Dr. Wouter Kusters

Philosopher and writer, The Netherlands



Wouter Kusters (1966) is a philosopher, linguist and writer. He wrote his dissertation in linguistics in 2003 on language change and societal change. In 2004 he published his first book on psychosis and philosophy, Pure Waanzin (Pure Madness). In this book Kusters connects lived experience of psychosis (his own autobiographical notes) to the so-called third person perspective of nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists. This book won the Van Helsdingen Award for the best work in the boundary domain of philosophy and psychiatry, and also the Socrates Award for the best book in philosophy in Dutch of the year. After a career switch to philosophy and writing, in 2007 Kusters published Alleen (Alone), together with co-author Sam Gerrits and artist Jannemiek Tukker in 2007, in which various stories are told about and from the isolation cell in a psychiatric hospital. In 2014 Kusters’ last and final work on madness and philosophy is published: Filosofie van de Waanzin. Fundamentele en grensoverschrijdende inzichten, in which Kusters present an all-ecompassing view on madness and philosophy. This work also receives the Socrates Award, and has been translated into English in 2020. Translations to Chinese and Arabic are expected in 2022 and 2023. Today Wouter Kusters is a self-employed writer, teacher, coach and editor, who often works on the limit area of philosophy and madness, and who has been extending his thoughts of expertise in madness and philosophy to more social and historical themes, that also concern madness on a super-personal level of analysis.

Publications and academic work

Kusters, W. (2021). Ontsnappen aan de verschrikking. Inleiding in het denken van Frederic Neyrat, [To Escape from he Fright. An introduction in the thinking of Frederic Neyrat]. Amsterdam: Lontano.

Kusters, W. (2020). A Philosophy of Madness. The Experience of Psychotic Thinking. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.

Kusters, W. (2016). Philosophy and Madness. Radical Turns in the Natural Attitude to Life. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 23: 2, pp. 129 – 146.

Kusters, W.(2004). Pure waanzin [Pure Madness].

Kusters, W. (2003). Linguistic Complexity: The Influence of Social Change on Verbal Inflection. PhD Dissertation. Utrecht: LOT Dissertation Series 77.

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