Born in Horst, in the province Limburg, as the first child in a family of six. I saw the light of day for the first time in the Catholic hospital known as the Gasthuis (Gasthuisstraat). I grew up in neighbouring Sevenum.
After a year in kindergarten I went to St. Joseph’s primary school for boys, Sevenum. I completed all six terms there.
Secondary school in Deurne, first at St. Henricus school (1965-69), then at Peelland College (1969-72).
Completed a three year course at the Famous Artists School, an American training in the visual arts, which had a European branch in Amsterdam. The drawings I made for my final assignment were published in ‘FA Europa’, July 1970. This could have provided me with a head start in realising my big ambition at that time to become an illustrator. Finishing school had to come first, though.


Graduation at Peelland College, Deurne (June). The Atheneum diploma I obtained here offered me the possibility to go to university. I gave up on my plan to become an illustrator. In September I started my studies in history at Free University, Amsterdam.
Corry Thielen and I got married. We lived in Amsterdam-North.
Graduated from Free University, Amsterdam. Modern history was my main subject. Sociology of non-Western peoples and History of Modern Philosophy were my secondary subjects. I explored the possibilities to start a career in journalism and was offered an apprenticeship for a future positon as an editor by the Haarlems Dagblad, but I declined because of the poor conditions of payment.
Accepted a job as a policy advisor, working for the city council of The Hague for four years.
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. I worked here in several positions, mainly as a (senior) policy advisor, strategist, and project manager in the fields of social security, labour market and employment.
In February I first met Professor Piet de Rooy at Amsterdam University. He agreed to supervise the completion of my thesis on Social Darwinism, a subject I had been researching for quite some time already. Thanks to Piet de Rooy I learned to envision my studious project as a book project and he greatly enhanced my determination and discipline to finish it (which nevertheless would take me another six years).
Nearing the end of my long-time research on Darwin and social Darwinism, I visited Down House (June).
I took my Ph.D. at Amsterdam University, defending my thesis on social Darwinism on October 28th, supervised by Professor Piet de Rooy. My thesis was well received by the public, as can be seen from the number of reviews and interviews.
Began to work on my Mill book. I changed over to the Ministry of Justice (later renamed Security and Justice) managing a department of project managers. I gave a lecture on Darwin and Social Darwinism at Ghent university (invited by Professor Johan Braeckman of the department of Philosophy and Moral Science).
Participated in a symposium at Groningen University on the theme ‘Utopianism and the Sciences, 1880-1930’.
In May my book on John Stuart Mill was published. I remember one reviewer asking: ‘Why didn’t he write it in English?’ In Lourmarin visited the grave of Albert Camus, but could not find the house where he had lived (June 1st). A small conference was organised by the Waterland Stichting, where I discussed the significance of Mill’s philosophy for the present, with Dirk Verhofstadt, Rob Wijnberg and Dick Pels (at The Hague Campus of Leyden University, 26 November). Gave a lecture on Mill at Geert Grote University, Deventer (December 15th).
Acting director of the ‘Beleidsacademie’ (in-company training centre for policy advisors) at the Ministry of Security and Justice. Participated in a debate at SPUI25, Amsterdam, on Darwin’s reception in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe (with Bart Leeuwenburgh and Janneke van der Heide, April 6th). Later that month I participated in a conference on Mill (‘150 years On Liberty’) in Ghent. In August I gave a three day course on Mill at the International School of Philosophy, Leusden.
This year, and the next four years, I concentrated fully on the writing of my new book on ‘Literature in the Interbellum’. Preparations for this book began in 2008.
Began work at the ministry in a new capacity as strategist.