Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Artificial Intelligence, Communication, Culture, Philosophy, Religion and Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dag van de Filosofie 2016 (Philosophy Day)

logo DvdF 2016

The ‘Dag van de Filosofie 2016’ (the national Dutch Philosophy Day) will take place on Saturday April 16th, 2016 (12.45-22.00) in Theatre De NWE Vorst in Tilburg and will be connected to the theme of the Maand van de Filosofie (National Philosophy Month) 2016: Beyond borders.

‘Borders.’ This theme of the Dag van de Filosofie will be examined, looked at, weighed and discussed by a selection of philosophers, scientists, politicians and artists. Of course the current refugee crisis and terrorism-threat give us enough to discuss already. But on this day we will also think about and discuss groundbreaking art and literature.

The Dag van de Filosofie is an annual event in Tilburg, organized in connection with the national Philosophy-month. Mario Jacobs, alderman of the city of Tilburg, will open the event at 12:45, followed by the acclaimed British sociologist and freethinker Frank Furedi (University of Kent), his his lecture is titled: 'Can humanity live without borders?'. Paul Scheffer, Stine Jensen, Tinkebell, Jan Jaap de Ruiter. Julian Kiverstein and many others will give lectures and participate in discussions.

The audience will be able to choose between different sessions during the afternoon: what borders do you want to investigate? The program will include also sessions in English.

After dinner there will be a special evening program on the illusion of understanding in politics (Herman de Regt and Hans Dooremalen) and the revival of political correctness (De Snijtafel).

Keep a look out on this website, our Facebook and Twitter account for updates!


The entire program of the day will be exuberant and relevant. A mind-provoking experience for people who like to think.

Theme National Philosophy Day: 'Borders'

A theme that harmonizes with the here and now because of the refugee crisis and renewed terrorism, but also a theme that asks for philosophical reflections. Today’s society seems to have been shaken to its core, which is exactly why it has become more than necessary to investigate what we see on the surface and really look at what’s going on underneath. Not only philosophers, but also scientists, politicians and artists will reflect on the questions raised by the theme borders during the Dag van de Filosofie.

There will be sessions on the following subthemes:

  • The European borders in humanitarian perspective: how do we treat refugees and why? Are we morally, and legally, allowed to close the borders for refugees? Are borders a condition for civilisation?
  • The borders of the state: states and international relations, the mutual borders of state and market and of state and religion.
  • Inner and outer borders of philosophy: does Asian philosophy result in a fundamentally different stance on today’s questions? If yes then how does it differ from western philosophy?
  • Extremism and terrorism: fear and proximity; the monotheistic religions, tolerance and democracy. Are there boundaries to freedom?
  • Borders of thought: neuroscience reveals more and more details on the complex workings of the brain; what can these sciences really say about our thought?
  • Art and political engagement: what meaning could art and artists have beyond the borders of art itself? Why did we see the pianist outside of the Bataclan Theatre as an important symbol? A symbol of what exactly?


The language of the lecture is according to the language of the abstract.

Dag van de Filosofie, Saturday 16 April 2016
Tijd Zaal
12:00 Welcome
12:45 Official opening by Mario Jacobs (alderman, city of Tilburg) Grote zaal
12:50 Plenary lecture by Frank Furedi (see below) Grote zaal
13:45 Break
14:15 Parallel sessions part 1 (see below for details) Several rooms
16:00 Break
16:30 Parallel sessions part 2 (see below for details) Several rooms
18:15 Break
18:45 Dinner (buffet) Rode salon
19:45 Evening Program (plenary, see below) Grote zaal
22:00 Conclusion Grote zaal

Plenary session 12:50-13:45 - Grote zaal

Why Is It So Difficult To Draw A Line?

Why Is It So Difficult To Draw A Line?

Frank Furedi

The aim of this intervention is to explore the difficulty that contemporary society has in drawing lines. Where is the line that divides adulthood from childhood? Between the private and the public sphere? Between us and them and between the certain and the uncertain? And why are we so uncomfortable if not afraid of borders? The relationship between the problem of uncertainty and the drawing of distinctions constitutes the dominant theme of this talk.

Parallel sessions part 1 - 14:15-16:00

De vrijheid van de grens (grote zaal)

14:15-16:00 - Grote Zaal (sessievoorzitter Bert van de Ven)

  • Paul Scheffer
  • Michiel Besters

Lees de abstracts van deze sessie.

Embodied Minds: Beyond Cognitivism (kleine zaal)

14:15-16:00 - Kleine Zaal (chair: Filip Buekens)

  • Erik Myin
  • Julian Kiverstein
  • Discussion with the audience.

Read the abstracts.

Denken tussen Europa en Azië (rode salon)

14:15-16:00 - Rode Salon (sessievoorzitter: Frank Bosman)

  • Stine Jensen
  • Tineke Nugteren
  • Paul van der Velde

Lees de abstracts van deze sessie.

Parallel sessions part 2 - 16:30-18:15

Grenzen van de staat (grote zaal)

16:30-18:15 - Grote Zaal (sessievoorzitter Milou Rabelink)

  • Antoon Braeckman
  • Ruud Welten
  • Jan Jaap de Ruiter

Lees de abstracts van deze sessie.

Engagement in de kunst (rode salon)

16:30-18:15 - Rode Salon (sessievoorzitter Esther Porcelijn)

  • Anton Dautzenberg
  • Tinkebell
  • Odile Heijnders

Lees de abstracts van deze sessie.

Extremism and Radicalisation (kleine zaal)

16:30-18:15 - Kleine Zaal (chair: Bart Engelen)

  • Tinneke Beeckman
  • Machteld Zee

Read the abstracts.

Evening Program - 19:45-22:00 (plenary grote zaal)

Het snapgevoel in de politiek

19:45-20:30 - Grote zaal (sessievoorzitter Filip Buekens)

Met Herman de Regt en Hans Dooremalen.

Lees de abstract van deze sessie.

Politieke correctheid en neo-conservatisme

20:30-22:00 - Grote zaal (sessievoorzitters Esther Porcelijn en Milou Rabelink)

  • Ruud Welten in interactie met de zaal
  • De Snijtafel met Kasper Jansen en Joris van Laarhoven

Lees de abstracts van deze sessie.

Other activities

Other activities in the afternoon

All over De NWE Vorst

  • Stichting Thomas More
  • Book store Gianotten-Mutsaers
  • Exhibition photo competition


Session Chairs

Photo Competition 2016

These days we are surrounded by images expressing the theme 'borders'. Many examples of borders will be extensively discussed at the Dag van de Filosofie. What is your image of a border?

We received a number of nice and surprising photo's symbolizing borders. The five most impressive pictures will be exposed at the Day, the most outstanding one is the winner and will be awarded, besides exposition, with two free tickets for the Dag van de Filosofie on Saturday, 16 april 2016.

Fotowedstrijd winnaar

The winning picture is made by Irma Rabelink.

Join the Dag van de Filosofie to see all (five) exposed pictures.

Dag van de Filosofie, Theater De NWE Vorst, 16 april 2016

foto Mario Jacobs

Wethouder Mario Jacobs opent de Dag van de Filosofie (foto: Amber Bindels)

foto Frank Furedi 1 foto Frank Furedi publiek

De plenaire lezing van Frank Furedi trekt een grote zaal vol aandachtig publiek (foto's: Jack Tummers)

foto Tinkebell

Tinkebell in gesprek met Jozien Wijkhuis (foto: Jozien Wijkhuis)

logo Boom Uitgevers logo Gianotten Mutsaers logo ABN AMRO logo Thomas More