‘Filosofie – waar is dat goed voor?’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 110, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



This article gives an overview of the ideas of twentieth-century Dutch philosophers on the use and function of education in philosophy, both in a university context and in secondary schools. In the first half of the twentieth century, there was a very strong emphasis on expanding the place of philosophy in other academic programmes, which was related to the neokantian conception of philosophy as the examination of the fundamental assumptions and the interconnectedness of the sciences. After the Second World War, this view had a unique institutional effect, in the form of the establishment of a ‘centrale interfaculteit’ at all Dutch universities, where philosophy was to be practised in relation to other disciplines. This institutional experiment was brought to an end in the 1980s. Since then, there has been a tendency to regard philosophy as an academic discipline in its own right, and less as a place for creating meaningful connections between other disciplines. From the 1970s onwards, the focus of thinking about philosophy education in the Netherlands has shifted from the universities to the secondary schools. Whereas philosophy was practically non-existent as a secondary-school subject in 1970, nowadays it has a remarkably strong presence as an elective in Dutch upper secondary education. Simultaneously, the didactics of philosophy became a flourishing field in the Netherlands, exploring the way in which secondary-school pupils can learn the skill of philosophical thinking.


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