Samuel Baker

Samuel Baker

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy (primarily Aristotle)


Before coming to the University of South Alabama in the fall of 2015, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne). I received my PhD from Princeton University where I wrote my dissertation under the supervision of Benjamin Morison, Hendrik Lorenz and John Cooper. I argued for a novel interpretation of a key argument in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics—the "function argument" of NE I 7 whereby Aristotle gives a "definition" of the human good. Though I'm interested in ancient Greek philosophy quite generally, I tend to focus on the ethics and metaphysics of Aristotle.

Selected Publications

"A Monistic Conclusion to Aristotle's Ergon Argument: The Human Good as the Best Achievement of a Human," Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, forthcoming

"Aristotle on the Nature and Politics of Medicine," Apeiron, forthcoming

"What is the 'best and most perfect virtue'?" Analysis 79 (2019): 387-393

“Notes from Narnia (on the Human Body),” Think 18.52 (2019): 81-86

“The Metaphysics of Goodness in the Ethics of Aristotle,” Philosophical Studies 174 (2017), 1839-1856

“The Concept of Ergon: Towards an Achievement Interpretation of Aristotle’s ‘Function Argument’,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 48 (2015), 227-266

Review of Kontos, P. (ed.) Evil in Aristotle in Journal of the History of Philosophy 57:2 (April 2019), 342-343

Review of D. Scott, Levels of Argument: A Comparative Study of Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2015.11.25

Review of C. D. C. Reeve, Action, Contemplation and Happiness: An Essay on Aristotle in Journal of Hellenic Studies 133 (2013), 291-292.


  • PHL 131 Introduction to Ethics
  • PHL 240 Western Philosophy: Classical
  • PHL 351 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHL 333 Biomedical Ethics
  • LG 101 and 102 Introductory Latin
  • LG 201 and 202 Intermediate Latin
  • LG 141 and 142 Introductory Classical Greek