Prologue to publishing the dissertation

It is because of the inner calling to reach for a new that is unrelated to the present, for that which lies beyond the realm of the possible, that I started out on this path and will continue to do so, in order to search for some form of truth while facing evidence that truth does not exist, to search for meaning in a meaningless world, to search for change in a world that is nothing more than eternal repetition.

At some point you’re ready to start working on it. The publication of what you’ve worked at for so many years. But rereading the prologue, I feel I’m finally ready to part with it. It has taken some time, some distance, it has taken writing another book in the meantime. But I’m ready to look into the long and arduous road of publishing The necessity of the impossible…

Here the prologue for your consideration: (And publishers are welcome, of course!)

“By choosing to write about the desire to reach the impossible and the closely related illusion of change, I have chosen to fail. To fail in life. And synonymously to fail in thinking.

Continue reading “Prologue to publishing the dissertation”

Podcast – “Don’t know. Ask!”

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!

For those interested to know (hear) a little bit about what I think about now and again… I was interviewed and the resulting podcast by Nadja Schnetzler is now online!

Some of the topics discussed:
What are good ‪#‎questions‬? True friendship is with those who are different from yourself. How we don’t see the other for what they have to offer us: their otherness. The importance of boring questions. Collaboration and Bahá’í consultation. And about the need for humbleness.

This link takes you directly to the podcast:…/collaboration-booster-episode-4…/

To create something new we need the radical other

Vrouwelijke filosofe

Als vrouwelijke filosofe behoor ik tot meerdere minderheden. Dat merkte ik al op de filosofische faculteit die vol met testosteron de meningen die het hardst over de tafel vliegen toch altijd weer hogere cijfers geven. Dat ik op een keer een 10 kreeg bij een vak politieke filosofie leek mij een foute zaak, waarom kreeg die jongen die altijd overal bij was en de grootste mond had niet zoals altijd het hoogste cijfer? Tsja, er was zowaar een vrouwelijke docent die de antwoorden en mijn zoektocht naar de waarheid en het goede wel op waarde kon schatten. Misschien had ik toen iets door moeten hebben. Continue reading “Vrouwelijke filosofe”

Column: Onze fascinatie voor verandering en levenskunst

Ergens staat het me nog altijd tegen, de term “levenskunst”. Het invulling geven aan het leven, gezien vanuit het individu. De laatste tijd zijn er mooie boeken over de opkomst van dit fenomeen verschenen, zoals het boek van De Academie voor Levenskunst: “Aanwijzingen voor het goede leven“. Toch vraag ik me af waar we nu eigenlijk mee bezig zijn, als we ons bezig houden met levenskunst. En dat heeft alles te maken met mijn werk omtrent het begrip ‘veranderen’.

Continue reading “Column: Onze fascinatie voor verandering en levenskunst”

Publication: Paper on Responsbility for Radical Change in addressing Climate Change

Paper by Nicole des Bouvrie*, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen & Nigel Jollands,
published online in ‘Carbon Management’ (2015).


To radically address the problem of climate change, it is not enough to modify specific attitudes and behaviors while upholding the present paradigms. This article aims to show why modifications will never bring about radical carbon emission reductions. We discuss what it implies to desire radical change, using contemporary philosophy as a method. We argue that a key requirement to achieve radical emission reductions is that we as human beings adopt responsibility that brings with it a continuous commitment to the process of change. Acting on the new understanding of responsibility as an internal mindset toward the bringing about of radical change requires a cooperative decision-making model and a new understanding of leadership.

Full paper and more information here, on the website of Carbon Management.


Beyond the prejudice of philosophy

Translation of published article on Zinweb.

Having finished my master of philosophy at one of the Dutch universities, I often find myself confronted with prejudices against philosophy, both in the world and the job market. The discussion about closing one of the faculties of philosophy in the Netherlands (Earsmus University Rotterdam) has brought them all to the surface once more. Here is my response.

Continue reading “Beyond the prejudice of philosophy”

Only one question

Writing on the impossible, inevitably leads back to Albert Camus:

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.


Whether the earth or the sun revolves around the other is a matter of profound indifference. To tell the truth, it is a futile question. On the other hand, I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.” Opening lines of ‘Myth of Sisyphus’, orig. 1940.

Interesting how the ethical is for Camus a profoundly ontological question, as it is for me.

Albert Camus