prof.dr. (Han) JA van Ruler

prof.dr. (Han) JA van Ruler
Full professor Erasmus School of Philosophy WP ESPhil
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam
Back to overview


Prof. dr. J.A. (Han) van Ruler is Professor of Intellectual History and Vice-Dean of Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In 2019, he was awarded an NWO 'Open Competition' Research Grant for the project Decoding Descartes**.**

Formerly, Han van Ruler acted as President of the Dutch National ‘Philosophy Month’ Foundation (Stichting Maand van de Filosofie; 2014-2019), as Scientific Director of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy OZSW (2014-2018), as President of the OZSW History of Philosophy Section (2014-2018), as President of the Dutch National Philosophy Olympiad NFO (2012-2017) and as Co-organiser of the 25th International Philosophy Olympiad, Rotterdam, 25-28 May 2017.

Since 2011, he is General Editor of the prestigious book series Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History (BSIH) – founded by Arjo Vanderjagt in 1987.

Brill's Studies in Intellectual History is a peer-reviewed book series that publishes new approaches to history, the history of philosophy and theology, and the history of ideas. Special attention is given to the use of interdisciplinary methods and insights, such as those of cultural anthropology, semiotics and linguistic analysis. Occasionally, volumes will contain papers of eminent scholars and proceedings of conferences that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

Recent publications by Han van Ruler include:

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Dissertation on Combinatorial Art, Massimo Mugnai, Han van Ruler and Martin Wilson (eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020, 302 pp.
  • ‘Beatitude and the Scope of Grace: Early-Modern Morals and the Paradoxes of Felicity’, in: Alberto Frigo (ed.), Inexcusabiles: Salvation and the Virtues of the Pagans in the Early Modern Period, Archives internationales d’histoire des idées, vol. 229, Cham: Springer, 2020, pp. 107-123;;
  • 'Philosopher Defying the Philosophers: Descartes's Life and Works', in Steven Nadler, Tad M. Schmaltz and Delphine Antoine-Mahut (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Descartes and Cartesianism, Chapter 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-24;
  • ‘La découverte du domaine mental : Descartes et la naturalisation de la conscience’, Noctua 3 (2016-2; online 14 August 2017), pp. 239-294,
  • Together with Jeroen Hermkens: In de voetsporen van Erasmus, Beilen: Pharos uitgevers, 2017, 160 pp.
  • Together with Giulia Sissa (UCLA): Utopia 1516-2016: More’s Eccentric Essay and its Activist Aftermath, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017, 243 pp.
  • ‘Arnold Geulincx (1624-1669)’, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002,


Areas of PhD supervision

  1. History of Early Modern Western Philosophy
  2. Renaissance Moral Philosophy
  3. Descartes and Cartesianism
  4. Early Modern Feminism
  5. Erasmus; Thomas More
  6. Spinoza; Leibniz
  7. Western Cultural History
  8. History of Metaphysics
  9. Early Modern History of Science
  10. Early Modern Political Philosophy


  • Han Ruler (18 March 2020) - Podcast Erasmus
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Tim Fransen, Het leven als tragikomedie
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Ineke Loots and Joke Spaans (eds), Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617-1666), On the Conversion of Indians and Heathens: An Annotated Translation of De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669)
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Wiep van Bunge, From Bayle to the Batavian Revolution: Essays on Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Rudolf Schuessler, The Debate on Probable Opinions in the Scholastic Tradition
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Joke Spaans and Jetze Touber (eds), Enlightened Religion: From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety in the Dutch Republic
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Karen E. Hollewand, The Banishment of Beverland: Sex, Sin, and Scholarship in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - 285. Jeroen De Keyser (ed.), Francesco Filelfo: Man of Letters
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Manuel Mertens, Magic and Memory in Giordano Bruno: The Art of a Heroic Spirit
  • Han Ruler (1 January 2019) - Roberto Pinzani, The Problem of Universals from Boethius to John of Salisbury

  • Han van Ruler (2020) - Springer (Publisher)
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Erasmus en Luther
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Maand van de Filosofie 2019
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Medecine or Metaphysics: The Psychological and the Ethical in Descartes and Spinoza
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Chair at NFO
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Utopia
  • Han Ruler & Marli Huijer (2019) - Let’s (not) talk about sex: Foucault, sexual identities and the idea of liberation
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Erasmus’ plaats in de filosofie
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Minicollege Descartes
  • Han Ruler (2019) - Erasmus – Leven en Werk

Brill's Studies in Intellectual History

Start date approval
December 2022
End date approval
December 2025
General Editor

Bachelor 3
Year Level
Bachelor 3
Course Code

Course Code

Master Thesis & Milestones

Course Code

MA Central

Course Code

History of Political Thought

Course Code

Academic Skills 1

Course Code

Descartes and the Cartesian Legacy

Course Code

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes