Fully funded studentship – Philosophy of Scientific Practice

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), University of Cambridge, invites applications for a Postgraduate Research Studentship to support three years of doctoral research at the University of Cambridge to start in October 2010. The project is funded by the University’s Rausing Fund for History and Philosophy of Science. This studentship will provide a stipend, and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate; overseas students are eligible to apply but will be required to pay additional fees. (See  http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/gradstud/funding/costs/courses/costs2…) .

“Philosophy of scientific practice” can be taken abstractly or concretely, though the best research would combine both dimensions.  Abstractly, it will be essential to pay philosophical attention to what constitutes a “practice” and how to characterize it, and to consider the conditions for its success.  In this task it would be productive to draw from a broad range of diverse philosophical traditions including pragmatism, operationalism, phenomenology, and the theory of action; and the works of philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Polanyi, Dewey, Peirce, Hacking, Hanson, Merleau-Ponty, and Grene.  Concretely, it would be beneficial to study in detail the development of a specific set of practices from the history of science or from contemporary science.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Hasok Chang, the new Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.  In addition to pursuing their own doctoral research, the holder of the award will work closely with Professor Chang in developing a programme for the research group he will lead, including engaging in exploratory research and library work on relevant subjects; organisation of relevant seminars and reading groups; and collaboration on the activities of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice.

Interested candidates should contact Hasok Chang ([email protected]) by 15 April 2010 for an initial assessment of their suitability; for this purpose candidates are asked to submit a CV, a summary of marks/grades to date, and a 500-word statement of proposed research.  Promising candidates will be asked to make a formal application for admission to the University of Cambridge by 15 May 2010, at which point letters of reference and samples of work will also be required.  The final decision will be announced by 15 June 2010.