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PhD position in Philosophy of Science/Social Epistemology (fully funded, 4 years) (EXPIRED)

Department of Philosophy and Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology

Job category Graduate fellowship / Fixed term
AOS philosophy of science, epistemology, social epistemology and/or analytic philosophy
AOS categories Philosophy of Science
AOC philosophy of science, epistemology, social epistemology and/or analytic philosophy
AOC categories Epistemology
Philosophy of Science
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Organization's reference number V39.4836
Location Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
Start date between May and September 2021
Job description

The Philosophy and Ethics group at Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, is offering three fully-funded 4-year PhD positions on the themes of explainable AI, cognitive science, and philosophy of science/social epistemology. All applicants will be considered for all three positions.

PhD Position A: Norms of Explainable AI
PhD Position B: Cognitive Science of AI
PhD Position C: Philosophy of Science/Social epistemology

Position C: Philosophy of Science/Social Epistemology

Scientific inquiry is the central way of acquiring knowledge and increasing our understanding of the world. Still, it has become increasingly clear that science is rife with disagreement and dead ends, that scientists make mistakes or engage in questionable research practices, that peer reviewing has many shortcomings, and that highly promising ideas often fail to get the necessary funding. In the past decades, philosophers of science have turned their attention to these and related issues, aiming to acquire better understanding of scientific practice as well as to provide normative guidelines for how the above problems could be mitigated.

We are inviting applications for a PhD position that fits into the above theme. We are especially interested in the following sub-topics:

  • agent-based models of scientific inquiry
  • scientific disagreements and controversies
  • argumentation in the context of scientific inquiry
  • pursuit-worthiness of scientific and technological ideas
  • epistemic responsibility
  • science and values
  • biases in science
  • organization of science

The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with Dr. Dunja Šešelja and other members of the P&E Department at TU/e.

The candidate is expected to actively contribute to the research activities of the group, such as the weekly seminar, workshops, reading groups, etc. In addition, the candidate is expected to act, for 15% of contract time, as an editorial assistant to Dunja Šešelja, who will be one of the editors in chief of the European Journal for Philosophy of Science. The position comes with no teaching duties. For any queries, please contact Dunja Šešelja: d.seselja[at]tue.nl.

Job requirements

You hold a Master’s degree or equivalent degree in Philosophy. Other Master’s degrees will also be considered if you have a demonstrable affinity with analytical/conceptual problems, as well as with normative questions.

You have an interest in the themes of the research: epistemology, philosophy of science, values in science, explanation, philosophy of computation. You have an excellent command of English. 

TU/e is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. As we aim to increase the diversity in our Department as well as in the field of philosophy, we especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply. 

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A four-year, fully-funded PhD position, starting between May and September 2021.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Research Environment 

The Philosophy & Ethics department at TU/e is a vibrant international community, consisting of around 30 members (including 9 PhD students) with research interests ranging from philosophy of science and technology to ethics and the philosophy of AI. We have strong cooperation with other departments and the new Eindhoven Artificial intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI).
The PhD’s will also be affiliated with the new center for AI and Philosophy at TU/e.  

TU/e is part of the 4TU Ethics consortium, where we cooperate closely on research and education of students (TU/e, Delft, Twente, Wageningen). We are part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (ESDT) research program of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands, funded for 10 years with a combined budget of 27M€.

The Philosophy & Ethics department is growing: We have recently added 4 Assistant Professors to our group and will advertise a PostDoc position in addition to these three PhD positions.


Each applicant will be automatically considered for all three PhD positions. However, please state whether you have a preference (or wish to be excluded from consideration) for a specific position in your motivation letter.

Your application should contain the following documents: 

  • a letter of motivation explaining your interest in the position and your qualifications for it
  • your curriculum vitae 
  • a writing sample (Master thesis, seminar paper or equivalent) 
  • names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references 
  • optionally, you can submit a research statement (max 1-2 pages), elaborating on your ideas for a research focus in line with the above theme

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before 10 March 2021, 23:59 CET. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter. To apply please use the “apply now” button on the above indicated website. Please note that a maximum of 1 document can be uploaded, so if you have more than 1 document you will have to combine them. Please do not send us applications by e-mail. 

More information

For further information on the PhD project, please contact Dunja Šešelja: d.seselja[at]tue.nl.
For information about the terms of employment, click here or contact Kim van Puijenbroek, HR advisor, pz.ieis[at]tue.nl.

For more information on the Philosophy & Ethics department see https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/innovation-sciences/philosophy-ethics/ 

For more information on the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences see

Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at www.tue.nl

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://jobs.tue.nl/en/vacancy/three-phds-in-philo...
Email to apply
Hard deadline March 10, 2021, 6:59pm CET
Web address for more information https://jobs.tue.nl/en/vacancy/three-phds-in-philo...
Contact name Dunja Šešelja
Contact email
Time created February 10, 2021, 1:15pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date March 10, 2021, 6:59pm CET
Expired on March 11, 2021, 7:46pm CET
Last updated May 11, 2021, 3:00pm UTC
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