Try not to think as a thinker, but as a human being. Seek dialogue with those thinkers who did just this: exposing oneself to the world we live in, finding words for what we can do to maintain, continue and repair it so that all creatures can live in it as well as possible.IMG_4337

(my motto combines paraphrases from Ludwig Feuerbach and Joan Tronto)


About me:

After two years of studying sociology in Leiden (1978-1980), I changed to philosophy studies in the same Dutch city (1980-1987), and a philosopher is what I have become. I am passionate about the necessity to reflect, to dialogue, and always to think harder! This is the engine of what I do as a teacher and researcher @VU / the Free University Amsterdam.

My teaching and research, wandering across the boundaries of ethics, political philosophy and philosophical anthropology, have a special focus on intercultural philosophy and African philosophy, criticism of modernity, spirituality, and spirit ontologies. My approaches are: critical theory, postcolonial theory, hermeneutics, deconstructivism and pragmatism.

Currently I am writing my first book in English, on the Philosophy of Spirit Ontologies.

Previously I published five books in Dutch, on Spinoza (1996) (my PhD thesis), on nature in ethics (2005), on truth (2006), on spirituality (2007) and on ghosts / spirits (2011). The ones without links are out of print.

I co-edited Theological Ethics and Moral Value Phenomena. Experience of Values, and two books in Dutch, on life as given (2003) and on spiritual formation (2007) (both out of print).

Titles of most of my academic articles can be found here. Some articles can be found in pdf on

My tweets are integral part of my endeavors to spread the word: think!


  1. Marjolein said:

    Hi Angela, mooie blog!
    Las net in de biografie van Helene Kroller-Muller dat zij sterk beinvloed is door Spinoza.Wist je dat?

    • Nee, Marjolein, dat wist ik niet! Dank voor je positieve woorden over de blog!

  2. afaf omar said:

    I’m interested in Spinoza metaphysics,

  3. Pius said:

    I have read through Prof Roothan’s website with a lot of interest and amusement. She has a simple style which ties with my vision f an intercultural; philosophy. Her visit to Africa have proved so inspiring and urged us to discuss the validity and relevance of African knowledge systems. I will visit this site regularly an I am so touch with her comments on the colloquium at the university of Calabar , Nigeria.

    • Thanks, Pius, for your encouraging words and support. For three years now I have kept the blog going, and I wish to do so as long as I will be able to work as a researcher and teacher in philosophy.

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