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Somogy Varga
University of Memphis
  1. Social Constraints on the Direct Perception of Emotions and Intentions.Shaun Gallagher & Somogy Varga - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):185-199.
    In this paper, we first review recent arguments about the direct perception of the intentions and emotions of others, emphasizing the role of embodied interaction. We then consider a possible objection to the direct perception hypothesis from social psychology, related to phenomena like ‘dehumanization’ and ‘implicit racial bias’, which manifest themselves on a basic bodily level. On the background of such data, one might object that social perception cannot be direct since it depends on and can in fact be interrupted (...)
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  2. Background Emotions, Proximity and Distributed Emotion Regulation.Somogy Varga & Joel Krueger - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):271-292.
    In this paper, we draw on developmental findings to provide a nuanced understanding of background emotions, particularly those in depression. We demonstrate how they reflect our basic proximity (feeling of interpersonal connectedness) to others and defend both a phenomenological and a functional claim. First, we substantiate a conjecture by Fonagy & Target (International Journal of Psychoanalysis 88(4):917–937, 2007) that an important phenomenological aspect of depression is the experiential recreation of the infantile loss of proximity to significant others. Second, we argue (...)
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  3.  49
    Interaction and Extended Cognition.Somogy Varga - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    In contemporary philosophy of the cognitive sciences, proponents of the ‘Hypothesis of Extended Cognition’ have focused on demonstrating how cognitive processes at times extend beyond the boundaries of the human body to include external physical devices. In recent years the HEC framework has been put to use in cases of “socially” extended cognition. The guiding intuition in this paper is that exploring the cognitive incorporations of genuinely social elements may advance HEC debates. The paper provides an analysis of emotion regulation (...)
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  4.  45
    The Case for Mind Perception.Somogy Varga - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The question of how we actually arrive at our knowledge of others’ mental lives is lively debated, and some philosophers defend the idea that mentality is sometimes accessible to perception. In this paper, a distinction is introduced between “mind awareness” and “mental state awareness,” and it is argued that the former at least sometimes belongs to perceptual, rather than cognitive, processing.
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  5. Perceptual Experience and Cognitive Penetrability.Somogy Varga - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):376-397.
    This paper starts by distinguishing three views about the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. ‘Low-level theorists’ argue that perceptual experience is reducible to the experience of low-level properties, ‘high-level theorists’ argue that we have perceptual experiences of high-level properties, while ‘disunified view theorists’ argue that perceptual seemings can present high-level properties. The paper explores how cognitive states can penetrate perceptual experience and provides an interpretation of cognitive penetration that offers some support for the high-level view.
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  6. Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Routledge.
    Authenticity has become a widespread ethical ideal that represents a way of dealing with normative gaps in contemporary life. This ideal suggests that one should be true to oneself and lead a life expressive of what one takes oneself to be. However, many contemporary thinkers have pointed out that the ideal of authenticity has increasingly turned into a kind of aestheticism and egoistic self-indulgence. In his book, Varga systematically constructs a critical concept of authenticity that takes into account the reciprocal (...)
     
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  7.  18
    Rhythms of the Body, Rhythms of the Brain: Respiration, Neural Oscillations, and Embodied Cognition.Somogy Varga & Detlef H. Heck - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 56:77-90.
  8.  58
    Defining Mental Disorder. Exploring the 'Natural Function' Approach.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 6:1-.
    Due to several socio-political factors, to many psychiatrists only a strictly objective definition of mental disorder, free of value components, seems really acceptable. In this paper, I will explore a variant of such an objectivist approach to defining metal disorder, natural function objectivism. Proponents of this approach make recourse to the notion of natural function in order to reach a value-free definition of mental disorder. The exploration of Christopher Boorse's 'biostatistical' account of natural function (1) will be followed an investigation (...)
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  9.  58
    Depersonalization and the Sense of Realness.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (2):103-113.
    From Minkowski and Jaspers to Blankenburg, phenomenological psychopathology has assumed that lost or diminished experience of ‘realness’ is related to an impairment of tacit level intersubjectivity. This paper develops a theoretical framework for this hypothesis by drawing mainly on the phenomenological tradition and the works of Wittgenstein. The argument, in return, contributes to recent discussions regarding depersonalization and intersubjectivity. In addition, the approach suggests some interesting implications for psychopathology.
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  10. Editorial Introduction: Socializing the Extended Mind.Michele Merritt, Somogy Varga & Mog Stapleton - 2013 - Cognitive Systems Research 25:1-3.
  11.  26
    Toward a Perceptual Account of Mindreading.Somogy Varga - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):380-401.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  12. The Epistemological Value of Depression Memoirsi a Meta-Analysis.Jennifer Radden & Somogy Varga - 2013 - In K. W. M. Fulford (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. pp. 99.
  13.  70
    Vulnerability to Psychosis, I-Thou Intersubjectivity and the Praecox-Feeling.Somogy Varga - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):131-143.
    Psychotic and prodromal states are characterized by distortions of intersubjectivity, and a number of psychopathologists see in the concrete I-You frame of the clinical encounter the manifestation of such impairment. Rümke has coined the term of ‘praecox-feeling’, designated to describe a feeling of unease emanating in the interviewer that reflects the detachment of the patient and the failure of an ‘affective exchange.’ While the reliability of the praecox-feeling as a diagnostic tool has since been established, the explanation and theoretical framing (...)
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  14.  6
    Anticipatory-Vicarious Grief: The Anatomy of a Moral Emotion.Somogy Varga & Shaun Gallagher - 2020 - The Monist 103 (2):176-189.
    Grief is often described as characterized by a particular emotional response to another person’s death. While this is true of paradigm cases, we argue that a broader notion of grief allows accommodating forms of this emotional experience that deviate from the paradigmatic case. The bulk of the paper explores such a nonparadigmatic form of grief, anticipatory-vicarious grief, which is typically triggered by pondering the inevitability of our own death. We argue that AV-grief is a particular moral emotion that serves a (...)
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  15.  20
    Embodied Concepts and Mental Health.Somogy Varga - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (2):241-260.
    Often drawing on the phenomenological tradition, a number of philosophers and cognitive scientists working in the field of “embodied cognition” subscribe to the general view that cognition is grounded in aspects of its sensorimotor embodiment and should be comprehended as the result of a dynamic interaction of nonneural and neural processes. After a brief introduction, the paper critically engages Lakoff and Johnson’s “conceptual metaphor theory”, and provides a review of recent empirical evidence that appears to support it. Subsequently, the paper (...)
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  16.  39
    Identifications, Volitions and the Case of Successful Psychopaths.Somogy Varga - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):87-106.
    While many profound philosophical questions arise about psychopaths, I wish to draw attention to two limitations in current debates. First, philosophers mainly deal with offender and forensic populations neglecting so-called ‘successful’ psychopaths. Second, philosophers mainly focus on the issue of empathy and responsibility, while relatively little attention is paid to volitional aspects. I address these two limitations together and argue that ‘successful’ psychopaths are volitionally constrained. In order to grasp and explore this deficiency, I argue in favour of a more (...)
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  17.  12
    Core Identifications: The Motives That Really "Speak for Us".Somogy Varga - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):301-320.
    Some of our motives that we act on are not only of unconstrained origin, but we also take them to express who we are and, thus, to "speak for us." Harry G. Frankfurt has maintained that it is the formation of a hierarchical structure by means of an act of wholehearted identification that makes a given motive genuinely one's own. I argue that wholehearted identifications fail to live up to this task. Instead, I demonstrate that only a subtype of wholehearted (...)
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  18.  29
    Embodied Situationism.Somogy Varga - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):271-286.
    Drawing on empirical material from social psychology, ‘situationism’ argues that the astonishing susceptibility of moral behaviour to situational influences undermines certain conceptions of character. The related, albeit more limited, thesis proposed in this paper, ‘embodied situationism’, engages a larger number of empirical sources from different fields of study and sheds light on the mechanisms responsible for particular, seemingly puzzling, situational judgments and behaviours. It is demonstrated that the empirical material supports the claims of ES and that ES is immune to (...)
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  19. Derealization, Depersonalization and the Question of ´Realness´.Somogy Varga - 2008 - Archives of Philosophy and Mental Health 1 (1):42-51.
  20.  59
    Cognition, Representations and Embodied Emotions: Investigating Cognitive Theory.Somogy Varga - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):165-190.
    Cognitive theory (CT) is currently the most widely acknowledged framework used to describe the psychological processes in affective disorders like depression. The purpose of this paper is to assess the philosophical assumptions upon which CT rests. It is argued that CT must be revised due to significant flaws in many of these philosophical assumptions. The paper contains suggestions as to how these problems could be overcome in a manner that would secure philosophical accuracy, while also providing an account that is (...)
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  21.  22
    Mental Disorder Between Naturalism and Normativism.Somogy Varga - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (6):e12422.
    Worries about the potential medicalization of social and moral problems has propelled the debate on the nature of mental disorder, with normativists insisting that psychiatric classification is inherently value-laden and naturalists maintaining that a purely descriptive account of disease is possible. In recent work, some authors take a different path, accepting that the concepts of disease and mental disorder are value-laden but maintaining that this does not prevent objective truths regarding mental disorder attribution. This paper explores two such accounts and (...)
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  22.  24
    Non-Reflective Self-Awareness Towards a Situated Account.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (3-4):3-4.
    After some preliminary distinctions, this paper will discuss the merits of higher-order representational theory and same-order theory. A distinction will be introduced between a intrinsic conception of consciousness and a representational variant . It will be argued that the SOIT account of 'non-reflective self-awareness' can be applied to understanding aspects of psychopathology. However, a closer look at specific aspects of schizophrenic experience reveals that we might need to widen the scope of and 'situate' the SOIT of non-reflective selfawareness.
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  23.  74
    Critical Theory and the Two-Level Account of Recognition -Towards a New Foundation?Somogy Varga - 2010 - Critical Horizons 11 (1):19-33.
    Axel Honneth makes initial and promising steps towards what could be called a two-level account of recognition, according to which the normatively substantial forms of recognition represent various manners in which the primordial acquaintedness with others is expressed. It will be argued that Honneth's promising approach must be revised in regard to the issue of intentionality, which may be achieved by reference to earlier critical theorists such as Adorno and Arendt. With such a foundation, critical theory can enter into new (...)
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  24. The Paradox of Authenticity.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Télos 2011 (156):113-130.
    ExcerptThe ideal of authenticity—roughly, that one should lead a life that is expressive of what the person takes herself to be—has become a strong and widespread ethical ideal with an immense impact on popular culture, most revealingly in the quest for authenticity in popular self-help literature. The “age of autonomy” that emphasized the individual's self-governing abilities is replaced by what Charles Taylor called “the age of authenticity.”1 In the same vein, Alessandro Ferrara notes that the concept of authenticity is “to (...)
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  25.  59
    Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression: Testing Two Hypotheses.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):41-52.
    In the last few decades, there has been a genuine ‘adaptive turn’ in psychiatry, resulting in evolutionary accounts for an increasing number of psychopathologies. In this paper, I explore the advantages and problems with the two main evolutionary approaches to depression, namely the mismatch and persistence accounts . I will argue that while both evolutionary theories of depression might provide some helpful perspectives, the accounts also harbor significant flaws that might question their authority and usefulness as explanations.
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  26. Naturalism, Interpretation, and Mental Disorder.Somogy Varga - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Philosophy of Psychiatry is a unique area of research because the nature of the subject matter leads to quite distinct methodological issues. Naturalism, Interpretation, and Mental Disorder is an original new work focusing on the challenges we face when trying to interpret and understand mental illness. The book integrates a hermeneutical perspective, and shows how such an approach can reveal important facts about historical sources in psychiatry and the nature of dialogue in the therapeutic encounter. In addition, the book (...)
     
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  27.  66
    Existential Choices: To What Degree is Who We Are a Matter of Choice?Somogy Varga - 2011 - Continental Philosophy Review 44 (1):65-79.
    On the one hand, it is commonly agreed that we make choices in which we are guided by a core of personal commitments, wishes, feelings, etc. that we take to express who we are. On the other, it is commonly agreed that some of these ‘existential’ choices constitute who we are. When confronting these two matters, the question of agency inevitably arises: Whether and in what sense can we choose ourselves? The paper will argue for a new perspective on existential (...)
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  28.  20
    Exploitation, Vulnerability, and Market‐Driven Governance.Somogy Varga - 2016 - Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (1):90-113.
  29.  21
    Challenges to the Dimensional Approach.Somogy Varga - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (1):77-79.
    The publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has stirred many emotions both inside and outside of the psychiatric community. But when the director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel's, critique of the DSM-5 became public, even some antipsychiatrists were surprised. Insel argued that although the DSM's diagnostic categories have become the standard to obtain research grants and to conduct trials, they are not based on objective measures, lack validity, (...)
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  30.  33
    Primary Goods, Contingency, and the Moral Challenge of Genetic Enhancement.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (3):279-291.
  31.  30
    The Elephant in the Room.Somogy Varga - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (2):165-167.
    This Article is a response to thoughtful commentaries by Jennifer Radden (2013) and Louis A. Sass and Elizabeth Pienkos (2013) on my paper, which investigates the continuity between melancholia and depression. In the following, I address the challenges presented by the commentators and attempt to clarify and deepen my position. In my paper, I have explored the history of melancholia and depression with special emphasis on the question of their possible continuity—with the knowledge that any such attempt inevitably brings with (...)
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  32.  31
    From Melancholia to Depression: Ideas on a Possible Continuity.Somogy Varga - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (2):141-155.
    Although the Historical concept of melancholia has undergone numerous metamorphoses, it has maintained a place in psychiatric classification and currently refers to a specific melancholic subtype of major depression (American Psychiatric Association 2000, 419). Although melancholia—as a description of pathological states—constitutes the focus of this paper, it must be pointed out that the range of states encompassed by melancholia cover a far wider spectrum than that covered by the term ‘disease.’ As Jennifer Radden notes, melancholia (and melancholy) referred to “both (...)
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  33. Pretence, Social Cognition and Self-Knowledge in Autism.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Psychopathology 44 (1):45-52..
    This article suggests that an account of pretence based on the idea of shared intentionality can be of help in understanding autism. In autism, there seems to be a strong link between being able to engage in pretend play, understanding the minds of others and having adequate access to own mental states. Since one of the first behavioral manifestations of autism is the lack of pretend play, it therefore seems natural to investigate pretence in order to identify the nature of (...)
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  34.  19
    Kognitive Theorie, Mentale Repräsentationen Und Emotionen. Philosophie Und Therapeutische Praxis.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60 (6):937-954.
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  35.  29
    Habermas' "Species Ethics", and the Limits of "Formal Anthropology".Somogy Varga - 2011 - Critical Horizons 12 (1):71-89.
    This article seeks to defend two claims: Firstly, that Universalist ethics in Habermas and Rawls cannot function without some recourse to the Good Life, or human well-being. Secondly, that such ethical reflection must involve formal anthropological considerations. In other words, it must involve a consideration of the Good that also encompasses reflection on what we are as humans. As an example, the paper draws on Habermas’ recent thoughts on ‘species-ethics’. I will argue that 'species ethics' needs to be substantiated and (...)
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  36. Levels of Attunement. A Comment on Matthew Ratcliffe´s the Feelings of Being.Somogy Varga - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):607-611.
    In Feelings of Being, one of the most recent publications in the IPPP series, Matthew Ratcliffe provides a detailed phenomenological investigation of a distinct category of existential feelings in everyday life and psychiatric illness. Ratcliffe´s book is divided into three parts, each dealing with issues of remarkable complexity and scope.
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  37.  15
    “Relaxed” Natural Kinds and Psychiatric Classification.Somogy Varga - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 72:49-54.
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  38.  36
    Life as Art: Concerning Some Paradoxes of an Ethical Concept.Somogy Varga - 2008 - Estetika 46 (1):49-61.
    During the last thirty years or so, there has been a veritable renaissance of the classical ethical idea of the ‘art of living’. Far from being restricted to philosophical discourse, it has also successfully entered the arena of popular culture. This renaissance is closely linked to the late work of Foucault, in which he attempts to restore this classical idea, which he thinks is lacking in modern Western societies. The author aims to assess the Foucaultdian idea of the art of (...)
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  39.  21
    Realness, Expression, and the Role of Others.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 19 (2):123-126.
  40.  39
    Intentionality, Normativity and Naturalism.Somogy Varga - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):611-624.
    Hutto and Satne review current attempts to provide a naturalized content and underline some of the most convincing reasons why they remain inadequate. The authors reframe and update Haugeland’s assessment of this research program, but besides describing the particular challenges facing the different candidate accounts, they also propose what seems to be a promising way to further a debate that has not advanced in recent years. In this paper I argue that a more detailed exploration of some aspects of the (...)
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  41.  12
    Epistemic Authority, Philosophical Explication, and the Bio-Statistical Theory of Disease.Somogy Varga - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Christopher Boorse’s Health care ethics: an introduction, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, pp 359–393, 1987; in Humber, Almeder, Totowa What is disease?, Humana Press, New York City, pp 1–134, 1997; J Med Philos, 39:683–724, 2014) Bio-Statistical Theory comprehends diseases in terms of departures from natural norms, which involve an objectively describable deviation from the proper physiological or psychological functioning of parts of the human organism. I argue that while recent revisions and additional considerations shield the BST from a number of issues (...)
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  42.  34
    Sub Specie Aeternitatis. An Actualisation of Wittgenstein on Ethics and Aesthetics.Somogy Varga - 2009 - Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 20 (38):35-50.
    Normal 0 21 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 This article will present an interpretation of Wittgenstein ’ s understanding of the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. In extension, it will inform recent discussions regarding a special kind of nonsensicality , which forms a central part of ethical and aesthetical expressions. Instead of identity between ethics and aesthetics, we should understand the relationship in terms of interdependence . Both attitudes provide a view sub specie aeternitatis and thus permit a view of the (...)
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  43.  60
    Explaining Impaired Play in Autism.Somogy Varga - 2010 - Journal für Philosophie Und Psychiatrie 3 (1):1-13.
    Autism has recently become the focus of continuous philosophical inquiry, because it affects inter-subjective capacities in a highly selective manner. One of the first behavioural manifestations of autism is impaired play, particularly the lack of pretend play. This article will show that the prevailing 'Theory-Theory of Mind'-approach cannot explain impaired play. I will suggest a richer, phenomenological account of inter-subjectivity. It will be argued that this improves the understanding of impaired play in autism.
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  44.  52
    Winnicott, Symbolic Play, and Other Minds.Somogy Varga - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):625 - 637.
    In this paper, I will attempt to follow Winnicott's thoughts on the intrinsic connection between symbolic play and the way we understand other minds. Phenomenological, conceptual and empirical difficulties in the account will be presented and taken into consideration. Winnicott's account proves to be a fruitful guide into the issue and can help us clarify impaired symbolic play in autism.
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  45.  32
    The Marketization of Foreign Cultural Policy: The Cultural Nationalism of the Competition State.Somogy Varga - 2013 - Constellations 20 (3):442-458.
  46.  14
    Demarcating the Realm of Cognition.Somogy Varga - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie (3):435-450.
    The Extended Mind Hypothesis has given rise to stimulating philosophical debates about the boundaries of the realm of the cognitive. This paper first investigates the usefulness of a “mark of the cognitive,” and then focuses on two accounts that aim to provide such a mark, put forward by Fred Adams and Rebecca Garrison on one side and Mark Rowlands on the other. The paper provides a critical assessment of these accounts and uses empirical work on emotion regulation in infants to (...)
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  47.  27
    Radicalizing Enactivism. By D. Hutto and E. Myin. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013, 240pp, £24.95. ISBN: 9780262018548. [REVIEW]Somogy Varga - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (2):1-5.
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  48.  36
    Self‐Realization and Owing to Others: An Indirect Constraint?Somogy Varga - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (1):75-86.
    The relationship between self?realization, and so what I really wholeheartedly endorse and owe to myself, and morality or what we owe to others is normally thought of as antagonism, or as a pleasant coincidence: only if I am indebted to such relations as my fundamental projects that I care wholeheartedly about does morality have a direct connection to self?realization. The aim of this article is to argue against this picture. It will be argued that the structure of self?realization and the (...)
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  49.  15
    Autonomous Self-Expression and Meritocratic Dignity.Somogy Varga - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1131-1149.
    While “dignity” plays an increasingly important role in contemporary moral and political debates, there is profound dispute over its definition, meaning, and normative function. Instead of concluding that dignity’s elusiveness renders it useless, or that it signals its fundamental character, this paper focuses on illuminating one particular strand of meritocratic dignity. It introduces a number of examples and conceptual distinctions and argues that there is a specific strand of “expressive” meritocratic dignity that is not connected to holding a special office (...)
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  50.  16
    Self, Narrative, and the Culture of Therapy.Somogy Varga - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (2):161-163.
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