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2-year (extendable) Postdoctoral Fellowship in philosophy of mind/epistemology (EXPIRED)

Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS philosophy of mind/epistemology
AOS categories Epistemology
Philosophy of Mind
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Beersheba, Southern District, Israel
Start date October 1st, 2022 (COVID permitting; some flexibility possible)
Job description

2-year (extendable) Postdoctoral Fellowship in philosophy of mind/epistemology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Applications are invited from philosophers working on the philosophy of perception and the epistemology of perceptual knowledge, preferably in the naïve realist/relationalist framework.  The position is part of the ISF-funded project "naïve realist epistemology" led by Ori Beck. The main criteria for the position are academic excellence and compatibility with the research project, as described at the end of this ad. Applications from members of groups currently underrepresented in philosophy are particularly encouraged.

The position is offered for two years, and can—subject to the satisfaction of all parties, and availability of funds—be extended to a third year.

The successful candidate’s duties will be (i) to independently produce research in areas of epistemology closely related to the research project, (ii) to participate in project-related work-in-progress meetings, (iii) to attend philosophy department activities (chiefly, the departmental colloquium), and (iv) to credit support from Ben Gurion University and the funding ISF project in all project outputs.

The successful candidate need not speak Hebrew. There will also be no teaching or service-to-the-department obligations. If explicitly requested, some teaching (with extra pay) might be available subject to budget constraints and departmental needs. The successful candidate is free to live anywhere in Israel (e.g., in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem), since the country is small enough that one can commute to the university easily.

Candidates are welcome to send further inquiries to Ori Beck at [email protected].

Eligibility:

PhD completed before start of fellowship, and no earlier than 1 October 2017.

Compensation:

A stipend of 100,000 ILS per year (currently approximately $32,000). Postdoctoral stipends are subject to favorable taxation rules in Israel.

Application deadline:

1 March 2022 (strict)

Start date:

1 October 2022 (COVID permitting; some flexibility possible)

How to Apply:

Candidates are asked to send

  • a cv, including a list of publications,
  • a max 10,000 word writing sample, and
  • a max 2-page outline of the fit between the candidate’s research and the research project (see below)

to Ori Beck, at [email protected]. Please write “Postdoc: Naïve Realist Epistemology” in the subject line. Candidates are also asked to have

  • two letters of reference

confidentially sent to the same email address.

A brief interview/conversation will be held with appropriate candidates in late March.

Description of research project:

Do we know anything about the external world? The deceptively simple answer seems to be “obviously, yes.” It seems, for example, that I can know a pig is in the yard by consciously seeing one there. It also seems that I can know this conclusively, on grounds that leave no possibility of error. But recent results in cognitive science suggest otherwise. The experience I have when looking at a pig, they contend, is solely due to my internal makeup; so, I could have an experience just like it even if I were a lonely brain in an empty universe. Skepticism seems to unavoidably follow.

According to some versions of naïve realism, perceptions are due both to the state of the world, and to our internal makeup. While these versions seek to combine empirical insights with naive realism, they do little to banish the specter of skepticism. To address this specter, the present project will extend these versions of naïve realism by developing a naive realist epistemology that matches them. On the extended view, perceptions make us consciously aware of worldly items. Then, if we successfully exercise certain “capacities to tell” (Austin 1970) with respect to these items, we gain perceptual knowledge.

In developing this naïve realist epistemology, the project will address some further questions:

  1. Our intuitions about how perception's phenomenal character (i.e., what it is like to perceive) bears on knowledge are confused. It seems that I can, e.g., gain no knowledge of colors from perceptions lacking phenomenal character. But it also seems that I can, e.g., know the color of a ripe strawberry even if it has always looked to me the way fresh grass has always looked to you. How can this be?
  2. Does the way a perception represents things to be restrict what you can know on the basis of the perception?
  3. What are capacities to tell? Arguably, if they are capacities to produce true beliefs, they misdescribe knowledge; and if they are capacities to produce knowledge, nothing informative is gained from mentioning them.
  4. Can misleading considerations preclude you from perceptually knowing something when all other conditions are ideal?
How to apply
Application type Email
Instructions
Candidates are asked to send (I) a cv, including a list of publications, (II) a max 10,000 word writing sample, and (III) a max 2-page outline of the fit between the candidate’s research and the research project (see job description) to Ori Beck, at [email protected] Please write “Postdoc: Naïve Realist Epistemology” in the subject line. Candidates are also asked to have (IV) two letters of reference confidentially sent to the same email address. A brief interview/conversation will be held with appropriate candidates in late March.
Email to apply
Hard deadline March 1, 2022, 11:59pm IST
Contact
Contact name Ori Beck
Contact email
Bookkeeping
Time created December 29, 2021, 7:10pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date March 1, 2022, 11:59pm IST
Expired on March 3, 2022, 12:46am IST
Last updated March 2, 2022, 10:46pm UTC
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