dr. Emanuel Rutten

BiographyEmanuel Rutten

I completed my secondary education at the Comenius College in Hilversum in 1992. In the same year I started to study Mathematics at the University of Twente in Enschede, were I received my propaedeutic diploma in 1993. After that I moved to Delft to continue my study of Mathematics at Delft University of Technology. I then obtained a propaedeutic diploma in Economics in 1994 at the University of Amsterdam, a Master of Science in Mathematics in 1997 at Delft University of Technology, and a Master of Arts in Philosophy in 2010 at the VU. Both Master degrees received the distinction cum laude. Early 2010 I started my doctorate in philosophy at the VU leading up to the defense of my dissertation and subsequent promotion in September 2012. Since then I have been working as a postdoc at the VU on the project ‘Science beyond Scientism’ and ‘The Epistemic responsibilities of the University’ of the Abraham Kuyper Centre for Science and the Big Questions. I also teach philosophy at the VU for bachelor, regular master and research master courses. Morover, I often contribute to public events, such as public lectures and participating in public debates. Further I am a columnist for the Dutch ForumC website geloofenwetenschap.nl.

Areas of Specialization

Mainly systematic philosophy: philosophy of religion, metaphysics and epistemology. But I am also active in aesthetics on the sublime and the sacred.


My research for ‘The Epistemic responsibilities of the University’ will be as follows: what is the meaning of life? This life-shaping question is hardly ever raised in academic teaching. Yet, being able to cogently reflect on what is significant, worthwhile, and valuable to pursue in life is indispensable for personal growth and development. It is an epistemic responsibility of universities to educate their students on how to deal with this grand question.

This project’s aim is to elucidate how reflection on existential questions, such as ‘What is the meaning of life?’, can be undertaken. Can it be approached by purely scientific means, or is there a need for a more inclusive model of rational deliberation?

Publications (selection)

  • Emanuel Rutten, 2018. Het retorische weten. Amsterdam: Boekenmagazijn.


Mail e.rutten@vu.nl

Additional Information

Personal Website