Herman Philipse

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Herman Philipse
Herman Philipse-crop.jpg
At the Studium Generale of Utrecht University, 2012
Born (1951-05-13) 13 May 1951 (age 71)
The Hague, The Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Alma mater Leiden University
Occupation Professor of philosophy
Years active 1986–present
Employer Utrecht University
Website www.phil.uu.nl/~philipse/

Herman Philipse (born 13 May 1951) is a professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Philipse taught at Leiden University from 1986 until 2003 where he obtained his doctorate in 1983.


Philipse has written many philosophical works in Dutch, including books on Husserl's early philosophy of logic, the role of certainty in Descartes' moral theory, and a widely read Atheist Manifesto (1995, 2004).[1][2] In English, he has written over a dozen articles in philosophical journals, as well as a detailed assessment of Heidegger, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation. He has also written many commentaries for Dutch newspapers (most frequently as a regular contributor to the NRC Handelsblad) and current events television programs, defending atheism and advocating cultural assimilation for non-European immigrants in the Netherlands.

In his philosophical work, Philipse defends a non-reductionist naturalism, akin to that of Gilbert Ryle, Peter Strawson, and P.M.S. Hacker. While highly critical of the transcendental idealist tradition of Kant and Husserl for its allegedly incoherent notion of conceptual schemes, Philipse argues that scientistic philosophies that attempt to reduce consciousness to purely physical descriptions (such as those of Quine and Churchland) fall victim to a similar inconsistency: their theories logically depend on the concepts of ordinary human life they would abolish. More generally, Philipse firmly defends the values of the Enlightenment: support for the natural sciences and political liberalism.

Philipse's vigorous public atheism has, unsurprisingly, brought him into conflict with Islamists in the Netherlands. His 1995 Atheist Manifesto was republished in an expanded edition in 2004 with a foreword by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who partly credits the book for her shift from Islam to atheism.[3][4]

Selected bibliography

  • Philipse, Herman (1995). Atheïstisch manifest: drie wijsgerige opstellen over godsdienst en moraal. Prometheus. ISBN 90-5333-380-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (1998). Heidegger's Philosophy of Being: A Critical Interpretation. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-00119-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2004). Atheïstisch manifest en De onredelijkheid van religie. Uitgeverij Prometheus. ISBN 978-90-351-2654-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2004). Acht Filosofische Miniaturen - Een hoorcollege over grote denkers van Plato tot Wittgenstein. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-003-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2005). Filosofen van de 20e eeuw - Een hoorcollege over acht moderne denkers. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-014-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2006). Godsdienstfilosofie - Een hoorcollege over religie tussen wonder en wetenschap. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-050-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2007). Wetenschap versus godsdienst - Een hoorcollege over grote conflicten, van Copernicus tot Dawkins. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-203-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2008). Ethiek en Evolutie - Een hoorcollege over de geschiedenis, biologie, filosofie en antropologie van de moraal. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-403-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2009). Godsgeloof of atheïsme? Een hoorcollege over de filosofische strijd der wereldbeschouwingen. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-056-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2009). Filosofische polemieken. Uitgeverij Bert Bakker. ISBN 978-90-351-3502-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2010). Betrouwbare kennis - Een hoorcollege over wetenschapsfilosofie in historisch perspectief. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-930-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2011). Vrijheid en verplichting - Een hoorcollege over wijsgerige ethiek, van Plato tot Levinas. Home Academy Publishers (audio-cd). ISBN 978-90-8530-100-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Philipse, Herman (2012). God in the Age of Science?: A Critique of Religious Reason. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969753-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also


  1. "In universitaire oorlog tussen ongelovigen en theologen mag nu alles" (in Nederlands). Trouw. 5 April 1996. Retrieved 29 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Atheistisch manifest & De onredelijkheid van religie" (in Nederlands). Polare. Retrieved 31 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lodewijk Dros (29 January 2003). "Dwars op haar eigen Verlichtingspad". Trouw (in Nederlands). Retrieved 29 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Choudhury, Sohail (20 May 2006). "Controversial Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Muslim turned atheist, to resign from Dutch Parliament". Asian Tribune. World Institute For Asian Studies. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links