Stefan Kühnen

Stefan Kühnen                                          

Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg
Gebäude A3, Raum A3 1-108
Tel.: +49 441 789-2378


Hegel’s Dialectics of Enlightenment


The goal of my systematic investigation into G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy is to evaluate the contribution he makes to practice theory in general and to the topic of subjectivation in particular. Using a hermeneutical approach, I intend to show that Hegel's philosophy as a whole is perfectly compatible with practice theory insofar as both are fundamentally interested in destabilizing any fixed dichotomies.
According to Hegel’s diagnosis, championed most prominently in the Phenomenology of Spirit, understanding (Verstand), unlike reason (Vernunft), is only capable of thinking in dichotomies. The dynamics of understanding climaxes in a dialectic of enlightenment as the culmination of alienation. The critique of enlightenment inherent in this diagnosis stands in tension to the concept of enlightenment of itself, which contains the need for self-reflection and therefore demands to enlighten itself about itself. Since practice-theoretically oriented research asserts the same claim, it can be questioned in a parallel manner as enlightenment about its capability to satisfy this need for self-reflection and the way this self-reflection can be achieved.

Brief Vita

Since 04/2015   Member of the DFG Research Training Group “Self-Making. Practices of Subjectivation in Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspective” at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
11/2012 – 4/2015   Member of the Junior Research Group “Historicization and Subjectivity” at the Center of Excellence “Enlightenment – Religion – Knowledge” at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
7/2012 – 9/2012   Research Assistant at the Department of Philosophy at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn
10/2001 – 7/2012   Study of Philosophy, Political Science and Modern History at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn (Magister Artium)


"Hegels Dialektik der Aufklärung" (Ringvorlesung des Instituts für Philosophie "Unterwerfung durch Freiheit. Leben im Neoliberalismus", November 30th 2015, Universität Oldenburg)

"Zur anthropologischen Grundlage der Bewegung des Anerkennens" (XXXI. Internationaler Hegel-Kongress der Internationalen Hegel-Gesellschaft, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, May 19th 2016)

"Hegel's Response(s) to Kant in the 'Perception'-Chapter in the Phenomenology of Spirit" (held in German at the 30th International Hegel Conference of the International Hegel-Society, University of Vienna, April 25th 2014)

"Towards a Dialectic of Self-Reference: G.W.F. Hegel" (held in German at the IiAphR-Conference "Spannungsverhältnis Subjekt?", TU Berlin, June 6th 2013)

"Hegel's Concept of Alienation and its Foundation in his Theory of Recognition" (held in German at the "Graduate Conference on Recognition – German Idealism As Ongoing Challenge", Tilburg University, June 29th 2012)


Hegel – Phänomenologie des Geistes (SoSe 1015/2016); gemeinsam mit Dr. Nils Baratella im Masterstudiengang Philosophie an der Universität Oldenburg

Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit (Winterterm 2013/2014)

Recent Literature on the Phenomenology of Spirit (Winterterm 2013/2014)

Hegel‘s Philosophy of Right (Winterterm 2014/2015)

Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Winterterm 2014/2015)
(respectively collaborative with apl. Prof. Dr. Robert Schnepf in the Masters Course Philosophy at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg)


„Kant und Hegel über Wahrnehmung“, in: Hegel-Jahrbuch 2015 (forthcoming). [Kant and Hegel on Perception]

(Changed: 19 Dec 2022)