Nickolas  Pappas Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Nickolas Pappas

Professor of Philosophy
City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

I am a philosopher who studies ancient philosophy, but also studies the ancient lives, literatures, and institutions among which philosophy arises. My work covers topics in aesthetics and Nietzsche, although in recent years Plato and his Academy have been my exclusive area of interest. Recent books include Politics and Philosophy in Plato’s Menexenus (with Mark Zelcer) and The Philosopher’s New Clothes. For over twenty years I have taught at the City University of New York.


I have been living in New York City for over twenty years, teaching at the City University of New York.  During that time I have been married with two daughters, who are now both adults.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My areas of research in philosophy are aesthetics, Nietzsche, and ancient philosophy.  However, in the last ten years or so the last of these has come to dominate, and especially the study of Plato.  I try to make my research interdisciplinary in the strongest sense, going back and forth between philosophy and classical studies in order to let each discipline enhance the other.  As my Guidebook to Plato's Republic has gone through three editions, I have found references to ancient political and social history, ancient literature, and even some ancient mathematics entering the book.  Thus I am grateful to the Guidebook as a great motivator for me to expand my study of ancient philosophy.

Personal Interests

    Living in New York City is exciting for many reasons; people have to choose their special interests.  My wife is a visual artist, so we spend a fair amount of our free time going to art exhibitions and openings and participating in other visual-arts events.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - RGGB Plato Republic - 1st Edition book cover


Journal of Nietzsche Studies

Nietzsche's Apollo

Published: Mar 13, 2015 by Journal of Nietzsche Studies
Authors: Nickolas Pappas
Subjects: Philosophy, Classical Studies

Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy deploys a version of Apollo that departs at significant points from the Apollo known to ancient Greek mythology. The Apollo of myth communicated about the future; Nietzsche's Apollo is surface and illusion. Nietzsche has not mistaken his Greek mythology, but is seeking to block the modern use of Apollinian Greek sculpture to fantasize about communication with and return to antiquity.

Ancient Philosophy

Plato’s Menexenus as a History that Falls into Patterns

Published: Mar 13, 2015 by Ancient Philosophy
Authors: Nickolas Pappas and Mark Zelcer
Subjects: History, Philosophy, Classical Studies

The funeral speech in Plato's Menexenus includes a history of the preceding century. This narrative has been taken as a parody, but it contains a Platonic structure. Seeing Athens as parallel to the good city's philosophers, other Greek cities on a par with the city's army, and non-Greeks as comparable to the productive class, one can read the pattern of battles in the narrative as a large-scale version of the history told in Republic Books 8 and 9.