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Research Fellow in Group Intentionality (EXPIRED)

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS Group Intentionality, with connections to various other subfields (see job spec).
AOS categories Metaphysics and Epistemology
Decision Theory
Philosophy of Social Science
Philosophy of Gender
Philosophy of Race
Social and Political Philosophy
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Organization's reference number AHCPR1035
Location Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Start date September 2021
Job description

Are you an outstanding researcher in philosophy or related area? Do you have a developing research record and an ability to work as part of a research team? Are you keen to work on a ground-breaking research project funded by the European Research Council?

We are looking for a talented researcher to join the ERC-funded project Group Thinking: New Foundations (2019-2024), led by Prof. J. Robert G. Williams. This project explores group thought, comparing and contrasting the foundations of intentionality for individual human beings with the foundations of intentionality for group agents and other non-human subjects. 

Within the two-year tenure of this postdoc, the project’s main focus will be the following themes, in the context of developing an overall interpretationist account of the foundations of representation:

- The relation between individual and collective reasons. What is it for a group agent to possess reasons for belief or action? How do the reasons that a group agent has depend on, or otherwise connect to, the reasons that its individual members have?

- The metaphysics of individual and collective persistence. What kinds of persistence conditions do groups/groups agents have, and how do these compare and relate to diachronic personal identity conditions for individual human agents?

- Representation theorems for collective agents. How can the representation theorems by means of which we secure the attribution of determinate sets of belief- and desire-states to individual agents (e.g. Savage 1954, Joyce 1999) be extended and adapted to collective agents? How are the concepts that such results appeal to (e.g. evidence, choice) to be construed for collective agents?

- Anti-realist construals of collective agency and thought. Are fictionalist, relativist, or expressivist contruals of ascriptions of group attitudes available? In what circumstances are they tenable? For what explanatory purposes would they be useful?

The project during this period will draw on several fields of philosophy including:

  • Philosophy of mind and language (e.g. metasemantics, metaphysics of mental content, radical interpretation).

  • Metaphysics (e.g. personal identity, metaphysics of group persistence).

  • Formal epistemology (e.g. representation theorems, social choice theory)

  • Collective intentionality (e.g. collective action, collective reasons, collective duties).

  • Philosophy of normativity (e.g. the nature of reasons and rationality) 

An extract from the scientific proposal of the project can be found here. This two-year role will run during phases 3-5. 

You will have a PhD (or have submitted your thesis by start of post) in philosophy or an allied discipline. As one of two Research Fellows involved in the project, you will be an integral part of an eight-member project team, pursuing independent work related to the overall project topic and taking a leading role in guiding the team’s research on one of the four above-mentioned themes—researching and developing a bibliography in the area, reading and presenting on key works in the field, and developing or co-developing original research. You will also work in support of the Principal Investigator, and will be expected to be involved in planning and running collaborative activities of the project group, as well as undertaking administrative work associated with the project.

You will be based at the University of Leeds and will be expected to take an active role in the overall research life and culture of the department. There will be opportunity for career development by undertaking a small amount of teaching and administration roles related to project themes.

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=AHCPR103...
Hard deadline March 17, 2021, 7:59pm BST
Web address for more information https://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=AHCPR103...
Contact name Robert Williams
Contact email
Contact phone 0771510301
Time created February 24, 2021, 9:07am UTC
Scheduled expiry date March 17, 2021, 7:59pm BST
Expired on March 18, 2021, 8:46pm BST
Last updated April 18, 2021, 3:00pm UTC
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Job Market Calendar This institution has indicated that the position advertised will not follow the APA's recommended job market calendar. An explanation, if provided, appears below.

The time from written offer to deadline for verdict will be determined in negotiation with HR, and may be shorter than 2 weeks (UK institutions are under different legal/social constraints from US ones). However, we'll attempt to be as flexible as possible and given the timing of the ad, the offer should not coincide with the main tenure-track offer period.