Jurriën Hamer

Author and Philosopher

Jurriën Hamer deals with various topics at the intersection of ethics, human rights and digital technology. Last march he published a popular philosophical book on free will, called: “Why villains are unlucky and heroes are not” (only available in Dutch).

Jurriën studied law and philosophy and obtained his PhD in 2017 from Utrecht University. He wrote a dissertation on the political significance of human rights and conducted research at the London School of Economics, Government and Law. Jurriën publishes in newspapers such as Trouw, de Volkskrant and De Correspondent and is co-founder of the philosophy blog Bij Nader Inzien.


Reality and free will

Is a millionaire entitled to his wealth? Should we forgive a murderer? Can a man ever change his destiny? It all comes down to a fundamental question: do we have free will?
Philosophers have doubted the answer for centuries, and for decades biologists and neurologists have argued that free will does not exist. Every year the evidence against free will piles up: we are a product of our genes, of our history and of our circumstances. Yet free will does not let go of us. This myth has more influence than ever – in our criminal justice system, our economy and our quest for happiness.

8 November