Nichols CV

January 2008


Born August 13, 1944, New York.
Married; two children.

Office address:

Government Department
Claremont McKenna College
850 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-3453. Fax (909) 621-8419.


Yale College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1966
Cornell University, Ph.D., in Government, 1971
Study in Paris, France 1969-70


French, Latin, Greek, and German

Academic Awards,
and Grants

AFS foreign exchange student to France, 1961-62
National Merit Scholar, 1962-66
Andrew D. White History Prize, 1963
Phi Beta Kappa, 1964
Berkeley Classics Prize, 1966
Graduated summa cum laude, Yale, 1966
Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1966-71
Herbert H. Lehman Fellow, 1966-70
Andrew D. White Fellow, 1966-69
Visiting Scholar, Centre Universitaire Internationale, Paris, France, 1969-70
Earhart Foundation Fellow, 1970-71
Earhart Foundation summer research grant, 1972
Claremont McKenna College summer research grants, 1973, 1974, 1983, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2007
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation project grants, 1986-88, 1990-92
Bradley Foundation Research Fellowship Program grant, 1987-2008

Professional Experience:

Professor of Political Science, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California, 1990-- ; Dr. Jules L. Whitehill Professor of Humanism and Ethics, 2007-- ; Department chair, 1992-5, 2001; Associate Professor, 1979-90.

Claremont Graduate School Faculty, 1973-75, 1982--; Avery Fellow, 1988--.

Associate Director for Special Initiatives, Division of General Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C., 1984-85.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, 1975-77, Associate Professor, 1977-79, Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New School for Social Research, New York, N.Y.

Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Fall 1977.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Claremont Men's College, Claremont, California, 1972-75.

Assistant Professor of Political Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1971-72.

Publications: Books

Alexandre Kojève: Wisdom at the End of History, by James H. Nichols, Jr., in the series Twentieth Century Political Thinkers (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).

Gorgias and Phaedrus by Plato, translated with introduction, notes, and interpretative essays by James H. Nichols, Jr. (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1998). The Gorgias and Phaedrus were simultaneously published as two separate paperbacks, also from Cornell University Press.

From Political Economy to Economics --- And Back?, edited by James H. Nichols, Jr. and Colin Wright (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1990).

Introduction to the Reading of Hegel by Alexandre Kojève, translated from French by James H. Nichols, Jr. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1980; reissue in Agora Paperback Editions of original Basic Books edition of 1969).

Epicurean Political Philosophy: The De rerum natura of Lucretius, by James H. Nichols, Jr. (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1976). Chinese translation (Beijing, People’s Republic of China: Huaxia Publishing House, 2004).

Publications: Articles and Book Chapters

“The Civic Rhetoric of Isaiah Berlin,” in Pluralism Without Relativism: Remembering Sir Isaiah Berlin, edited by João Carlos Espada and Marc F. Plattner (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, forthcoming 2008).

“Political Economy and the Development of Liberalism” in The Liberal Tradition in Focus: Problems and New Perspectives, edited by João Carlos Espada, Marc F. Plattner, and Adam Wolfson (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2000).

“Rethinking Politics for the Next Generation of Liberalism” in Liberalism in the New Millennium, edited by Bradley C.S. Watson (Latrobe, PA: Center for Economic & Policy Education, 2000).

"Rhetoric," "Pragmatism," "John Dewey," and "William James" in The Encyclopedia of Democracy, 4 vols., edited by Seymour Martin Lipset (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1995).

"Platonic Reflections on Philosophic Education" in Political Philosophy and the Human Soul: Essays in Memory of Allan Bloom, edited by Michael Palmer and Thomas L. Pangle (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1995).

"Technology in Classical Thought" in Technology in the Western Political Tradition, edited by Arthur M. Melzer, Jerry Weinberger, and M. Richard Zinman (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993).

"Political Economy and the Problems of Political Philosophy" in From Political Economy to Economics --- And Back?, edited by James H. Nichols, Jr. and Colin Wright (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1990).

"Pragmatism and the U.S. Constitution" in Confronting the Constitution, edited by Allan Bloom (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1990).

"Plato's Laches" translated with notes and an interpretive essay, in The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues, edited by Thomas S. Pangle (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987).

"Human Rights Abroad and at Home" in Human Rights in Our Time: Essays in Memory of Victor Baras, edited by Marc F. Plattner (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1984).

"On the Proper Use of Ancient Political Philosophy: A Comment on Stephen T. Holmes's 'Aristippus in and out of Athens.'" American Political Science Review, March 1979.

Translation from French of Alexandre Kojève's "The Emperor Julian and his Art of Writing" in Ancients and Moderns, edited by Joseph Cropsey (New York: Basic Books, 1964).

Publications: Reviews

“Moderate Romanticism?”, a review of Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: Their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought, by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy, with an introduction by Joshua L. Cherniss, online at

Brief review of Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, by Jonathan Marks, in Claremont Review of Books, Vol.VI, No. 2 (Spring 2006).

Review of The Restless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, by Mark Lilla, in Academic Questions, Vol. 15, No.4 (Fall 2002).

“God and Mammon,” a review of Economics as Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond, by Robert H. Nelson, in Claremont Review of Books, Vol. II, No. 3 (Spring 2002).

“Right, Law, and Justice at the End of History,” a review of Outline of a Phenomenology of Right, by Alexandre Kojève, tr. by Bryan-Paul Frost and Robert Howse, in Claremont Review of Books, Vol. I No. 4 (Summer 2001).

Review of Polis and Politics: Essays in Greek Moral and Political Philosophy, edited by A. Loizou and H. Lesser, in Ancient Philosophy 14 (1994).

Review of Michel Launay's Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Écrivain Politique, in American Political Science Review, Vol. 71, No. 3 (September 1977).

Review of Gertrude Himmelfarb's On Liberty and Liberalism: The Case of John Stuart Mill, in The New Leader, February 17, 1975.

Review of Bernard Crick's In Defense of Politics, in American Political Science Review, Vol. 68, No. 4 (December 1974).

Selected Other Professional Activities:

Paper, “Tacitus on Government and the Military in the Roman Empire, with some Reflections on what Machiavelli and Montesquieu Learned from him,” American Political Science Association annual meeting, Chicago, August 2007.

Lecture, “Political Philosophy and Ancient History: the Example of Tacitus,” Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, Claremont McKenna College, May 2007.

Lecture, "The Thought of Alexandre Kojève: Hegelian System or Postmodern Irony?" presented at Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich, Germany, June 2004. (German translation of an expanded version to be published by the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung).

Paper entitled “On Leo Strauss’s Intellectual Engagement with Alexandre Kojève and Its Relation to Natural Right and History” at a conference on “Leo Strauss’s Natural Right and History: Contexts and Subtexts” at the University of Chicago, May 11-13, 2001.

Lecture on “The Rational Historicism of Alexandre Kojève” on Panel IV: The Challenge of Historicism, at the conference “Contemporary Obstacles to Leo Strauss’s Experiment: Is a Return to Classical Political Philosophy Possible Today?” at St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM, November 1999.

Lecture on “Rethinking Politics for the Next Generation of Liberalism” at a Civitas Forum on “Liberalism in the New Millennium” at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA; October 1999.

Lecture on “The Civic Rhetoric of Isaiah Berlin” for one of the Cursos da Arrábida, on “Pluralism without Relativism: Remembering Sir Isaiah Berlin,” in Arrábida, Portugal; October 1999.

Lecture on “From Political Economy to Economics --- And Back?” for one of the Cursos da Arrábida, on “Liberalism, Old and New,” in Arrábida, Portugal; October 1998.

Lecture on “Fostering Civic Virtue through Understanding Politics” in an APSA Short Course (sponsored by the Institute for Contemporary Studies New Civics Project), course entitled “Teaching Civic Virtue: A Workshop on Citizenship” at the annual meeting of the APSA in Boston, September 1998.

Lecture on “Platonic Reflections on Education, Philosophic and Rhetorical” and seminar on “Economics or Political Economy?: Reflections on the Relation between Economic Science and Politics,” Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, May-June, 1997.

Lecture, "Platonic Reflections on Philosophic Education," delivered at a conference on "The Purpose of the University," at the University of Chicago, May 1992.

Lecture, "Plato's Phaedrus," delivered at St. John's College, Santa Fe, April 1992.

Lecture, "The Epicurean Political Philosophy of Lucretius" given at Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Munich, Germany, July 1991.

Paper, "Philosophy, Persuasion, and Politics: Plato's View" presented at American Political Science Association convention, San Francisco, September 1990.

Lecture on Plato's Gorgias, Boston College, December 1989.

Lecture on "Technology in Classical Thought," Michigan State University, Nov. 1989.

Lecture and seminar on "John Dewey's Pragmatism and the U.S. Constitution," University of Chicago, March 1988.

Co-organized and co-chaired conference on "What Is Political Economy?: Some Issues at the Foundation." Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, November 1987.

Lecture, "The Politics of Science," sponsored by Francis Bacon Foundation, Claremont, California, January 1982.

Organized and chaired a symposium on human rights, at the Graduate Faculty of the New School, New York, N.Y., April 1978.

Paper, “Rousseau and Lucretius,” presented at American Political Science Association convention, New Orleans, September 1973.

Lecture, "Reflections on Statesmanship," concluding a series of lectures on statesmanship, principally American; Claremont, California, May 1973.

Work in Progress:

Tacitean Reflections on Republic and Empire: current research project.