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Personal profile

Research interests

Erik Rietveld is a Socrates Professor in Philosophy at the University of Twente and the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC, Department of Psychiatry). Earlier, he was a Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard University. Rietveld’s fundamental research on the philosophy of embodied cognition has impact in a wide variety of fields: psychiatry, ecological psychology, theoretical neurobiology, deep brain stimulation, sustainability, and the arts. Together with his brother Ronald Rietveld he founded the multidisciplinary and experimental collective for visual art, architecture and philosophy RAAAF in 2006. They were responsible for Vacant NL, the successful Dutch contribution to the Venice Biennale 2010. RAAAF’s art installation The End of Sitting materialized a vision on the office of the future, in which chairs are replaced by non-sitting positions to encourage more active life-styles. Erik Rietveld is a member of the Society of Arts of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The title of Rietveld's inaugural lecture was The Affordances of Art for Making Technologies (2019). Other philosophical publications include Situated Normativity (2008) and The Landscape of Affordances (2020), co-authored with Ronald Rietveld. His article A Rich Landscape of Affordances (2014), co-authored with Julian Kiverstein, is the most read and cited article in Ecological Psychology. In 2021 Rietveld was awarded a prestigious VICI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for his new five-year research project Change-Ability on coordinated collective behavioral change in a rapidly changing world.



Philosophy of Embodied Cognition, Psychiatry, Deep Brain Stimulation, Ecological Psychology, Ecological Dynamics, Neurodynamics, Theoretical Neurobiology, Visual Art, Philosophy of Affordances

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Socrates Professor, University of Twente

1 Dec 2017 → …


  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine


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