Samuel Baker
Office Hours

HUMB RM# 128
M 12-2, W 9-10, TH 1-4
Ph: (251) 460-6248 ext 2561
Samuel Baker
Assistant Professor
Ancient Philosophy, Ethics

Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy (primarily Aristotle)
  • Ethics
  • Metaphysics
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion


After brief stints at UCLA and the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne), I became an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of South Alabama in the fall of 2015. 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 that since the Middle Ages scholars have misunderstood the most important argument in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics—the famous "function argument" of NE I 7—and I offered what I take to be the correct interpretation. The linchpin of my dissertation is now published in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. Though I'm interested in ancient Greek philosophy quite generally, I tend to focus on the ethics and metaphysics of Aristotle. I appreciate how medieval philosophers seriously and profitably engaged with Aristotle, and I believe contemporary philosophers can still do the same.

I teach the introductory Classical Greek sequence (LG 141 and LG 142), as well as courses in ancient philosophy and in philosophy more generally.




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

“The Metaphysics of Goodness in the Ethics of Aristotle,” Philosophical Studies (forthcoming)

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