Helen De Cruz

I am an Assistant Professor in philosophy at the VU University Amsterdam, and I will be a senior lecturer (equivalent Associate Professor) at Oxford Brookes University from January 2016. Before, I was a postdoctoral fellow of the British Academy at Oxford University (2013-2014), an FWO postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leuven, and a Templeton residential fellow at Oxford.

I obtained my PhD in philosophy at the University of Groningen in 2011, and a PhD in archaeology and art sciences at the Free University Brussels in 2007. My main areas of specialization are philosophy of cognitive science and philosophy of religion, and I also have published work in general philosophy of science, epistemology, aesthetics, and metaphilosophy.

My work is concerned with the question why and how humans form beliefs in domains that are quite remote from everyday life, such as in mathematics, theology and science. How do the concepts in these domains relate to our everyday, ordinary cognitive skills? What is the evolutionary origin of our capacities to form beliefs in these abstract domains? I argue human high-level cognitive processes have precursors in nonhuman animal cognition (e.g., a sense of numbers is shared with other vertebrates), but that humans have expanded their conceptual toolkit by their reliance on other minds and on material culture.

On this webpage, you can download papers, find my contact details, my CV, information about my education and training, past and current research projects, resources on teaching, and some information on blogging, the Renaissance lute and other activities.

You can also find information about me on the following websites: