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Alexander Nehamas
Born 22 March 1946
Athens, Greece
Era 21st century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Postmodernism
Main interests
Ancient Greek philosophy, comparative literature, aesthetics

Alexander Nehamas (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Νεχαμάς; born 22 March 1946) is Professor of Philosophy and Edmund N. Carpenter, II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1990, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He works on Greek philosophy, aesthetics, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and literary theory.

Biography[edit]

Nehamas was born in Athens, Greece in 1946. In 1964, he enrolled to Swarthmore College. He graduated in 1967 and completed his doctorate on Predication in Plato's Phaedo under the direction of Gregory Vlastos at Princeton in 1971. He taught at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Princeton faculty in 1990.[1]

Philosophy[edit]

His early work was on Platonic metaphysics and aesthetics as well as the philosophy of Socrates, but he gained a wider audience with his 1985 book Nietzsche: Life as Literature (Harvard University Press), in which he argued that Nietzsche thought of life and the world on the model of a literary text.[2] Nehamas has said, "The virtues of life are comparable to the virtues of good writing—style, connectedness, grace, elegance—and also, we must not forget, sometimes getting it right."[3] More recently, he has become well known for his view that philosophy should provide a form of life, as well as for his endorsement of the artistic value of television. This view also becomes evident in his book Only a Promise of Happiness. The title itself is later in this work used as one definition of beauty with reference to Stendhal. In that sense, beauty can be found in all media; as Nehamas claims in the same work: ″Aesthetic features are everywhere, but that has nothing to do with where the arts can be found. Works of art can be beautiful because everything can be beautiful, but that doesn't mean that anything can be a work of art.″ (p. 95). In 2008, he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Nietzsche: Life as Literature, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1985)
  • Symposium (translation, with Paul Woodruff) (1989)
  • The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault (1998)
  • Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates (1999)
  • 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 (2008)

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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86 news items

Princeton University

Princeton University
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 09:03:45 -0800

Alexander Nehamas, the Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor of Humanities and a professor of philosophy and comparative literature, has taught at Princeton since 1990. He was born in Athens and speaks Greek, English, French, German and ...

UCR Today (press release)

UCR Today (press release)
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:57:35 -0800

3:30 p.m. – “Nietzsche, Truth and 'The Falsification Thesis',” Alexander Nehamas, Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities, professor of philosophy and professor of comparative literature at Princeton University. The conference ...

The Observer Star

The Observer Star
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:35:39 -0800

Although rooted in Judaism, Christianity quickly came to absorb elements of Zoroastrianism (the ancient dualistic religion of Iran), some important features of pharaonic Egyptian religion, the religions of ancient Mesopotamia, and a number of Greco ...

EUROPP - European Politics and Policy (blog)

EUROPP - European Politics and Policy (blog)
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 03:16:24 -0800

Rather than a specific reading, I mention a discussion passed down through scholars such as Alexander Nehamas, who is widely known. Broader inclusions are offered as general knowledge and not as a suggestion that there is any historical inevitability ...

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Sun, 29 Aug 2010 14:25:47 -0700

Alexander Nehamas is professor of philosophy and comparative literature and Edmund N. Carpenter, II, Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. He is the author of several works on Plato, Nietzsche, literary theory and ...

Greek Reporter

Greek Reporter
Thu, 27 Jan 2011 09:56:36 -0800

On Wednesday, the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received Alexander Nehamas, Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. The distinguished professor was named Honorary Doctor of Aristotle University, of the Philosophy Department.

Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:13:38 -0800

I met my best friend, the philosopher Alexander Nehamas, there, when he was in a student-written play I directed.” Prior to The Work of the Dead, which famously has been many years in the making, Laqueur published a number of other books, including ...

London Review of Books (subscription)

London Review of Books (subscription)
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 05:33:45 -0700

The hotel where I worked was called the Mykonos Grace. It was a whitewashed stucco building of 32 rooms. Most went for hundreds of euros a night – around what each of the staff made in a month. The cheapest rooms were at street level. An angry French ...
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