Jorge Varela

Research project: Immanent Activity in Alexandre Kojève's "Atheism"


In 1931 the young Kojève wrote a draft book called "Atheism" that was first published in 1998. In this book Kojève advanced one of the earliest and most challenging political phenomenologies ever written. Yet, the arguments remain mostly unknown and their implications unexplored. In my thesis I take out the full consequences of Kojève's book and I explore how it revises our conception of human community, action, and our conception of the world. My argument is that it is only through an experience of that which stands at the limit of human existence that our world can be understood as something different than a naturally or divinely given thing. 


I have a background in International politics and slowly transferred my interests to political philosophy and contemporary philosophy.

Areas of research interest

  • Philosophy of Law
  • French Philosophy
  • Political Theology
  • Atheism
  • Political Philosophy


Varela, Jorge. 2016. "The Reversal of Authority". Radical Philosophy: 199.

Varela, Jorge. 2018. "Alexandre Kojève: Authority/Temporality/Community". Philosophy Today: 62(1).

Varela, Jorge. 2019. "Kojève's Death." Radical Philosophy: 204.

Varela, Jorge. 2020. "Review of Edith Stein's An Investigation Concerning the State: Sociality, Nationhood, Ethics." Phenomenological Reviews.

Varela, Jorge. 2021. "The Temporal Structure of the State of Exception: Between the Transitory and the Permanent." Journal of the History of Ideas Blog

Varela, Jorge. 2021. "Sobre o Golpe de Estado em Curso." Observador

Varela, Jorge. 2021. "A indeterminação atual." Observador

Varela, Jorge. 2021. "A política da vacinação reconsiderada." PUNKTO

Varela, Jorge. 2022. "Perigo e risco." The Blind Spot

Varela, Jorge. 2022. "The calamitous Portuguese elections." Brave New Europe

Conference papers

Varela, Jorge. 2018. "The Critique of Dialectical Violence", in Philosophers' Rally.

Varela, Jorge. 2019. "Human Animality", in The Humanities and Posthumanities: New Ways of Being Human.

Varela, Jorge. 2019. "Reframing the political after the End of History", in After the "End of History": Philosophy, History, Politics. Brighton University, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics, and Ethics.

Varela, Jorge. 2021. "The State of Exception as Cosmology: Evidence from the Epidemic," in Workshop Reconceptualizing the State of Exception and its Challenges to Democracy and Rights in Europe. RECAST WORKING GROUP 3: Concepts.