Universiteit Leiden

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Institute for Philosophy


Philosophy responds to intellectual challenges posed by society and by the acquisition and organization of knowledge worldwide. It reflects on current practices in the light of past performances, while seeking to develop new perspectives on current problems.


The Leiden University Institute for Philosophy conducts internationally recognized research in Western and Comparative Philosophy, with a keen eye to issues of the 21st century. We investigate fundamental political and ethical issues and propose new applications of philosophical theory. We reflect on the structure, mechanisms and aims of cognition and knowledge acquisition. Since philosophy develops conceptually in interaction with its history, historical studies constitute an integral part of the Institute’s research. Since we believe that philosophy is not an exclusively Western enterprise, we study philosophy and its role in societies around the world in past and present. In this way we contribute to several Leiden University research profiles: Political Legitimacy: Institutions and Identities; Global Interaction of People, Culture and Power through the Ages; and Asian Modernities and Traditions.

Research training

From the start of our BA programmes students are involved in our research and trained in the required academic and philosophical skills. Our MA programmes bring the students at the front of contemporary philosophical research. Our PhD candidates participate in all aspects of international academic life, giving lectures, attending conferences, training their writing skills, teaching, and familiarizing themselves with the politics of knowledge. We are proud that an increasing number of PhD candidates find their way to Leiden in the framework of international scholarships and our collaboration agreements with Beijing Normal University (China), and Universidad Diego Portales (Santiago di Chile).


The recent growth of the Leiden University Institute for Philosophy has made it into a thriving philosophical community, with an array of international speakers visiting our premises every year. Every week there is a choice of meetings of research teams and various reading groups. Feel free to join!

Management team

Academic Director:  Prof. dr. D.L. Berger

The Academic Director is the head of the Institute for Philosophy, and as such carries overall responsibility for the institute. The Academic Director is directly answerable to the Faculty Board.

Director of Education:  Dr. F. Chouraqui

The Director of Education is responsible for the teaching activities of the Institute for Philosophy.

Institute Manager:  Drs. C.M. De Greef

The Institute Manager is in charge of operational affairs of the Institute, such as finances, personnel and the internal organisation of the institute.

The Management Team convenes every other week (or more often if needed) to discuss and decide on issues concerning the institute’s academic, personnel and financial management. If you have IPh related issues or questions that requires the attention of the MT, please send an email to the Institute Manager Carolyn de Greef.

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