Nikolaos Bakalis: Düsseldorf, Germany


Nikolaos Bakalis

I was born in Northern Greece in 1957 and lived the most part of my life in Thessalonica, Greece. When I was a child, I was always fascinated by the sayings of the Greek philosophers (Heraclitus, Democritus, Socrates, Aristotle). Later on in my puberty I started reading their writings and I became full of enthusiasm about their reasoning and searching for the underlying truth in all things. This marked my life afterwards. Philosophical searching through many and different schools of reasoning (Marxism, Empiricism, Existentialism, Subjectivism, Phenomenology. Skepticism, Zen Buddhism, Daoism, Rationalism) became a part of my life, along with my studies in Physics and Chemistry. That philosophical searching out led me finally to the thorough studying of Greek philosophy, which has become my inseparable companion. Therefore, I decided to write my book 'Handbook of Greek Philosophy' (

Today, I cannot imagine life without philosophical reflection and reasoning, along with my other activities. Therefore, I am glad that there are other people in the ISFP who also find philosophy significant for their life and we can exchange our thoughts and our concepts.

I am a High School teacher and apart from teaching, reading and writing about philosophy, I like walking in the countryside, swimming, listening to rock ballads and classical music, reading classical literature, studying paintings, and playing chess.

I am divorced with two sons. I spent some years in London and since 2000 I have been living together with my life partner Doris in Meerbusch, a suburb of Düsseldorf, Germany.

I would like to quote some fragments of Greek wisdom, which have been the mottos of my life:

'All things in moderation', 'Know thyself' (Thales).

'Do nothing evil neither in the presence of others nor privately, but above all things respect yourself' (Pythagoras, Golden Verses 11-12).

'The wise is one thing, to be acquainted with true judgement, how all things are steered through all.' (Heraclitus, fr. 41).

'I searched out myself' (Heraclitus, fr. 101).

'The felicity of a man does not consist either in body or in riches, but in right reflection and abundance of prudence' (Democritus, Fr 40).

'One thing I know that I know nothing' (Socrates).

'A man becomes like God, when he becomes just and pious with understanding.' (Plato, Theaetetus 176b).

'Philosophy is thought to offer pleasures marvelous for their purity and their enduringness' (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1077a 25).

'Virtue (arete) then is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason.' (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1107 a).

'It is impossible to live pleasantly without living prudently, well and justly, nor it is possible to live prudently, well and justly without living pleasantly.' (Epicurus, Principal Doctrines 5).

'In things that lie outside the sphere of choice be courageous, in the things that lie within it, be cautious.' (Epictetus Discourses B, 1).

Best regards,

Nikolaos Bakalis