Margreet de Heer

Philosophical Qualifications

May 18, 2012 by  
Filed under NBM Blog

I don’t have a degree in Philosophy, and frankly, I don’t think you need one to be a “lover of wisdom” – which is the exact translation of the word “philosopher”.

I do have a degree in Theology from the University of Amsterdam. It was something of a genetic necessity: both my parents were ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church, and my maternal grandfather was a Professor of Theology at the University of Leiden. Thinking and talking about Life, the Universe and Everything was something that I was literally born into. Fortunately, my parents were not the “Shut Up and Read Your Bible” -type of reverends, but more the “What A Miracle Our Daughter Has A Mind Of Her Own”-kind of educators. They always seemed delighted by my creative and intellectual achievements, however wacky or outrageous – well, I was their first child, so I had a lot of credit.

My parents always encouraged me and my two brothers to ask questions and develop our own views. They were actually very surprised when I chose to study Theology, since I never showed any inclination towards ascending the pulpit. I chose Theology because it is a very diverse study, including languages, sociology, phenomenology, dogmatics, history and philosophy. The faculty of Amsterdam was a very liberal one, accommodating Christians and atheists alike.

So, what I’m trying to say is: any environment that allows a person to be curious and to learn about their own specific existential questions, can qualify as a school for philosophy. Hopefully, my comic will inspire people both inside and outside of educational systems to find their “love of wisdom”!

Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics

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