Dr Thomas Khurana

School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Thomas Khurana



Thomas studied Philosophy, Sociology, Literature and Psychology in Bielefeld and Berlin and received his PhD from the University of Potsdam. Before joining the School, he taught philosophy at the University of Potsdam, the Goethe-University Frankfurt, and the University of Leipzig. He was a Theodor Heuss Lecturer at the New School for Social Research in New York and a Humboldt fellow at the University of Chicago. In 2017, Thomas was awarded a three year Heisenberg Fellowship by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to pursue his new research project on Norm and Nature. He will spend the academic year 2017/18 and the fall term 2018 at the Department of Philosophy at Yale to start this new project. Thomas is the author of three books, most recently Das Leben der Freiheit: Form und Wirklichkeit der Autonomie (Suhrkamp 2017). His latest edited collection is The Freedom of Life: Hegelian Perspectives (August 2013). He has also published various papers on Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Adorno, Foucault, Derrida, Cavell, Brandom, Agamben, and others. His main areas of interest are: Kant and German Idealism, 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, practical and social philosophy, philosophy of language and mind, philosophy of culture and aesthetics. His current research focuses on the dialectics of second nature, the relation of self-consciousness and self-reification, ethical naturalism, and the politics of life.


  • Dipl.-Psych. (FU Berlin)

  • Dr. phil. (University of Potsdam)

  • Dr. phil. habil. (Goethe-University Frankfurt/M.)

Research and professional activities

Conferences and presentations

Autonomy: The Spontaneity and the Receptivity of Freedom, Keynote at the Conference "Spontaneity and Autonomy", FAGI, University of Leipzig, January 3-5, 2019

FAGI, University of Leipzig, 4/1/2019

"The Irony of Self-Consciousness", Talk at the Conference "Parallax", Hochschule für Philosophie München, Nov 30 - Dec 1, 2018

Invited presentation, Hochschule für Philosophie München, 1/12/2018

"Self-knowledge and Knowledge of Nature: On the Speculative Character of their Identity", Talk at the Conference "Self-consciousness and Objectivity", University of Chicago, October 5-7, 2018

Invited presentation, Franke Institute, Chicago, United States, 6/10/2018

The Struggle for Recognition and the Authority of the Second Person, Humboldt-Kolleg at the Whitney Humanities Center, Yale, Sept 27-28, 2018, see:

Whitney Humanities Center, New Haven, United States, 27/9/2018

"Freedom’s Tendency to Get Ahead of Itself and Fall Short", Interview with 3ammagazine, Aug 25, 2018, itself-and-fall-short-etc/

Invited presentation, 25/8/2018

Becoming One’s Own Object: Kant on the Objectivity of Self-Consciousness, Talk at the Conference "Transparency and Apperception", Ryerson University, May 12, 2018

Invited presentation, Prof. David Hunter, Toronto, Canada, 12/5/2018

Desire and Practical Self-Consciousness in Kant and Hegel, Talk at the New York German Idealism Workshop, April 27, 2018

New York, United States, 27/4/2018

Kant on the Art of Second Nature, Presentation, Yale Faculty Lunch, April 20, 2018

New Haven, United States, 20/4/2018

Kant and the Idea of Aesthetic Education, Lecture at Clark University, March 22, 2018

Prof. Naomi Fisher, Worcester, United States, 22/3/2018

Desire and Practical Self-Consciousness in Kant and Hegel, Lecture in the 2017-18 Colloquium Series, Department of Philosophy, Brandeis University

Invited presentation, Waltham, United States, 9/3/2018

Das ganze Thier »Mensch«: Drei Arten von Naturalismus in Nietzsches Moralphilosophie, Lecture at the Department of Philosophy, FU Berlin, February 19, 2018

Berlin, Germany, 19/2/2018

Das Leben der Freiheit, Book Symposium in the Research Colloquium Critical Theory, HU Berlin, January 11, 2018

Prof. Rahel Jaeggi, Berlin, Germany, 11/1/2018

"Natuerlich zugleich und uebernatuerlich": Goethe on the Art of Second Nature, Lecture at the Symposium Goethe and Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, 12/19/2017

Invited presentation, 19/12/2017

The Life of Self-Consciousness, Lecture at the Conference "German Classical Philosophy and Naturalism", Georgetown University, 12/14/2017

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Georgetown University, 14/12/2017

The Life of Form, Lecture at the Conference "Ways of Being Bound: Normativity from Kant to Heidegger", Universidad de Navarra, 11/02/2017

Invited presentation, Universidad de Navarra, 2/11/2017

The Art of Second Nature, Lecture at the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Glodsmiths University, 06/21/2017

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Goldsmiths University, 21/6/2017

Die Stufe der Differenz: Zur zweiten Natur der buergerlichen Gesellschaft nach Kant und Hegel, Lecture at the Conference of the International Hegel Association, Rathaus Stuttgart, 06/15/2017

Invited presentation, Rathaus Stuttgart, 15/6/2017

"Ohne die Kunst aber ist der Gegenstand ein Stueck Natur": Zur Ästhetik der zweiten Natur nach Hegel, Wittgenstein und Adorno, Lecture at the Departmental Colloquium, Department of Philosophy, Lucerne, 04/25/2017

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, University of Lucerne, 25/4/2017

Teaching and supervision

  • Freud and the Philosophy of the Unconscious (PY419)

  • Research in Critical Theory (PY450)

  • Hegel (PY933)


Journal articles (12)

Khurana, TS., Review of Katrin Flikschuh and Lea Ypi (eds.), Kant and Colonialism: Historical and Critical Perspectives, Oxford University Press, 2014, 254pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199669627. Notre Dame Philosophical Review. 2015.08

Khurana, T., Johannes-Georg Schülein. Metaphysik und ihre Kritik bei Hegel und Derrida. Hamburg: Meiner, 2016.. Hegel-Studien. 52

Khurana, TS., (2018). Die Kunst der zweiten Natur und die andere Natur der Kunst. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. 66 (3), 339-361

Khurana, TS., (2018). Schwerpunkt: Die Ästhetik der zweiten Natur. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie. 66 (3), 321-324

Khurana, T., (2017). Recht auf Rechte: Zur Naturalisierung und Politisierung subjektiver Rechte. Rechtsphilosophie - Zeitschrift fuer Grundlagen des Rechts. 3 (1), 15-30

Khurana, T., (2016). Die Kunst der zweiten Natur: Zu einem modernen Kulturbegriff nach Kant, Schiller und Hegel. WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift fuer Sozialforschung. 13 (1), 35-55

Khurana, T., (2016). Versuch ueber die Veraenderung. Zu Breaking Bad. WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift fuer Sozialforschung. 13 (2), 25-52

Khurana, TS., (2016). Review of Mark Alznauer: Hegel’s Theory of Responsibility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 230 S., ISBN: 978-1-107-07812-3. International Yearbook of German Idealism. 12 (2014), 330-336

Khurana, T., (2014). Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing. Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction, by Catherine Malabou, transl. with an introduction by C. Shread, with a new afterword by the author, foreword by C. Crocker. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010, 136 pages. I. European Journal of Philosophy. 22, e16-e21

Khurana, T., (2013). Impuls und Reflexion: Aporien der Moralphilosophie und die Moral der Aporien nach Adorno. Zeitschrift fuer kritische Theorie. 36/37, 60-82

Khurana, T., (2013). Kant, Heidegger und das Verhaeltnis von Repraesentation und Abstraktion. Zeitschrift fuer Aesthetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. 58 (2), 203-224

Khurana, T., (2013). Paradoxes of Autonomy: On the Dialectics of Freedom and Normativity. Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy. 17 (1), 50-74

Books (3)

Khurana, T., Quadflieg, D., Raimondi, F., Rebentisch, J. and Setton, D., (2018). Negativität: Kunst, Recht, Politik. Suhrkamp Verlag. 3518298674. 9783518298671

Khurana, T., (2017). Das Leben der Freiheit: Form und Wirklichkeit der Autonomie. Suhrkamp. 3-518-29798-8. 978-3-518-29798-8

Khurana, T., (2013). The Freedom of Life: Hegelian Perspectives. August Verlag. 978-3-941360-21-1

Book chapters (11)

Khurana, TS., (2018). The Self-Determination of Force: Desire and Practical Self-Consciousness in Kant and Hegel. In: Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus / International Yearbook of German Idealism. Editors: Emundts, D. and Sedgwick, S., . De Gruyter. 179- 204. 978-3-11-057980-2

Khurana, TS., (2018). Politics of Second Nature. On the Democratic Dimension of Ethical Life. In: Philosophie der Republik. Editors: Stekeler-Weithofer, Pirmin and Zabel, Benno, . Mohr Siebeck. 422- 436. 978-3-16-154373-9

Khurana, TS., (2018). Jacques Derrida, Gesetzeskraft (1990). In: Geschichte des politischen Denkens: Das 20. Jahrhundert. Editors: Brocker, Manfred, . Suhrkamp Verlag. 757- 772. 978-3-518-29810-7

Khurana, T., (2017). Bewusstsein des Lebens und lebendiges Selbstbewusstsein. Anmerkungen zu einem Uebergang in Hegels Phaenomenologie des Geistes. In: Selbstbewusstes Leben: Texte zu einer transformativen Theorie der menschlichen Subjektivitaet. Editors: Kern, A. and Kietzmann, C., . Suhrkamp. 353- 388. 978-3-518-29797-1

Khurana, T., (2017). Das Leben der Form. Praktische Vernunft nach Kant und Hegel. In: Black Box Leben. Editors: Muhle, M. and Voss, C., . August Verlag. 105- 136. 978-3-941360-44-0

Khurana, TS., (2017). Deconstruction. In: The Habermas Handbook. Editors: Brunkhorst, Hauke, Kreide, Regina and Lafont, Christina, . 170- 177. 9780231166423

Khurana, T., (2016). "The Common Root of Meaning and Nonmeaning": Derrida, Foucault and the Transformation of the Transcendental Question. In: Foucault/Derrida Fifty Years Later: The Futures of Genealogy, Deconstruction, and Politics. Editors: Custer, O., Deutscher, P. and Haddad, S., . Columbia University Press. 80- 104. 9780231171946

Khurana, T., (2015). "Die Gewohnheit des Rechten": Zur Wirklichkeit der Freiheit in Gestalt der zweiten Natur. In: Lebensform und Praxisform. Editors: Kertscher, J. and Mueller, J., . Mentis. 299- 318. 3957430380

Khurana, T., (2015). Which Metaphysics? Notes on the Modest and Reflexive Character of Karl Ameriks? Metaphysics. In: The New Desire for Metaphysics. Editors: Gabriel, M., Hogrebe, W. and Speer, A., . De Gruyter. 87- 92. 978-3-11-044129-1

Khurana, T., (2013). The Freedom of Life: An Introduction. In: The Freedom of Life: Hegelian Perspectives. Editors: Khurana, T., . August Verlag. 11- 30. 978-3-941360-21-1

Khurana, T., (2013). Life and Autonomy: Forms of Self-Determination in Kant and Hegel. In: The Freedom of Life: Hegelian Perspectives. Editors: Khurana, T., . August Verlag. 155- 193. 978-3-941360-21-1

Conferences (1)

Khurana, TS., Politics of Second Nature

Other (1)

Khurana, TS., (2018).Freedom’s Tendency to Get Ahead of Itself and Fall Short: An Interview by Richard Marshall. 3ammagazine

Grants and funding


The Comedy of Political Philosophy. Democratic Citizenship, Political Judgment, and Ideals in Political Practice.

European Commission