Open Call for Applications RTG “Situated Cognition”

1 PhD position in Philosophy at Ruhr-University Bochum

soft application deadline 4th April 2021

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group „Situated Cognition“, funded by the DFG and based at the Department of Philosophy II and the Faculty of Psychology at Ruhr-University Bochum (Speaker Prof. Dr. Albert Newen) as well as at the Institute of Cognitive Science, the Department of Philosophy and the Institute of Psychology at Osnabrück University (Speaker Prof. Dr. Achim Stephan) invites applications for:

1 PhD position in Philosophy, salary scale TV-L E 13, 65%; including social benefits), within a three-year structured PhD program starting at the latest as of 1st July 2021.

Project Leader: Peter Brössel

Project Description: Mental Representations and Situated Cognition

The computation with symbolic, or language-like, mental representations takes center stage in traditional approaches in cognitive science (Fodor 1975, 1983). Situated theories of cognition deny such a privileged role for language-like mental representations. They hold that sensorimotor information and continuous interaction with the environment play a more important role in understanding cognition. The project investigates the role of mental representations in situated cognition: Is there no (prominent) place for language-like mental representations in situated cognition? Is it possible to understand sensorimotor information without positing mental representations of some kind? Can we explain and understand all aspects of cognition without mental representations—as some anti-representationalists claim? Or is there an alternative account that does not understand mental representations as symbolic and language-like?

Candidates applying for this theoretical 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.

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