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Rik Peels is a Professor in the Faculty of Religion & Theology and the Faculty of Humanities. His main research topic is the ethics of belief. He has developed a theory of responsible belief, studied ignorance, criticized scientism and developed a common sense alternative, explored the ethics of religious belief, and delved into the epistemic responsibilities of universities. He is currently leading an ERC Starting Grant named "Extreme Beliefs: The Epistemology and Ethics of Fundamentalism" (2020-2025), and with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg, he is leading a TWCF funded project on Progress in the University (2020-2023).


Rik Peels teaches epistemology, ethics, meta-ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and argumentation theory.


  • Extreme Beliefs: The Epistemology and Ethics of Fundamentalism
    ERC Starting Grant, 2020-2025
  • Epistemic Progress in the University
    (with René van Woudenberg and Jeroen de Ridder)
    Templeton World Charity Foundation, 2020-2023
  • The Epistemic Responsibility of the University
    (with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg)
    Templeton World Charity Foundation, 2016–2019
  • Developing an Alternative for Scientism
    (within the larger project Science Beyond Scientism)
    Templeton World Charity Foundation, 2012–2016

Ancillary activities

  • Amsterdam Young Academy | Amsterdam | Member | 2018 - present
  • Amsterdam Young Academy | Amsterdam | president | 2019 - 2020


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy, Utrecht University, 2012
  • Grad student in Philosophy and research associate, Merton College, Oxford (UK), 2011
  • M.A. in Philosophy cum laude, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2008
  • M.A. in Theology cum laude Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 2006
  • Visiting Graduate Student Philosophy, University of Notre Dame (IN, USA), 2004-2005

Ancillary activities

  • University of Johannesburg | Johannesburg | Research associate | 2023-07-01 - 2028-07-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
  • Fundamentalism
  • Ethics of Belief
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Ignorance
  • Responsibilities of the University
  • Scientism


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