Alexander Nehamas was born in Athens, graduated from Athens College, and attended Swarthmore College and Princeton University, from where he just retired as the Edmund Carpenter Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature Emeritus. Before coming to Princeton, he taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Nietzsche: Life as Literature, Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (Princeton University Press, 1998), The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (University of California Press, 2000), Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art (Princeton University Press, 2007), and On Friendship (Basic Books, 2016), and a translator of Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus. At Princeton, he 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. He has delivered the Sather Lectures at the University of California at Berkeley, the Tanner Lectures at Yale University, and the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Institute of Fine Arts of the National Polytechnic University, and the Hellenic International University. He has received a Mellon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities, and was named a Commander of the Order of the Phoenix by the Greek Government. In 2018, he was elected to the Chair of the History of Philosophy in the Academy of Athens. Influenced by the place of philosophy in the life of Ancient Greece and Rome as well as by Friedrich Nietzsche, he questions the transformation of philosophy from a way of living into a purely academic discipline. Similarly, he considers the arts as an indispensable part of human life and not as a separate domain, of interest and value only to a few. His teaching focused mainly on Plato, Nietzsche, the philosophy of art, human action, and Cavafy.
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Institutional webpage: https://nehamas.scholar.princeton.edu/