Alexander Nehamas

Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities. Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature.
Office Phone
120 1879 Hall
Periods: Antiquity, 19th and 20th centuries

Languages: Classical Greek and Latin, French, German

Research Interests: Classical Philosophy, Nietzsche, Philosophy of Art, Literary Theory

Office Hours Spring 2022

Alexander Nehamas was born in Athens, graduated from Athens College, and attended Swarthmore College and Princeton University, where he is currently Professor in the Humanities, Philosophy, and Comparative Literature. Before coming to Princeton, he taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the books listed below, he has translated, with Paul Woodruff, Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus into English. At Princeton, he has chaired the Council of the Humanities, directed the Program in Hellenic Studies, and was the Founding Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. In 1993, he was the Sather Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. He has received a Mellon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities, and he was recently named a Brigadier of the Order of the Phoenix by the Greek Government. Influenced by the place of philosophy in the life of Ancient Greece and Rome as well as by Nietzsche, he questions the transformation of philosophy from a way of living into a purely academic discipline. Similarly, he holds the view that the arts constitute an indispensable part of human life and not a separate domain, of interest only to a few. He teaches courses on Plato, Nietzsche, the philosophy of art, and intention and action.


"Because It Was He, Because It Was I”: Six Essays on Friendship (2015)

Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art (Princeton UP, 2007)

The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (University of Californian Press, 2000)

Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (Princeton UP, 1999)

Nietzsche: Life as Literature (Harvard UP, 1985)

Recent Articles

“The Academy at Work: Dialectic in Plato’s Parmenides,” Plato’s Academy: A Survey of the Evidence, ed. Paul Kalligas (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

“Nietzsche, Intention, Action, Responsibility,” (Oxford University Press anthology of essays on Nietzsche, 2015)

“Aristotelian Philia, Modern Friendship?” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 2010

“The Good of Friendship,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2010

“Of Poets and Thinkers: A Conversation on Philosophy, Literature and the Rebuilding of the World” (with Costica Bradatan, Simon Critchley, and Giuseppe Mazzotta), The European Legacy, Summer 2009, pp. 519-534