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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

Two postdoctoral positions in theoretical philosophy (18m & 2y), Konstanz, GERMANY

The University of Konstanz, with its ?Institutional Strategy to promote 
Top-Level Research? has been receiving continuous funding since 2007 
within the framework of the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal 
and State Governments.

At the Department of Philosophy (Theoretical Philosophy / Prof. Dr. Thomas 
Mller) there are currently vacancies for

   Two full-time Post-Doc Positions
   (Salary Scale 13 TV-L)

Post-Doc position 1 (18 months)

This position is part of the research project ?What is really possible? 
Philosophical explorations in branching-history based real modality?, 
which is a five-year project on the notion of possibility and its 
repercussions in logic and in philosophy of science, funded by a VIDI 
grant of the Dutch National Research Organization (NWO). The project was 
started in mid-2010 and is currently moving from Utrecht to Konstanz. See 
the website for more information:

We live in a world of possibilities. Much of our practical life ? 
planning, deciding, hoping and fearing ? only makes sense before a 
background of options to choose from and possibilities for what the future 
will bring: real possibilities in concrete situations. Such real 
possibilities are dynamical; they vanish when they are not actualized. It 
makes sense to picture them via a tree of histories branching off from a 
single past course of events into multiple possible futures. The project 
explores the notion of branching-history based real possibility and aims 
at establishing its fundamental role for the philosophy of modality. To 
this end, the notion of real possibility is approached from a theoretical 
rather than from a practical (action-centered) perspective. This 
groundwork is meant to enable further work on the practical relevance of 
real possibilities.

The Post-Doc?s research should relate to these project aims. Ideally, he 
or she should have an interest in the use of modal notions that occur in 
science, such as (arguably) experiment and interventionist causation.

Post-Doc position 2 (24 months)

This position is part of the research project ?Indeterminism Ltd.: An 
intervention on the free will debate?, which is a five-year project on the 
notions of indeterminism, intervention, and free will, funded by a 
Starting Grant of the European Research Council. The project was started 
in 2011 and is currently moving from Utrecht to Konstanz. See the website 
for more information:

The current free will debate is for a large part about our place nature: 
how do our everyday conceptions of ourselves and the things around us 
connect with a scientific picture of the world? We understand ourselves as 
free agents facing an open future ? but is this a tenable picture 
vis--vis scientific findings? Conceptual as well as empirical 
neuroscientific arguments have recently led to a heated debate on free 
will that has reached well beyond the academic sphere. The research 
project approaches this debate from a theoretical perspective, using 
results from philosophical logic, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. 
From that perspective, the main blind spots of the free will debate 
concern the notions of determinism vs. indeterminism, and intervention. 
Despite its acknowledged centrality for the debate, the notion of 
indeterminism is insufficiently developed; the project aims to show how a 
notion of limited indeterminism can help to dispel many worries about the 
role of an open future for free will. The notion of intervention, which is 
prominent in research on causality, is almost completely absent from the 
free will debate; the project aims to fill this lacuna. Overall, the aim 
is to lay the conceptual foundations for and work out the details of a 
novel, rich notion of indeterminism-based free will.

The Post-Doc?s research should relate to these project aims. Ideally, he 
or she should have a good background in the current free will debate 
and/or be well informed about (in)determinism.

General information for both positions

Both research projects are situated in a lively research area of 
philosophy, with connections to many neighboring disciplines. The projects 
are well under way (see the websites for details); applicants should be 
willing to make a contribution to ongoing work. There will be final 
conferences for both projects in 2015, and applicants should also be 
willing to help to plan and organize these events.

We are looking for talented and dedicated young researchers with a strong 
PhD in a relevant area of philosophy and with proven research 
capabilities, who are willing to work in an active team. The research 
carried out in the projects includes links to logic and philosophy of 
science, and some background in these fields is a plus. Fluency in English 
is required.

In principle each position can be divided into two half-time positions.

Further details

Both positions are situated within grant projects moving to Konstanz per 1 
October 2013 and are available from that date. A later starting date is 
negotiable, but an early start is preferred.

Interviews are planned for the second week of September, most likely 
Tuesday, 10 September 2013.

How to apply

Applications should contain the following, in the form of a single PDF 
document sent by e-mail:

         ? an application letter in English;
         ? a CV in English;
         ? a writing sample, in English, Dutch or German, of max. 25 pages;
         ? a scan of the PhD certificate;
         ? a link to an online version of the PhD thesis;
         ? contact information of two people willing to recommend you for this post (optional);
         ? a list of grades (optional).

Please state clearly which of the two positions the application is aimed 

The University of Konstanz encourages disabled persons to apply. They will 
be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact +49 (0) 7531 / 88 
? 4895).

The University of Konstanz is an equal opportunity employer that tries to 
increase the number of women in research and teaching.

The University of Konstanz has been certified as a family-friendly 
institution by the Hertie Foundation and is committed to further the 
compatibility of work and family life.

The University of Konstanz supports a ?Dual Career Program?. Information 
can be obtained from: .

Please e-mail your digital application to Please indicate the reference number 
2013 / 142 and ?position 1? or ?position 2? in the subject line. The 
deadline for applications is 30 August 2013.