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Karen Ng

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Description of Research

Karen Ng specializes in nineteenth-century European philosophy (esp. Hegel and German Idealism) and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Her book, Hegel’s Concept of Life: Self-Consciousness, Freedom, Logic (Oxford University Press, 2020), won the 2021 Journal of the History of Philosophy Book Prize.The book explores the philosophical significance of the concept of life for Hegel’s philosophy, with an emphasis on his Science of Logic

In addition to her research in post-Kantian philosophy, she is also interested in the ongoing influence of Hegel and Marx for critical social theory, particularly as their legacies help us understand the relation between human beings and nature, possibilities and failures of mutual recognition, and conceptions of progress and critique. In 2018, she was an instructor at the Critical Theory Summer School in Berlin on the topic of Rethinking Ideology and a research fellow at the Center for Humanities and Social Change at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2021–2022 she will be a faculty fellow at the Robert Penn Warren Center for Humanities at Vanderbilt University.

Read interview on APA Blog.

AOS: 19th Century European Philosophy (esp. Hegel and German Idealism), Frankfurt School Critical Theory
AOC: History of Modern European Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy


Hegel, German Idealism, Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Representative publications

Public Opinion and Ideology in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” in Freedom, Right, Revolution: Practical Philosophy Between Kant and Hegel, ed. James Clarke and Gabriel Gottlieb (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Science of Logic as Critique of Judgment? Reconsidering Pippin’s Hegel,” European Journal of Philosophy (2020).

Social Freedom as Ideology,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 45:7 (2019): 795–818. 

Life and the Space of Reasons: On Hegel’s Subjective Logic,” Hegel-Bulletin (2018): DOI 10.1017/hgl.2018.15.

From Actuality to Concept in Hegel’s Logic,” in The Oxford Handbook of Hegel, ed. Dean Moyar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 270­–291. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199355228.013.13. 

 “Hegel and Adorno on Negative Universal History: The Dialectics of Species-Life,” in Creolizing Hegel, ed. Michael Monahan (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), pp. 113–133.

Life and Mind in Hegel’s Logic and Subjective Spirit,” Hegel Bulletin 37:2 (2016): doi:10.1017/hgl.2016.35.

Ideology Critique from Hegel and Marx to Critical Theory,” Constellations 22:3 (September 2015): 393–404.

"Life, Self-Consciousness, Negativity: Understanding Hegel's Speculative Identity Thesis," in The Freedom of Life: Hegelian Perspectives, ed. Thomas Khurana (Berlin: August Verlag, 2013).

"Hegel's Logic of Actuality," Review of Metaphysics 63:1 (September 2009): 139–172.