Frank Ruda

Professor at The European Graduate School / EGS

Frank Ruda


Frank Ruda (b. 1978) is a philosopher and currently Professor for Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He is a member of the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at Scientific Research Center, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ruda studied philosophy and German Literature at the Ruhr-University of Bochum and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris. Afterwards he was a fellow at the postgraduate program “Forms of Life and the Know-How of Living” at the Universities of Potsdam and Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder) where he obtained his PhD in philosophy in 2008 with a thesis on Hegel. In 2017, Ruda received his venia legendi for philosophy from the Free University of Berlin for a habilitation thesis entitled “Worse than Error. Indifference and Fatalism.”

He taught at, among others, Capital Normal University Beijing, Bard College Berlin, Free University of Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Nanjing, Bauhaus University in Weimar, and at the University of Potsdam. Between 2008 and 2014, Ruda was a research associate at the Free University of Berlin, in 2015/16, at Goethe University Frankfurt and in 2017 he was a Senior Fellow at IKKM (International Research Institute for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy) in Weimar.

In addition to several edited collections and numerous book chapters and articles, Ruda has authored several books:

Indifferenz und Wiederholung. Freiheit in der Moderne (Konstanz University Press, 2018 – forthcoming as Indifference and Repetition with a preface by Alain Badiou in 2022) examines problems arising from “mythical” understandings of freedom that take to freedom to be a natural given and identify it as a natural human capacity. In Gegen-Freiheit. Komik und Fatalismus (Konstanz University Press, 2018) and Abolishing Freedom. A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism (Nebraska University Press, 2016) he shows how and why only a form of fatalism, notably comic fatalism allows for an overcoming of this myth of the givenness of freedom and demonstrates that “fatalism is the only possible stance that allows us to think freedom without being indifferent.”

For Badiou. Idealism Without Idealism (with a preface by Slavoj Žižek, Northwestern University Press 2015) is an in-depth exploration of the dialectical kernel of Alain Badiou’s work and elaborates how it allows for a new reading of central figures from the history of philosophy (Plato, Descartes, Hegel and Marx); in Hegel’s Rabble. An Investigation into Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (with a preface by Slavoj Žižek, Continuum 2011) Ruda presents the first systematic investigation of the Hegelian problem of the rabble, arguing that in it we encounter a problem that “Hegel is able neither to resolve nor to sublate”, which at the same time complicates all standard readings of Hegel’s notion of the state.

Together with Agon Hamza and Slavoj Žižek Ruda wrote Reading Marx (Polity Press 2018), which attempts to reinvent Marx’s thought from diverse contemporary perspectives, wherein Ruda argues for reading the critique of political economy as a version of Plato’s cave allegory; and together with Rebecca Comay he co-authored The Dash – The Other Side of Absolute Knowing (MIT Press 2018), which examines the occurrence of two dashes in two of the most crucial passages in Hegel’s oeuvre and develops a Hegelian theory of “speculative signs.” Forthcoming is Reading Hegel (with Agon Hamza and Slavoj Žižek, Polity Press 2021).

Currently, he is preparing a book on the concept of prehistory and stuckness (Stuckness. On the Modes of Production of the Absorption of Time) and on the concept of courage (Courage).

Ruda is co-editor of the journal Crisis and Critique and co-authors a column (R-Files) at the Philosophical Salon of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Links to publications:

Frank Ruda – Research Outputs — Discovery – the University of Dundee Research Portal

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