PhD Positions in Philosophy at Durham University (Deadline: January 12, 2015)
The Department of Philosophy at Durham University and Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and
Society (CHESS) are inviting applications for full-time, three-year PhD studentships in philosophy of
the natural, social and policy sciences, starting in October, 2015. Suitable candidates should have a
Masters degree (with merit or distinction) or equivalent, an interest in ʻscience and policyʼ and are
expected to work in one of the six areas below. We are especially interested in work on these topics that
interfaces with climate science, medicine, economics and other social sciences, and social policy.
1. Evidence, conviction, endeavour
The nature of scientific evidence; evidence-based medicine; evidence-based social policy;
hierarchies of evidence; non-randomised and randomised experiments; theory and practice of
The nature of scientific expertise; problems of legitimacy and extension; experts in democracy;
experts versus mechanical objectivity; the nature of tacit knowledge.
3. Moral and social order
Visions of well-ordered and disordered, decent and indecent societies; strategies of creating and
maintaining order in society; the nature and role of institutions; justifying economic systems;
studies of specific cases
4. Narratives, modelling and representation
Models and representation in science; representation in art versus representation in the sciences;
literary methods and thought experiments in the sciences and humanities; narratives as
evidence; understanding and narratives.
5. Modality and power
Causality and causal powers; theories of causation; causal inference; counterfactuals.
6. Values in science and policy
What role values play and why; whose values and who decides; well-ordered science; areas of
special concern, e.g. genetic engineering, human subject research, politically sensitive issues
where scientific results matter.
Primary supervisors of PhD dissertations will be CHESS directors Professors Nancy Cartwright, Julian
Reiss, associate director Dr Wendy Parker or Professor Alison Wylie. Successful candidates are
expected to contribute to the research environment at the Centre. Complete applications have to be
received by January 12, 2015. These Durham Doctoral Studentships are awarded by the Faculty of
Arts & Humanities after candidates have been nominated by the Philosophy Department and CHESS.
Ahead of applying for a post through the university online system (available at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/) candidates should discuss their research proposal with a member of CHESS.
Please send a CV, grade average and two-page research proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.