Event details

Date: Monday November 29th 16:00-17:30, 2021

Recording: Click here for the recording of the lecture
Slides: The slides of the presentation can be found here

What are the humanities for?

In modern universities the humanities are predominantly not valued as highly as the natural or the bio-medical sciences. In many countries the humanities and entire humanities departments are under threat. Still, the humanities are important, because they can give us knowledge and insights that cannot be obtained in other ways. In his lecture, Willem B. Drees will discuss the nature and relevance of the humanities and it’s unique epistemology. In his latest book: ‘What are the humanities for?’ he argues that the disciplines of the humanities are serving society as well as being intrinsic to our humanity.

Willem B. Drees

Willem B. Drees is emeritus professor of philosophy of the humanities at Tilburg University, and previously served as professor of philosophy of religion at Leiden University. He is especially interested in the nature and status of the humanities in relation to other disciplines, and in the role of the humanities in society. Within the humanities, an area of special interest is interactions of humanities and the natural sciences and technology in social contexts, and their impact on human self-understanding.


The lecture will take place online on Monday the 29th of November 16:00-17:30. There will be ample room for questions and discussion. This event is organized by the Abraham Kuyper Center. The Abraham Kuyper Center currently has a research project on Epistemic Progress in the University, funded by the Templeton World Charity Fund.


Register by sending an email to abrahamkuypercenter@vu.nl with the subject title “Registration lecture “What are the humanities for?””. Register to receive the link to the zoom meeting.


For questions or more information, please contact:

Samira van der Loo
project manager Abraham Kuyper Center
@: s.vander.loo@vu.nl