Jacob Howland PhD

McFarlin Professor of Philosophy Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion


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.

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
B.A., Swarthmore College

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

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 following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.


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.

Howland, Jacob. Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faith. Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.

Howland, Jacob. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Paul Dry Books, 2004. Print.

Howland, Jacob. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Reader's Digest, 2004. Print.

Howland, Jacob. The Paradox of Political Philosophy: Socrates' Philosophic Trial. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1998. Print.

Howland, Jacob. The Republic: The Odyssey of Philosophy. Twayne Publishers/MacMillan, 1993. Print.

Plato’s Republic and the Voyage of the Soul. Under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Book Review

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

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.

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

“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.

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

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

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

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

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

“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.

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

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

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

“Aristotle’s Great-Souled Man.” Review of Politics 64.1 (Winter 2002), 27-56.

Howland, Jacob. “Love of Wisdom and Will to Order in Plato's Timaeus: On Peter Kalkavage's Translation.” 30.1 (2002): 93–105. Print.

“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.

Howland, Jacob. “Aristotle on Tragedy: Rediscovering the Poetics.” 22.3 (1995): 359–404. Print.

“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.

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

“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.

“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.


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.

“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.

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

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.

“Plato’s Politic Writing and the Cultivation of Souls.” In Plato as Author: The Rhetoric of Philosophy, 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.

“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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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

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.

Howland, Jacob. “Aristotle's Poetics: The Poetry of Philosophy.” Ed. Micael Davis. Journal of the History of Philosophy 1994: 116–118. Print.

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).


“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.

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

HON 1003 Greek History, Philosophy and Drama
PHIL 1033 Philosophy and Literature
PHIL 1453 Great Conversation I: Ancient and Medieval
PHIL 3223 Nietzsche and Socrates
PHIL 3283 Topics in Philosophy and Religion
PHIL 4603 Kierkegaard
PHIL 4863 Special Topics