Somogy Varga

Associate Professor of Philosophy

319 Clement Hall, Memphis, TN 38152
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About Professor 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 is the editor of the Southern Journal of Philosophy and serves as a member of the Faculty Senate. He is also the director of Philosophical Horizons, a community outreach program primarily dedicated to introducing philosophy to children in Memphis City Schools.

Selected Publications


1. Varga, S. (2011) Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal, Routledge: New York.
(reviewed in: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Journal of Moral Philosophy, and Philosophy in Review)
2. Varga, S. (2015) Naturalism, Interpretation and Mental Disorder, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(reviewed in: Journal of Social Psychiatry, The British Society for Literature and Science, and Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie)
3. Varga, S. (ca. 2018) Ruptured Selves (under contract with MIT Press)

Edited volumes

4. Varga, S. & Slaby, J. (eds.) (2012) Philosophy of Psychiatry, Edited Special Issue of Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie.
(reviewed in: Frankfurter Rundschau)
5. Merritt, M. & Varga, S. (eds.) (2013) Socially Extended Mind, Edited Special Issue of Cognitive Systems Research.
6. Varga, S. (2016) Exploitation, Edited Special Issue of Southern Journal of Philosophy
7. Bauer, K., Varga, S., Mieth, C. (eds.) (2017) Dimensions of Practical Necessity. London: Palgrave.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters


1. Varga, S. (2017) "Embodied Situationism" Australasian Journal of Philosophy, DOI: 10.1080/00048402.2017.1341538
2. Varga, S. (2016) "Autonomous self-expression and meritocratic dignity" Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5): 1131–1149.
3. Varga, S. (2015) "Core Identifications: The Motives That Really "Speak for Us"" American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4): 301-320.
4. Varga, S. (2015) "Identifications, Volitions and the Case of Successful Psychopaths" Dialectica 69, 87–106.
5. Varga, S. (2015) "Taking Refuge from History in Morality: Marx, Morality, and Dignity", in Debes, R. (ed.) The Concept of Dignity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 291-299.
6. Varga, S. & Guignon, C. (2014) "Authenticity" Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
7. Varga, S. (2014) "Authenticity" Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Chichester: Wiley.
8. Varga, S. (2014) "Fiat justitia, ruat caelum. A Habermasian perspective", Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (2): 153-156.
9. Varga, S. (2011) "Primary Goods, contingency and the challenge of genetic enhancement" Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (3): 279-291.
10. Varga, S. (2011) "Existential Choices. To What Degree is Who We a Matter of Choice?" Continental Philosophy Review 44: 65-79.
11. Varga, S. (2011) "Self-Realization and Owing to Others. A Morality Constrain?" International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19: 71-82.
12. Varga, S. (2011) "The Paradox of Authenticity" TELOS 156: 1-19.
13. Varga, S. (2010) "Sincerity, Autonomy and their Decline" In: R. Graulund (ed.), Desperately Seeking Authenticity, Copenhagen: CDS, 144-159.
14. Varga, S. (2010) "Charles Taylor", P. Lübcke (ed.) Politikens Filosofi Leksikon Copenhagen: Politikens Forlag.
15. Varga, S. (2009) "Sub Spaecie Aeternitatis. Wittgenstein on Ethics and Aesthetics", Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 38: 35-50.
16. 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.
17. Varga, S. (2009) "Life as Art: Some Paradoxes of an Ethical Concept" Estetika. Central European Journal of Aesthetics, 2 (1): 49-61.
18. 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.


19. Varga, S. (2016) "Exploitation, Vulnerability and Market-driven Governance" Journal of Social Philosophy 47: 90–113.
20. Varga, S. (2014) "Recognition" Encyclopedia of Political Thought, Chichester: Wiley.
21. Varga, S. (2013) "The Marketization of Foreign Cultural Policy: The Cultural Nationalism of the Competition State", Constellations 20 (3): 442-458.
22. Varga, S. (2013) "The Politics of Nation Branding" Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (8): 825-845.
23. Varga, S. & Gallagher, S. (2012) "Critical Social Philosophy, Honneth and the Role of Primary Intersubjectivity" European Journal of Social Theory 15 (2): 243-260.
24. 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.
25. Jørgensen, JN & Varga, S. (2011) "Norms and Practices of Poly-Lingual Behaviour: A Sociolinguistic Model" Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics 2 (2): 49-68.
26. 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.
27. Varga, S. & Utzelmann, B. (2007) "Normal oder normalisiert? Zur nationalen Identität deutscher und britischer Migranten in Dänemark" Grenzfriedenshefte, 9-18.


28. Varga, S. (forthc.) "Embodiment and Moral Reasoning", in De Bruin L, Newen A, Gallagher S (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition, Oxford University Press.
29. Varga, S. (forthc.) "Embodied Concepts and Disordered Minds" Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
30. Varga, S. (2017) "Normativity, Naturalism and Mental Disorder" Philosophy Compass DOI: 10.1111/phc3.12422.
31. Varga, S. (2017) "Perceptual experience and cognitive penetration", European Journal of Philosophy.
32. Varga, S. (2016) "The Case for Mind Perception" Synthese DOI 1007/s11229-015-09994-8
33. Varga. S (2016) "Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression" Alvergne. A. (ed.) Evolutionary Medicine: A guide for Researchers, Practitioners and Policy-makers (EHBEA), Springer.
34. Varga, S. (2015) "Intentionality, Normativity and Naturalism" Philosophia 43(3): 611-624.
35. Varga, S. (2015) "Interaction and Extended Cognition", Synthese 193 (8): 2469–2496.
36. Gallagher, S. & Varga, S. (2015) "Conceptual Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders", Current Opinion in Psychiatry 28 (2): 127-132.
37. Gallagher, S. & Varga, S. (2015) "Social Cognition and Psychopathology", World Psychiatry 14(1): 5–14.
38. Varga, S. (2015) "Self-Deception, Self-Knowledge and Autobiography", in Cowley, Christopher (ed.) The Philosophy of Autobiography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 141-155.
39. Varga, S (2014) "Self, Narrative and the Culture of Therapy", Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology. 21 (2): 161-163.
40. Stoyanov, D, Borgwardt, S & Varga, S. (2014) "The problem of translational validity across neuroscience and psychiatry", in Zachar, P, Stoyanov, D, et al (ed.) Alternative perspectives on psychiatric validation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 128-146.
41. Ratcliffe, M, Stephan, A. & Varga, S. (2014) Editorial, Special Issue: The Phenomenology of Depression, Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8), 10-14.
42. Varga, S. (2014) "Cognition, Representations and Embodied Emotions: Investigating Cognitive Theory" Erkenntnis 79 (1): 165-190.
43. Gallagher, S & Varga, S. (2013) "Social Constraints on Direct Perception", Topoi 33 (1): 185-199.
44. Varga, S. (2013) "The Frames of Cognition", Cognitive Systems Research (25-26): 54–60.
45. Merritt, M & Varga, S. (2013) Editorial, Special Issue: The Socially Extended Mind, Cognitive Systems Research (25-26): 1–3.
46. Varga, S. (2013.) "The Elephant in the Room. Reply to Radden, Sass and Pienko" Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 20 (2): 165-167.
47. 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.
48. Varga, S. (2013) "From Melancholia to Depression. Ideas on a possible continuity" Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 20 (2): 141-155.
49. Varga, S. & Krueger, J. (2013) "Background Emotions, Proximity and Distributed Emotion Regulation" Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 4: 271-292.
50. Varga, S. (2013) "Classification, Validity and Psychiatric Kinds" in D. Stoyanov (ed.), Psychopathology: theory, perspectives and future approaches, New York: Nova, 81-96.
51. Varga, S. (2012) "Kognitive Theorie, mentale Repräsentationen und Emotionen. Philosophie und therapeutische Praxis." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (6), 1–18.
52. Varga, S. (2012) "Depersonalization and the Sense of Realness" Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 19 (2): 103-113.
53. Varga, S. (2012) "Realness, Expression and the Role of Others" Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry 19 (2): 123-126.
54. Varga, S. & Slaby, J. (2012) "Philosophie der Psychiatrie", Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (6): 1-4.
55. Varga, S. (2012) "Non-Reflective Self-Awareness. Do We Need a Situated Account?" Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4): 164-193.
56. Varga, S. (2011) "Defining Mental Disorder. Exploring the 'Natural Functions' Approach" Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 6:1.
57. Varga, S. (2011) "Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression. Testing Two Hypotheses" Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 15(1): 41-52.
58. Varga, S. (2011) "Pretence, Social Cognition and Self-Knowledge in Autism." Psychopathology 44: 45-52.
59. Varga, S. (2011) "Winnicott, Symbolic Play and Other Minds," Philosophical Psychology 24 (5): 625–637.
60. Varga, S. (2010) "Vulnerability to Psychosis, I-Thou Intersubjectivity and the Praecox-Feeling" Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. 12 (1): 131-143.
61. Parnas, J., Nordgaard, J, Varga, S. (2010) "The concept of psychosis: A clinical and theoretical analysis" Clinical Neuropsychiatry 7 (2): 32-37.
62. Varga, S. (2010) "Explaining Impaired Play in Autism" Journal für Philosophie und Psychiatrie 3(1): 1-13.
63. Varga, S. (2010) "Als-ob und geteilte Intentionalität", in R. Strätling (ed.), Spielformen des Selbst. Subjektivität, Kunst und Alltagspraxis, 191-204, Bielefeld: Transcript.
64. Varga, S. (2009) "Derealization, Depersonalization and the Question of ´Realness´" Archives of Philosophy and Mental Health, 11 (1): 42-51.
65. Varga, S. (2008) "Expression, Self-Knowledge and Authority: Wittgenstein and Subjectivity" Filozofia vol. 63 (9): 830-839.


66. Varga, S. (2015) "Review of The Metaphysics of Mental Disorder", Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259): 307-310.
67. Varga, S. (2014) "Review of Radical Enactivism", Philosophy 89 (2): 357-361.
68. Varga, S. (2013) "Review of Disordered Minds", Mind 121 (484): 1064-1068.
69. 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 and Core Identifications", Essen, August.
• "Core Identifications, Values and Reasons", The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, February.
• "Cognitive Theory and Psychotherapy", University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, February.
• "Perceiving animacy" University of Wollongong, February.