Carl Young
Classics

Carl E. Young

Assistant Professor of Classics
“Philology is that venerable art which requires of those who honor her one thing above all: to turn aside, to take one's time, to become still and slow.... Precisely for this reason, she is more necessary today than ever; precisely on this account, she attracts and enchants us most powerfully, in an age of ‘work,’ which is to say, haste, the unseemly and sweating hurry that wants to be ‘done’ with everything right away, even with every old and new book. She herself will not so easily be done with anything, she instructs reading well, that means, slowly, deeply, carefully, regardfully, looking forward and backward, with second thoughts, with doors left open, reading with delicate fingers and eyes...”
— F. Nietzsche, Morgenröte

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Carl E. Young

Education

B.A. in Classical Studies, University of New Mexico

Ph.D. in Classical Studies, Duke University

Research Interests

Greek and Roman Political Thought and Ethics

Plato and Platonism

History of Political Thought

The Modern Reception of Ancient Political Thought (Especially in the Renaissance and Early Modern Period)

Greek Patristics

Publications

“Plato’s Concept of Liberty in the Laws.” History of Political Thought, 39.3 (2018): 379-398.

“Translations: A Selection of Thomas More’s Political Epigrams.” Moreana: Thomas More and Renaissance Studies, 57.2 (2020): 202-228.

“Divided Sovereignty: Polybius and the Compound Constitution” (co-authored with Jed W. Atkins), Reading Texts on Sovereignty: Textual Moments in the History of Political Thought, eds. Antonis Balasopoulos and Stella Achilleos (London: Bloomsbury Academic, Forthcoming).

Biography

Classicists are fond of quoting Aeschylus’s famous saying, pathei mathos, to describe the suffering (pathei) involved in learning (mathos) classical languages. As anyone who has ever tried to learn ancient Greek or Latin can attest, there is some truth to this. Yet this is also true of a liberal education in general. Disciplining the mind and restraining one’s passions and desires towards the higher things often inevitably entail the experience of salutary pains and sufferings that are necessary for the proper ordering the soul. On the other hand, I have also learned from reading Aristophanes, Plato, and others that learning can be enjoyable as well. As a teacher of the classics, I seek not only to habituate my students to the rigors of academic life, but also to inspire in them a life-long love of learning. I encourage my students to see the classical world not simply as an interesting artifact, but as relevant, and deeply meaningful to their modern existence. An exegesis of another culture challenges our assumptions about the world, while calling into question the values we hold dear. It opens us up to the possibility of other ways of life that may be different, but equally, or perhaps, more enriching. In this way, the study of the classics necessarily involves an exegesis of one’s own culture and even oneself. Self-discovery of this kind is not only meaningful but often exhilarating. I am thankful to teach at Hillsdale College, where such an approach to classical antiquity is valued.

In addition to teaching at the College, I am a proud husband and father of two boys. When I’m not on campus, I can usually be found in the gymnasium picking up heavy objects.