 2013.

  • HowlandJ. Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faith. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • HowlandJ. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Paul Dry Books, 2004.
  • HowlandJ. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Reader’s Digest, 2004.
  • HowlandJ. The Paradox of Political Philosophy: Socrates’ Philosophic Trial. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1998.
  • HowlandJ. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Twayne Publishers/MacMillan, 1993.
  • Plato’s Republic and the Voyage of the Soul. Under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles

  • “Glaucon’s Fate: Plato’s Republic and the Drama of the Soul.” Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, 29.1 (2014), 113-136.

  • “Plato’s Republic and the Politics of Convalescence.” American Dialectic 1.1 (2011), 1-17.

  • “Platonic and Jewish Antecedents of Silentio’s Knight of Faith.” The St. John’s Review 53.1 (2011), 33-45.

  • “PLO Is Less Than Candid About the 1967 Border Issue,” The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2011

  • “Message in a Bottle,” This Side of the Pond (Cambridge University Press Blog), Nov. 10, 2010

  • “Plato’s Apology as Tragedy.” Review of Politics 70.4 (2008), 519-546.

  • “Primo Levi’s Nostalgia.” Society 45.6 (2008), 540-543.

  • “Partisanship and the Work of Philosophy in Plato’s Timaeus.” Review of Politics 69.1 (2007), 1-27.

  • “Plato and Kierkegaard: Two Philosophical Stories.” The European Legacy 12.2 (2007), 173-185.

  • “Plato’s Dionysian Music? A Reading of the Symposium.” Epoché 12.1 (2007), 17-47.

  • “Aristotle on Tragedy: Rediscovering the Poetics.” Interpretation 22.3 (1995), 359-404. Reprinted (in Chinese) in Explanations of Poetry, Beijing: Huaxia Publishing House, 2006, pp. 268-323.

  • “The Mythology of Philosophy: Plato’s Republic and the Odyssey of the Soul.” Interpretation 33.3 (2006), 219-241.

  • “Love of Wisdom and Will to Order in Plato’s Timaeus: On Peter Kalkavage’s Translation.” Interpretation 30.1 (2002), 93-105. Reprinted (in Chinese) in Classical Traditions of Free Education (Beijing: Huaxia Publishing House, 2005), 307-319, tr. Xu Jian.

  • “Kierkegaard on Socrates in the Journals and Papers.” Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, no. 49 (August, 2005), 12-16.

  • “Storytelling and Philosophy in Plato’s Republic.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 79.2 (2005), 213-232.

  • “Plato’s Reply to Lysias: Republic 1 and 2 and Against Eratosthenes.” American Journal of Philology 125.2 (2004), 179-208.

  • HowlandJ. “Love of Wisdom and Will to Order in Plato’s Timaeus: On Peter Kalkavage’s Translation”. Interpretation, Vol. 30, 2002, pp. 93-105.
  • “Aristotle’s Great-Souled Man.” Review of Politics 64.1 (Winter 2002), 27-56.

  • “Xenophon’s Philosophic Odyssey: On the Anabasis and Plato’s Republic.” American Political Science Review 94.4 (December, 2000), 875-889.

  • “The Republic’s Third Wave and the Paradox of Political Philosophy.” Review of Metaphysics 51.3 (March, 1998), 633-657.

  • HowlandJ. “Aristotle on Tragedy: Rediscovering the Poetics”. Interpretation, Vol. 22, 1995, pp. 359-04.
  • “Reflections on Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah.” In The Uses and Abuses of Knowledge: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the German Church Struggle, ed. Henry F. Knight and Marcia Littell (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996), 333-348.

  • “Re-reading Plato: The Problem of Platonic Chronology.” Phoenix 45.3 (1991): 189-214.

  • “Socrates and Alcibiades: Eros, Piety, and Politics.” Interpretation 18.1 (1990): 63-90.

  • “Black Boy: A Story of Soul-Making and a Quest for the Real.” Phylon: The Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture 47.2 (1986): 117-127.

  • “The Cave Image and the Problem of Place: the Sophist, the Poet, and the Philosopher.” Dionysius 10 (1986): 21-55.

  • “Hegel’s Conditions of Recognition and the Modern State.” Kinesis 13.2 (1984): 47-64.

  • “Cosmos and Philosophy in Plato and the Bible.” Nova et Vetera, forthcoming 2015.

  • “Intellectuals at Auschwitz: Jean Améry and Primo Levi on the Mind and its Limits.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 30:1 (2016), forthcoming.


  • “Truth is Stranger Than Fiction: Bohr, Heisenberg, and Copenhagen,” The Collegian (University of Tulsa), February 26, 2002.

  • “Cats and Dogs.” Letter to the Editor, The New Republic, August 14, 1995.

Invited Reviewed Articles

  • Philosophers in the Republic: Plato’s Two Paradigms, Roslyn Weiss (Cornell University Press, 2012). Review of Metaphysics 68.1 (2014), 217-18.

  • Plato, Aristotle, and the Purpose of Politics, Kevin Cherry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), Review of Politics 75.2 (2013), 285-87.

  • Three Minutes of Hope: Hugo Gryn on The God Slot. By Hugo Gryn, ed. Naomi Gryn (London: Continuum, 2010). The European Legacy, 2013.

  • Philosophical Witnessing: The Holocaust as Presence, Berel Lang (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2009). Holocaust and Genocide Studies 24 (2010), 474-476.

  • Socrates on Friendship and Community: Reflections on Plato’s Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis, Mary P. Nichols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). Review of Politics 72.3 (2010), 381-383.

  • The Socratic Paradox and its Enemies, Roslyn Weiss (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). Scripta Classica Israelica 28 (2009), 149-151.

  • “A Restless Anthropologist: Primo Levi’s A Tranquil Star.” ZEEK: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture (August 2007). http://www.zeek.net/707review.

  • Dialectic and Dialogue: Plato’s Practice of Philosophical Inquiry, Francisco J. Gonzalez (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1998). International Studies in Philosophy 35.4 (2003), 267-68.

  • Revaluing Ethics: Aristotle’s Dialectical Pedagogy, Thomas W. Smith (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001). American Political Science Review 96.3 (September, 2002), 624.

  • Plato’s Socrates as Educator, Gary Alan Scott (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000). Ancient Philosophy 22.1 (Spring, 2002), 180-184.

  • Xenophon’s Prince: Republic and Empire in the Cyropaedia, Christopher Nadon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). Review of Politics 64.2 (Spring, 2002), 355-358.

  • Method and Politics in Plato’s Statesman, Melissa Lane (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). International Journal of the Classical Tradition 7 (2001), 592-594.

  • Form and Good in Plato’s Eleatic Dialogues: The Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman, Kenneth Dorter (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Review of Metaphysics, March 1996, 646-648.

  • HowlandJ. “Aristotle’s Poetics: The Poetry of Philosophy”. Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 32, Rowman & Littlefield, 1994, pp. 116-8.
  • Essays on Aristotle’s Poetics, ed. Amelie Rorty (Princeton: Princeton U. P., 1992), and Aristotle’s Poetics: The Poetry of Philosophy, Michael Davis (Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992). Journal of the History of Philosophy 32.2 (1994), 116-118.

  • The Arrogance of Race by George M. Fredrickson (Middletown: Wesleyan U. P., 1988). Southern Changes 13.2 (May, 1991).

  • Communities in Economic Crisis: Appalachia and the South, ed. John Gaventa, Barbara Ellen Smith, Alex Willingham (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990). Southern Changes 12.3 (August, 1990).

Book Reviews

  • “Stanley Rosen.” In Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, 1860-1960, Thoemmes Press, June 2005.


  • Fear and Trembling’s ‘Attunement’ as Midrash,” in Cambridge Critical Guide to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. Ed. Daniel Conway. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

  • “Plato’s Apology as Tragedy,” In Socratic Philosophy and its Others. Ed. Christopher Dustin and Denise Schaeffer. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013.

  • Foreword for Stuart Weierter, Platonic Prophecy and the Possibility of Philosophy (Edwin Mellen Press, 2011).

  • “Lessing and Socrates in Postscript.” In Cambridge Guide to Kierkegaard’s Postscript. Ed. Rick Furtak. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

  • “Stanley Rosen’s Plato’s Republic: A Study,” Society 46.1 (2009), 195-198.

  • “Plato’s Apology as Tragedy.” Review of Politics 70.4 (2008), 519-546.

  • “Kierkegaard’s Socratic Recovery of Philosophy and Faith.” In Socrates: Reason or Unreason as the Foundation of European Identity. Ed. Ann Ward. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.

  • “Raconter une Historie et Philosopher: L’anneau de Gygès.” Études sur la République, vol. 2. Ed. Monique Dixsaut. Paris: J. Vrin, 2006.

  • A Long Way Home: The Story of a Jewish Youth, 1939-1948. Bob Golan. Edited by Jacob Howland. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005.

  • “Stanley Rosen.” In Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, 1860-1960, Thoemmes Press, June 2005.

  • “Plato’s Politic Writing and the Cultivation of Souls.” In Plato as Author: The Rhetoric of
    , ed. Ann Michelini. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003. 77-98.

  • “Failure of Intelligence and Imagination.” Letter to Swarthmore College Bulletin, Spring, 2002.

  • “The Great Books (Yes!).” Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, April 15, 2001.

  • “Stanley Rosen’s Plato’s Statesman: The Web of Politics.” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 20/21 (1998), 529-536.

  • “Reflections on Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah.” Proteus 12.2 (1995), 42-46.

  • “Reflections on Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah.” In The Uses and Abuses of Knowledge: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the German Church Struggle, ed. Henry F. Knight and Marcia Littell (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996), 333-348.

  • “Plato’s Deconstruction of Psychological Science,” New Ideas in Psychology 12.3 (1994), 337-339. (On John G. Gunnell’s Political Philosophy and Time).

  • “Philosophy as Dialogue,” Reason Papers 17 (Fall, 1992): 113-134. (On Charles Griswold’s Self-Knowledge in Plato’s Phaedrus).

  • “A Shimmering Socrates: Philosophy and Poetry in Kierkegaard’s Platonic Authorship,” in A Companion to Kierkegaard. Ed. Jon Stewart. Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming, 2015.

Courses Taught

  • Independent Study
  • Medieval Culture Or Self-Fashioning in The Renaissance
  • Existentialism in the 20th Century
  • Independent Readings
  • Socrates to Sartre: Ideas That Shaped Our World
  • Greek History, Philosophy and Drama
  • Topics in Philosophy and Religion

Professional Affiliations

  • Heritage Academy, Tulsa, OK
  • Tulsa Jewish Retirement and Health Care Center
  • Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities
  • McClure Elementary School
  • Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
  • Knippa Lecture Board
  • OCCJ
  • Key Elementary School
  • B’nai Emunah Synagogue
  • Heritage Academy Federation Foundation Board
  • Council for Holocaust Education

Awards & Honors

  • Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Herbert Musurillo Memorial Scholarship
  • Outstanding Teacher Award
  • University of Tulsa Outstanding Teacher Award
  • Leadership, Scholarship and Service Award