Jordon Barkalow

On Philosophy and Literature
By Jordon Barkalow on June 24, 2009

I regularly assign works of literature in my political theory classes which has caused some of my colleagues in Political Science, Philosophy, and English to question me about what it is that I teach. The Political Scientists want to know what the "political" quality of the literature is while some of my colleagues in philosophy want to know why I use literature instead of more "philosophic" texts that emphasize reasoning and logic. My colleagues in English often think that I am distorting a text by "reading too much into it." In response to these queries I offer the following thoughts on the relationship between philosophy and literature.


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about the author

Jordon Barkalow
Jordon Barkalow

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bridgewater State College (MA) where I also serve as the Assistant Director of the College's Honors Program. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Houston in 2002 and before coming to Bridgewater I spent a year as a Postgraduate Fellow at Liberty Fund. I am currently finalizing a book manuscript on what it means to be an American citizen. I have published on the emergence of individualism in American political thought and have forthcoming encyclopedia entries on John C. Calhoun and the differences between ancient and modern accounts of tyranny.