Born in 1949 (April 5) in Numansdorp, the Netherlands.
1967-1975: study of physics (theoretical solid state physics), VU University Amsterdam; 1975-1978: study of philosophy, University of Amsterdam (distinction: cum laude);
1984: doctoral dissertation in philosophy (distinction: cum laude), VU University Amsterdam;
1986-2014: assistant, associate and full professor at the Department of Philosophy of VU University Amsterdam.
2014-present: Professor Emeritus in Philosophy of Science and Technology and affiliated researcher at the Department of Philosophy of VU University Amsterdam.
In 2013, chief founder of the Platform Hervorming Nederlandse Universiteiten (Platform for the Reform of Dutch Universities). See http://platform-hnu.nl/.
Supervising doctoral dissertations:
- 1993 Henk W. de Regt, Philosophy and the art of scientific discovery (as copromotor).
- 2004 Bram Bos, Een kwestie van beheersing. Over de rol van planten, dieren en mensen in technologische systemen (as copromotor)
- 2005 Makoto Katsumori, Niels Bohr's complementarity. Its structure, history, and intersections with hermeneutics and deconstruction (as promotor).
- 2006 Arthur C. Petersen, Simulating nature. A philosophical study of computer-simulation uncertainties and their role in climate science and policy advice (as promotor).
- 2007 Sabina Leonelli, Weed for thought. Using Arabidopsis thaliana to understand plant biology (as ptromotor).
- 2010 Kai Eigner, Understanding psychologists' understanding. The application of intelligible models to phenomena (as promotor).
- 2014 Rob Nagtzaam, In search of organizing principles as formal causes of emergence. Beyond the predictive power of the fundamental laws of physics (as promotor).
- 2014 I served as the ‘honorary promotor’ at the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Prof. Helen E. Longino (Stanford University) by my university, VU University Amsterdam.
- 2022 Mahdi Khalili, Reality in perspectives (as promotor).
Membership of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy and membership of the editorial boards of Social epistemology and Accountability in research.
Awards of several long-term fellowships, which involved fully paid sabbatical leaves: at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1996/1997 and 2010/2011, Wassenaar, Netherlands), at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (2006/2007, Bielefeld, Germany) and at the University of Bielefeld (2012/2013).
I published many articles, books and book chapters. Several of those have been translated in other languages, including Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. An increasingly larger part is freely available. For this work, see the full publication list.