Theo Verbeek, Dutch philosopher

Theo Verbeek, Dutch philosopher

Wed, 09/02/2011


Doctor Honoris Causa of ENS de Lyon - February 9, 2011

An esthete, francophile and francophone, Theo Verbeek is the internationally recognized specialist of Descartes and the famous quarrel of Utrecht.
Theodorus Hendrikus Maria Verbeek was born on June 12, 1945 in Heemstede, near Amsterdam. After studying French, literature and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, in 1988, Theo Verbeek obtained his doctorate of philosophy (with unanimous congratulations from the jury) for his thesis, in French, on “the Treaty of the soul of the Mettrie.”

He began his academic career in 1971 – at the age of 26, as an Assistant at the University of Leiden, then at the University of Utrecht where he started working in 1976. Appointed Professor in 1993, he then became Director of the Research Institute responsible for a new edition of Descartes. Since June 2010, he has been Professor Emeritus of this venerable institution which will celebrate its 375th anniversary this year.

Throughout his career, Theo Verbeek has lectured worldwide: 45 international lectures between 1993 and 2010. He has been visiting Professor in the United States, Italy, Japan, CNRS and ENS.

Member of the C.L. Thijssen-Schoute Foundation, the Editorial Committee of the French translation of the Complete Works of Hobbes (Vrin) and the Union Committee of the International Academy, he is also on the editorial committees of a dozen international journals in Philosophy and the History of ideas. Together with Erik-Jan Bos, the publishing program in the Netherlands of the complete works of Descartes, Theo Verbeek has participated in France in the new edition of Descartes in La Pléiade.
Internationally recognized for his many works, translation, critical editing and commentary, on Dutch Cartesianism but also on Spinoza and on the History of Ideas in the 17th century, Theo Verbeek has received numerous distinctions.

It is an honor for the École normale supérieure de Lyon to award Theo Verbeek the diploma of Doctor Honoris causa, in recognition for his contribution to a better understanding of the work of Descartes.

Awards and distinctions

Laureate of the Descartes-Huygens award in 2000

Member of the Académie Royale Hollandaise des Arts et Sciences in 2002

Knight of the Légion d’Honneur in 2004

Descartes and the Dutch: Early Reactions to Cartesian Philosophy, 1637-1650Descartes and the Dutch: Early Reactions to Cartesian Philosophy, 1637-1650
Journal on the History of Philosophy