Call for PhD applications – Deadline 2nd December 2020

1 PhD position in Philosophy at Ruhr-University Bochum

1st of February 2021 (for 2 years plus an extension to a third year)

Deadline of application:
2nd od December 2020

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group „Situated Cognition“, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), invites applications for 1 PhD position (salary scale TV-L E 13, 65%; including social benefits) for a three-year structured PhD program.
The position shall commence February 1st, 2021or shortly afterwards. The RTG is based at the Department of Philosophy II and the Faculty of Psychology at Ruhr-University Bochum as well as at the Institute of Cognitive Science, the Department of Philosophy and the Institute of Psychology at Osnabrück University.

Prof. Dr. Albert Newen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum);
Prof. Dr. Achim Stephan (Universität Osnabrück);

Project Description:
Non-Symbolic Representation in Situated Cognition. Describing Sensorimotor Representations via Embodied Similarity Spaces

Project Leader:
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Peter Brössel

Symbolic representation and the computation with such representations take center stage in traditional approaches in cognitive science (Fodor 1975, 1983). In contrast, embodied theories of cognition deny such a privileged role for symbolic representation and instead maintain that sensorimotor information play a more important role in our cognitive household. We accept such an important role and therefore need to develop a framework for an adequate characterization of sensorimotor representation. The main aim of this project is to investigate whether conceptual spaces (Gärdenfors 2000, 2014) provide an adequate framework for integrating representational states into theories of embodied cognition. In particular, embodied similarity spaces are an alternative to both connectionism and symbolic mental representation. On the basis of such geometrically conceived similarity spaces we hope to understand both (i) how similarity spaces are shaped by sensorimotor information and constant interaction with the environment and (ii) how such embodied representation shape our thoughts and beliefs and decisions and actions without relying on symbolic representation.

Candidates applying for this project are expected to have an excellent M.A., M.Sc. (or Staatsexamen degree) in Philosophy. They should have expertise in at least one of the following areas:  Epistemology, Philosophy of Perception, Philosophy of Mind or Science, Philosophy of Language. Appreciated are experiences in formal epistemology.

Applications should include the following documents, i.e.:
• a letter of motivation including the applicant’s research interests and motivation to work within the RTG
• a curriculum vitae
• copies of degree certificates
• a writing sample: the core chapter of the Diploma/Masters thesis or preferably one relevant publication (if available)

Your application should consist of two PDF files: one, containing your personal documents and starting with the application form, and the second containing your writing sample. The PhD position is located at Ruhr-University Bochum. Equally qualified applicants with disabilities will be favored.

Applications and inquiries should be addressed to:
Prof. Dr. Albert Newen, Speaker RTG Situated Cognition and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Peter Brössel
Ruhr University Bochum
email: and