Department of Philosophy

Philosophy is a rich field that opens up all domains of the world, thought and society to critical examination, and this is reflected in the composition of the VU department of Philosophy. There are over 40 academic staff and approximately 40 internal and external PhD candidates in our department, which is characterized by small-scale teaching, the combination of broad expertise with specialized research and a strong international orientation. Philosophy’s contribution to contemporary issues is also of great importance to the department, as well as the role philosophy can play in reflecting on the nature and position of science in modern society. 

Social engagement and cooperation
The department of philosophy collaborates with a variety of academic, social and business partners: 

Philosophy teaching

Teaching in the department is small-scale. This is greatly appreciated by the students, as is shown by positive course evaluations and the number of VU philosophers who have won or have been nominated for teaching awards. Ad Verbrugge and Martin van Hees won teaching awards in 2008 and 2014 respectively; Marije Martijn and Wouter Goris were nominated for an award. The bachelor’s programme devotes a lot of time to academic skills. The department also provides the option of taking a part-time or shortened bachelor’s degree, as well as minor programmes which allow students to explore new topics or deepen their specialist knowledge. We are also responsible for basic philosophical education in most bachelor’s degrees across the university, as well as for the philosophical aspects of the interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Teaching in the master’s programmes is mainly research-driven. The master’s degree in Philosophy also offers unique interdisciplinary tracks that combine philosophy with specific academic disciplines, allowing students to become an expert in the philosophy of a particular field.

Research Philosophy

Philosophical research carried out in the department can be split up according to the three traditional domains: historical, theoretical, practical. Of course, there is also a lot of interaction between the three. The department houses specialists in freedom and responsibility, integrity, the epistemic role of universities, Enlightened thinking and German Idealism, market ethics, the philosophy of psychiatry, the nature of scientific explanations, epistemology of mathematics, and the history of ancient and medieval metaphysics and scientific philosophy.

Philosophy staff members

Overview staffmembers Philosophy