Department of Philosophy logo
Somogy Varga

Professor Varga (PhD, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main) joined the faculty in 2012. He has worked at the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, and has conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück. He was also a visiting researcher at the Centre for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. His primary areas of research are philosophy of psychiatry/mind, moral psychology, social philosophy and critical theory.

Dr. Varga serves as Co-Editor of the Southern Journal of Philosophy.

Selected Publications

Books authored

Varga, S. (2011) Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal, Routledge: New York.

Varga, S. (ca. 2015) Naturalism, Hermeneutics and Mental Disorder, Oxford: Oxford University Press (under contract, first draft completed).

Varga, S. (in prep.) Ruptured Selves: Embodied Cognition and Mental Disorder Cambridge: MIT Press (under contract).


Books edited

Varga, S. & Slaby, J. (eds.) (2012) Philosophy of Psychiatry, Edited Special Issue of Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie.

Merritt, M. & Varga, S. (eds.) (2013) Socially Extended Mind, Edited Special Issue of Cognitive Systems Research.


Journal articles and book chapters


Varga, S. (in review) “Dyadic Synchronic Interaction, Emergence and Extended Cognition” (26 p.)

Varga, S. (in review) “Functionalism and Extended Cognition” (22 p.)

Varga, S. (in review) “Perceptual experience and cognitive penetrability” (27 p.)

Varga, S. (in review) “Volitions in Psychopathy” (20 p.)

Gallagher, S. & Varga, S. (forthc.) “Conceptual Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

Varga, S. (forthc.) “Intentionality, Normativity and Naturalism” Philosophia

Varga. S (forthc.) “Evolutionary psychiatry and depression” Alvergne. A. (ed.) (2014) Evolutionary Medicine: A guide for Researchers, Practitioners and Policy-makers (EHBEA), Springer.

Gallagher, S. & Varga, S. (forthc.) “Intersubjectivity and Psychopathology”, World Psychiatry.

Varga, S (forthc.) “Self, Narrative and the Culture of Therapy”, Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology.

Varga, S. (forthc.) “Self-Deception, Self-Knowledge and Autobiography”, in Cowley, Christopher (ed.) The Philosophy of Autobiography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Stoyanov, D, Borgwardt, S & Varga, S. (2014) “The problem of translational validity across neuroscience and psychiatry”, Zachar, P, Stoyanov, D, et al (ed.) Alternative perspectives on psychiatric validation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ratcliffe, M, Stephan, A. & Varga, S. (2014) Editorial, Special Issue: The Phenomenology of Depression, Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8), 10-14.

Varga, S. (2014) “Cognition, Representations and Embodied Emotions: Investigating Cognitive Theory” Erkenntnis 79 (1): 165-190.

Gallagher, S & Varga, S. (2013) “Social Constraints on Direct Perception”, Topoi 33 (1):185-199.

Varga, S. (2013) “The Frames of Cognition”, Cognitive Systems Research (25-26): 54–60.

Merritt, M & Varga, S. (2013) Editorial, Special Issue: The Socially Extended Mind, Cognitive Systems Research (25-26): 1–3.

Varga, S. (2013.) “The Elephant in the Room. Reply to Radden, Sass and Pienko” Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 20 (2): 165-167.

Radden, J. & Varga, S. (2013) ”Depression Memoirs: some meta-analysis”, in Fulford, KWM. et al. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 99-115.

Varga, S. (2013) “From Melancholia to Depression.Ideas on a possible continuity” Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 20 (2): 141-155.

Varga, S. & Krueger, J. (2013) “Background Emotions, Proximity and Distributed Emotion Regulation” Review of Philosophy and Psychiatry, 4: 271-292.

Varga, S. (2013) “Classification, Validity and Psychiatric Kinds” in D. Stoyanov (ed.), Psychopathology: theory, perspectives and future approaches, New York: Nova, 81-96.

Varga, S. & Slaby, J. (2012) “Philosophie der Psychiatrie”, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (6):1-4.

Varga, S. (2012) “Kognitive Theorie, mentale Repräsentationen und Emotionen. Philosophie und therapeutische Praxis.” Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (6), 1–18.

Varga, S. (2012) “Depersonalization and the Sense of Realness” Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 19 (2): 103-113.

Varga, S. (2012) “Realness, Expression and the Role of Others” Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 19 (2): 123-126.

Varga, S. (2012) “Non-Reflective Self-Awareness. Do We Need a Situated Account?” Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4): 164-193. 

Varga, S. (2011) “Defining Mental Disorder. Exploring the ‘Natural Functions’ Approach” Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 6:1.

Varga, S. (2011) “Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression. Testing Two Hypotheses” Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 15(1): 41-52.

Varga, S. (2011) “Pretence, Social Cognition and Self-Knowledge in Autism.” Psychopathology 44: 45-52.

Varga, S. (2011) “Winnicott, Symbolic Play and Other Minds,” Philosophical Psychology 24 (5): 625–637.

Varga, S. (2010) “Vulnerability to Psychosis, I-Thou Intersubjectivity and the Praecox-Feeling” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Parnas, J., Nordgaard, J, Varga, S. (2010) “The concept of psychosis: A clinical and theoretical analysis” Clinical Neuropsychiatry 7 (2): 32-37.

Varga, S. (2010) “Explaining Impaired Play in Autism” Journal für Philosophie und Psychiatrie 3(1):  1-13.

Varga, S. (2010) “Als-ob und geteilte Intentionalität”, in R. Strätling (ed.), Spielformen des Selbst. Subjektivität, Kunst und Alltagspraxis, 191-204,Bielefeld: Transcript.

Varga, S. (2009) “Derealization, Depersonalization and the Question of ´Realness´” Archives of Philosophy and Mental Health, 11 (1): 42-51.

Varga, S. (2008) “Expression, Self-Knowledge and Authority: Wittgenstein and Subjectivity” Filozofia vol. 63 (9): 830-839.


Varga, S. (in review) “Creative Destruction: Subjectivity and Exploitation in Contemporary Capitalism” (26 p.)

Varga, S. (in review) “Exploitation and Vulnerability” (23 p.)

Varga, S. (2014) “Recognition” Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Chichester: Wiley.

Varga, S. (2013) “The Marketization of Foreign Cultural Policy: The Cultural Nationalism of the Competition State”, Constellations 20 (3): 442-458.

Varga, S. (2013) “The Politics of Nation Branding” Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (8): 825-845.

Varga, S. & Gallagher, S. (2012)  ”Critical Social Philosophy, Honneth and the Role of Primary Intersubjectivity” European Journal of Social Theory 15 (2): 243-260.

Varga, S. (2011) “Habermas, ‘Species Ethics’ and the Limits of Formal Anthropology” Critical Horizons – A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, 12 (1): 71-89.

Jørgensen, JN & Varga, S. (2011) “Norms and Practices of Poly-Lingual Behaviour: A Sociolinguistic Model” Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics.

Varga, S. (2010) “Critical Theory and the Two-Level Account of Recognition. Towards a New Foundation?” Critical Horizons – A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, 11 (1): 23-38.

Varga, S. & Utzelmann, B. (2007) “Normal oder normalisiert? Zur nationalen Identität deutscher und britischer Migranten in Dänemark” Grenzfriedenshefte, 9-18.


Varga, S. (forthc.) “Core Identifications” American Philosophical Quarterly.

Varga, S. (forthc.) “Marxian critique of the concept of dignity”, in Debes, R. (ed.) The Concept of Dignity, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Varga, S. & Guignon, C. (2014) “Authenticity” Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

Varga, S. (2014) “Authenticity” Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Chichester: Wiley.

Varga, S. (2014) “Fiat justitia, ruat caelum. A Habermasian perspective”, Ethics, Policy and Environment   17 (2): 153-156.

Varga, S. (2011) “Primary Goods, contingency and the challenge of genetic enhancement” Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (3): 279-291.

Varga, S. (2011) “Existential Choices. To What Degree is Who We a Matter of Choice?” Continental Philosophy Review 44: 65-79. 

Varga, S. (2011) “Self-Realization and Owing to Others. A Morality Constrain?” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19: 71-82.

Varga, S. (2011) “The Paradox of Authenticity” TELOS 156: 1-19.

Varga, S. (2010) “Sincerity, Autonomy and their Decline” In: R. Graulund (ed.), Desperately Seeking Authenticity, Copenhagen: CDS, 144-159.

Varga, S. (2010) “Charles Taylor”, P. Lübcke (ed.) Politikens Filosofi Leksikon Copenhagen: Politikens Forlag.

Varga, S. (2009) “Sub Spaecie Aeternitatis. Wittgenstein on Ethics and Aesthetics”, Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 38: 35-50.

Varga, S. & Holm, I.W. (2009) “Mood of Catastrophy: Inger Christensen´s Alfabet and the Cold Catastrophy” (in Danish), Trappe tusind, 2(3): 56-59.

Varga, S. (2009) “Life as Art: Some Paradoxes of an Ethical Concept” Estetika. Central European Journal of Aesthetics, 2 (1): 49-61.

Varga, S. (2007) “Self-Help and Selfhood: Ambivalences of an Interweavement in the Literature of Self-Improvement” S. Deasey; C. Forrest (red.): Authentic Artifice: Cultures of the Real, Salford: University of Salford Press, 223-240.


Book reviews

Varga, S. (forthc.) “Review of The Metaphysics of Mental Disorder”, Philosophical Quarterly

Varga, S. (2014) “Review of Radical Enactivism”, Philosophy 89 (2): 357-361.

Varga, S. (2013) “Review of Disordered Minds”, Mind 121 (484): 1064-1068.

Varga, S. (2009) “Levels of Attunement: A Comment on Matthew Ratcliffe´s The Feelings of Being. Phenomenology, Psychiatry and the Sense of Reality”, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8(2): 607-611.

Recent Presentations

 “Practical Necessity”, Universitaet Essen, KWI, June 2014
“Social Cognition: A Broader View”, Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum, June 2014
“Investigating Cognitive Theory”, UMass Boston, May 2014
“Cognitive Theory and Psychotherapy”, Philosophy and psychiatry reading group, Butler Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School Brown University, May 2014
“Emotions and Cognition in Solitary Confinement”, University of Memphis, April 2014
“Embodiment and Representations”, University of Wollongong, Australia, January 2014
“Understanding Cognition. The Value of Thought Experiments”, Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum, Germany, January 2014
Contact Details

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Office: 129 Clement Hall
Phone: 901-678-3295
Fax: 901-678-4365

Email: svarga<at>memphis<dot>edu
Personal homepage

Office Hours (Fall 2012): TBA

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 10/17/14