Brandt van der Gaast

Hi, welcome to my webpage. I teach philosophy at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. I'm originally from the beautiful province of Fryslân.


For over ten years, I've designed and taught courses in philosophy. Previously, I worked at the University of Twente, where I learned a lot about the exciting area of philosophy of technology. Before that, I spent five years in the Deep South of the US. I had a grand ol' time there teaching courses in ethics at Auburn University in Alabama. (War Eagle!) I started out as a teaching assistant at UMass Amherst and Smith College in Massachusetts, where I learned a ton about top-notch education.

I like to think and talk about teaching techniques and about how to create appealing courses on a variety of subjects.


I'm interested in various areas of philosophy. My dissertation was on the philosophy of mind and language; it is a defense of an internalist approach to meaning and mental content. On the topic of representation, I've become interested in the nature of analog vs. digital representation.

I'm also intruiged by ethical puzzles about the aggregation of wellbeing. What makes one possible future state of the world better than another? How does the wellbeing of individuals contribute to how good a state of affairs is? My hunch is that the so-called 'person-affecting' approach is the right one, here.

CV + Publications

Here's a recent version of my CV for those interested.

Here is a link to my dissertation 'A Defense of Russellian Descriptivism', which I completed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014.


Don't hesitate to drop me an email at b.h.[LAST_NAME]