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Carmen Lea Dege

Visiting Scholar 2022-2023

Residency Dates: September 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023


Carmen Lea Dege

Carmen Lea Dege is a Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and teaches political theory at Hebrew University. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 2019. Her work focuses on the role of myth and ignorance in democratic societies.

During her time at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), Dege will complete a book manuscript on the viability of a critical theory of myth. She argues that myth is more significant to how societies respond to crises and uncertainty than acknowledged by the dominant history of modern political thought. In addition, her argument is normative, suggesting that the mythical perspective has a claim on truth that differs from objective rationality and subjective experience and allows us to distinguish democratic from non-democratic ignorance. On this basis, her research outlines an alternative approach to science denialism and conspiracy theories that goes beyond fact-checking.

This information is accurate for the time period that the visiting scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  • Visiting Scholar 2022-2023, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Research Project

Science denialism and political myth: On the workings and breakdowns of the fact-value distinction


Political Science

Areas of Expertise

Critical Theory
History of Political Thought
Political Theology

Select Publications

Dege, Carmen Lea. “Myth, Modernity, and the Legacy of the Axial Age,” Journal of the History of Ideas, forthcoming.

Dege, Carmen Lea. “‘Standing behind Your Phrase’: Arendt and Jaspers on the (Post-)Metaphysics of Evil.” European Journal of Political Theory, 2021.

Dege, Carmen Lea. “2020’s Existentialist Turn.” Boston Review, August 24, 2020.

Dege, Carmen Lea. “Diversity in Unity in Post-Truth Times: Max Weber’s Challenge and Karl Jaspers’s Response.” Philosophy & Social Criticism 46, no. 6 (2019): 703–33.