34th Dutch-Flemish Day of Philosophy

Saturday, August 31st, 2013, Eindhoven University of Technology



Conference theme: “Progress”


Keynote speakers

Prof. dr. Ingrid Robeyns (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Prof. dr. Eric Schliesser (Ghent University)



About the Day of Philosophy

The annual Day of Philosophy offers a special opportunity for philosophers working at Flemish and Dutch universities to exchange views from different disciplines and traditions. As of this year, the Day of Philosophy is an activity of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW).



Conference theme: Progress

Progress is one of the core ideas in the history of western thought and one of the most central values in our current societies and political ideologies. In philosophy, progress is often viewed as a sign of rationality and the possibility of knowledge. Philosophers of science have tried to formulate progress in terms of the rational requirement to reject old theories and adopt new ones. Ethicists often point to the strong intuition that progress has been made in moral thinking about slavery or women’s rights to cash out implications of moral truths, facts, or knowledge.

Others have argued that the concept of progress allows us to account for the practice of science and ethics without the need for problematic metaphysical assumptions about objective facts or truths. But what domains of inquiry are subject to progress, exactly? Has there really been progress in aesthetics, politics, culture, or, for that matter, morality or science? Furthermore, it has been debated whether biological evolution also involves a form of progress, and conversely, whether cultural change is really just another form of evolution that lacks progress altogether. Paradoxically, progress has been especially hard to establish when it comes to philosophy itself: none of the really fundamental philosophical problems have, after all, received fully satisfactory solutions. Is there progress in philosophy?

Finally, the desirability of thinking in terms of progress itself may be questioned. Technological innovation has always been both praised and criticized where its moral impact on mankind is concerned. As for economic progress – is it healthy, productive, and sustainable to aim for improvement, growth, increase? Or is that the very idea that has lead to the unsustainable and wasteful usage of resources upon which our current global economy depends?




The Day of Philosophy will be held in the IPO building on the university campus. This is building number 14 on the campus map (square F3). Instructions for traveling to Eindhoven University of Technology can be found here.




Download a pdf-version here.






Keynote I - Room 0.98

Prof. dr. Ingrid Robeyns (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Sustainable Procreative Freedom



Parallel sessions I

Each slot consists of 20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion

Session 1a (Dutch)
- Room 0.11 -


Kunst- en cultuurfilosofie

Session 1b (English)
- Room 0.98 -


Ethics of Innovation



Sjoerd van Hoorn

De dood van de auteur als decentrering van het subject: van Roland Barthes naar Michel Foucault

Jilles Smids (TU Eindhoven)

Making digital agents persuasive: the ethics of using similarity


Mathijs Gomperts (UvA)

Fictie en kennis: een epistemologie

Caroline Harnacke (Utrecht)

How thinking about disability could improve the enhancement debate


Alice Breemen (Tilburg)

Creatieve dialogen: participatief theater als filosofische praktijk

Sophie Niemansburg (Utrecht UMC)

Sham surgery: reconsidering the ethical debate





Parallel sessions II

Session 2a (Dutch)
- Room 0.11 -


Vooruitgang en maatschappij

Session 2b (mixed)
- Room 0.26 -


Philosophy of Science

Session 2c (English)
- Room 0.98 -


Ethics and Moral Psychology



Rutger Kaput (Oxford)

Huizinga en de teloorgang van het spel der politiek?

Irene van de Beld (Leuven)

Max Weber en vooruitgang in de natuurwetenschap

Dennis Vanden Auweele (Leuven)

Schopenhauer, Optimism and Progress


Arthur Kok (Tilburg)

Redelijkheid en politiek: Machiavelli, Kant, Hegel

Jasper van den Herik (Rotterdam)

A Comparative Perspective on Rorty and Habermas

Annet Boog (Groningen)

Practical Reason and Practical identity


Martien Schreurs (UvH)

Bildung in de weerbarstige onderwijspraktijk

Floris Solleveld (Nijmegen)

Philosophy of Science and the History of the Humanities

Julien Kloeg (Rotterdam)

Emotion Theory and Empiricism: Prinz on Hume and James





Quick sessions - Room 0.98

Each slot consists of 10 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion



Nathanja van den Heuvel (Rotterdam)

SWIP.NL: Society for Women in Philosophy Nederland


Sander Voerman (Eindhoven)

Conceptual Revisionism: Progress in Folk Meta-Ethics


Coos Engelsma (Groningen)

On the Arbitrariness Objection to Foundationalism


Hanna Vandenbussche (Leuven)

Real philosophy consists in mocking philosophy, real morality in mocking morality


Thomas Wells (Rotterdam)

Democracy or plutocracy? One can’t have both


Short break



Keynote II - Room 0.98

Prof. dr. Eric Schliesser (Ghent University)

Constructing Progress in Philosophy







Please register if you plan to attend by sending an e-mail to s.a.voerman@tue.nl with “Day of Philosophy Registration” in the subject line and your name and affiliation in the mail body. The deadline for registration is Friday, August 23.



Costs of participation

Costs for attending the conference (including lunch) are covered by Eindhoven University of Technology for all employees, students, and graduate students of universities. Other interested people can contact the organization. Travel costs will not be reimbursed.