Brandt van der Gaast

Hi, welcome to my webpage. I am a lecturer in 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. Most recently, I worked at the University of Twente, where I learned a lot about the exciting area of the 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 picked up 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.


Areas of philosophy I'm interested in include population ethics and the philosophy of language

I'm intruiged by ethical puzzles about the aggregation of wellbeing. What makes one possible future state of the world better than another? How does overall value relate to the wellbeing of the people that exist? In current work, I try to develop a so-called 'person-affecting' approach to these questions.

Another topic in philosophy I'm interested in is representation. My dissertation was about the notion of content--both mental and linguistic. In it, I attempt to defend an internalist, Fregean approach to meaning, as an alternative to the currently popular externalist accounts.

CV + Publications

Here's an abbreviated 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]