Peter, Kenneth B

Peter, Kenneth B

Professor, Political Science
Professor (on loan) Humanities




Preferred: (408) 924-5562

Office Location

Clark Hall 449


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Princeton Univ, 1988
  • Master of Arts, Political Science, Univ Of Chicago, 1983
  • Master of Arts, Political Science, Princeton Univ, 1984
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Politics, Princeton Univ, 1988
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science with Honors in Humanities, Stanford Univ, 1981


Kenneth Peter was raised in Idaho and educated at Stanford, Chicago, and Princeton. He was fortunate to have been influenced by several truly gifted teachers of political theory, including Nan Keohane, Brian Barry, Joe Cropsey, Sheldon Wolin, and Dennis Thompson. One could hardly pick a more diverse set of teachers, and Ken turned into a methodological eclectic.

After finishing his Ph.D., Ken returned to his undergraduate roots and taught for two years in Stanford's program in Structured Liberal Education (SLE), a residential great books program. Following, he earned a permanent position at San Jose State, where he has taught all of our political theory courses as well as introductory American politics. Recently he has also taught for the Humanities Honors sequence, which has been one of the great intellectual challenges of his life. Ken agrees with Aristotle that "teaching is the highest form of scholarship."

Ken has published on diverse subjects, including Hobbes, Weber, Jefferson, ecophilosophy, and collegiality. At times he has been deeply involved in academic governance, having served as Chair of the SJSU Academic Senate, a member of the statewide academic senate, Chair of his Department, and on the Presidential Search (Advisory.)

Outside of work, Ken enjoys backpacking, photography, and parenting.