Tripti Joshi

Herman Philipse

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Nationality  Dutch
Education  Leiden University
Name  Herman Philipse

Years active  1986–present
Alma mater  Leiden University
Employer  Utrecht University
Born  13 May 1951 (age 64) (1951-05-13) The Hague, The Netherlands
Occupation  Professor of philosophy
Books  God in the Age of Science?, Atheistisch manifest, Heidegger's Philosophy of Being

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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.


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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). 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.

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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.

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Philipse's vigorous public atheism has, unsurprisingly, brought him into conflict with Islamists in the Netherlands. He 'has claimed that Islam is a violent tribal culture incompatible with modernity and democracy, and ethics'. His 1995 Atheist Manifesto was republished in an expanded edition in 2004 with a foreword by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, his former lover, who partly credits the book for her shift from Islam to atheism.


Herman Philipse Wikipedia

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