Dutch Philosophy

Dutch Philosophy

Dutch philosophy, name for the independent Dutch philosophy, which was formed for the first time in the 13th century (Heinrich von Gent, Siger von Brabant) with the mediation of Greek philosophy based on the Arabian reception of Aristotle.

von Moerbeke translated the Greek texts that were decisive for scholasticism. The 14th century was determined by a mystical-theological thinking and the work of the penitential and reform preacher G. Groote (Devotio moderna). Dionysius the Carthusian (“Doctor ecstaticus”) processed the scholastic knowledge again in the 15th century. W. Gansfort and R. Agricola prepared the ground for Erasmus of Rotterdam, who made the University of Leuven, founded in 1425, the center of humanism.

Initially a stronghold of Aristotelianism, the University of Leiden, founded in 1580, turned into a base for Dutch Cartesianism (Henricus Regius, * 1598, † 1679; B. Bekker) and, like the rest of the Netherlands, according to ezinereligion, became a refuge for independent thinkers in the 17th century (R. Descartes, Angelus Silesius , P. Bayle, B. de Spinoza). H. Grotius combined humanism and the doctrine of natural law; A. Geulincx renewed metaphysics (occassionalism). Bernhard Nieuwentijt (* 1654, † 1718) and W. ‘s Gravesande developed a Newtonian experimental philosophy.

In the 18th century, F. Hemsterhuis, as a representative of an aesthetic-mystical pantheism, fought against rationalism and is therefore regarded as the forerunner of romanticism; with Philip Willem van Heusde (* 1778, † 1839) he exerted influence on Calvinist theology.

The 19th century reflected the philosophical developments in Germany, France and England: Kantianism (Paulus van Hemert, * 1756, † 1825; Johannes Kinker, * 1764, † 1845), common sense philosophy (van Heusde) and empiricism Materialism (J. Moleschott; Cornelis Willem Opzoomer, * 1821, † 1892). At the end of the 19th century there was a return to Spinozism (Johannes van Vloten, * 1818, † 1883; Johannes Diderik Bierens de Haan, * 1866, † 1943). At the same time, New Criticism (Jan Pieter Nicolaas Land, * 1834, † 1897), New Hegelianism (G. Bolland) and Neuthomism (Louis de Raeymaeker, * 1895, † 1970; Josephus Theodorus Beysens, * 1864, † 1945). In addition to Marburg Neo-Kantianism (B. J. Ovink) and psychic monism (Gerard Heymans, * 1857, † 1930), existential philosophy (R. F. Beerling) and a Calvinistic personalism (Philip Abraham Kohnstamm, * 1857, † 1951) won in the 20th century the phenomenology meaning (G. van der Leeuw, F. J. Buytendijk, Edgar de Bruyne, * 1898, † 1959; Herman Leo van Breda, * 1911, † 1974, Founder of the Husserl archive in Löwen). Formal logic (Evert Willem Beth, * 1908, † 1964; L. E. J. Brouwer, A. Heyting) and analytical philosophy were also influential in Dutch philosophy.

Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Dutch Protestantse Kerk in Nederland, abbreviation PKN, Protestant Church of the Reformed and Lutheran tradition in the Netherlands; on May 1, 2004 through the merger of the Dutch Reformed Church(“Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk”), the Reformed Church in the Netherlands (“Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland”) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (“Evangelisch-Lutherse Kerk in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden”). The PKN is presbyterial-synodal; the highest organ is the general synod with a praeses. With around 1.9 million members (2017) in around 1,800 congregations, the PKN comprises the majority of Protestant Christians in the Netherlands. – Historically, the founding churches of the PKN represent the most important currents of Reformation Christianity in the Netherlands. The historical starting point of the “Dutch Reformed Church” (reorganized in 1816 and 1951 with new church ordinances) was set in 1571 with the Synod of Emden; the first Lutheran congregation in the Netherlands was constituted in Antwerp in 1566. The »Reformed Church in the Netherlands« was created in 1892 as a merger of two conservative, A. Kuyper) from the »Dutch Reformed Church«.


Utrecht [ y ː trεxt ] city in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, with 347,480 residents; important industrial and commercial center. In the center of the old town is the Gothic cathedral (begun in 1254, partially destroyed in 1674). – Utrecht goes back to a Roman foundation. It became a bishopric in 695. The Peace of Utrecht in 1713 ended the War of the Spanish Succession.


The Hague (officially ‘s-Gravenhage), seat of government and royal residence of the Netherlands, with 532 560 residents. The Grote Kerk (15th / 16th century), the old town hall (16th century) and the Binnenhof with public buildings (13th-18th century) are well worth seeing. The Hague is the seat of the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and an international law academy.

Dutch Philosophy