Leo Apostel

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Leo Apostel, 1980

Leo Apostel (Antwerp, 4 September 1925 – Ghent, 10 August 1995) was a Belgian philosopher and professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. Apostel was an advocate of interdisciplinary research and the bridging of the gap between exact science and humanities.


Leo Apostel was born Antwerp in 1925. After the second World War he studied philosophy at the ULB in Brussels with philosopher of law and logician Chaïm Perelman. He got his M.A. at the ULB in Brussels in October 1948 with the thesis Questions sur l'Introspection. For another year he stayed here working as an assistant of Perelman.

In 1950-1951 Apostel is a CRB fellow at the University of Chicago with Rudolf Carnap and with Carl Gustav Hempel at Yale University. He promoted at the ULB in March 1953 with the dissertation "La Loi et les Causes". In 1955 he went to Geneva Switzerland to study a work with Jean Piaget at the Centre International d'Epistémologie Génétique. Those experiences would influence the rest of his life.[1]

From 1955 Apostel lectured logic and philosophy of science at the Ghent University and the ULB for three years. In 1958-1959 he was visiting professor at the Pennsylvania State University, and from 1960 to 1979 a professor at the Ghent University.

Leo Apostel was awarded the Solvay award for human sciences in 1985 and the Arkprijs van het Vrije Woord in 1986. The transdisciplinary research department Center Leo Apostel (CLEA) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel was named after him.


Apostel was an advocate of interdisciplinary research and the bridging of the gap between exact science and humanities.

He wrote two books about Freemasonry: Freemasonry: A Philosophical Essay in 1985, and Atheïstische spiritualiteit in 1998.

His ideas about atheistic religiosity are widely acknowledged.


In his book "Oorsprong" (Origin) from 2000 Apostel gives an introduction of a metaphysics about the beginning of man, life and the universe. This work is part of his project to develop an own scientific metaphysics. The basic for this is the contemporary philosophy of science and the existing sciences and humanities from physics, astrophysics, biology, geology to anthropology. In this book he first outlines the term metaphysics, then presents an ontology, which results in an own consistent world view.[2]


Apostel wrote about 20 books and 100 articles in Dutch, French and English. His books:

  • Matière et Forme
  • Communication et Action,
  • Logique et Dialectique,
  • The Problem of African Philosophy,
  • Afbraak en Opbouw,
  • De Gebroken Orde,
  • Waarde en Zin van de Cultuurwetenschappen in de 20e eeuw.
  • 1982 "Mysticism, ritual and atheism", in Religious atheism?, Belgium
  • 1985, Freemasonry: A Philosophical Essay
  • 1998, Atheïstische spiritualiteit

About Leo Apostel[edit]

  • Ingrid Van Dooren and Leo Apostel, The Philosophy of Leo Apostel: A life history Communication and Cognition, 1989.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leo Apostel (1925 - 1995), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2006. (in Dutch)
  2. ^ Oorsprong: Inleiding tot een metyafysica van het ontstaan van mens, leven en heelal by Leo Apsotel, retrieved October 2007.

External links[edit]