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The Chair of Social epistemology and reasoning in the sciences/logic in philosophy and artificial intelligence of Faculty of Philosophy and Education is looking for a 

research associate (m,f,x) for 4 years, 25,8895 hour per week

The newly founded research group "Reasoning, Rationality and Science" (coordinated by Prof. Dunja Šešelja and Prof. Christian Straßer), at the Institute for Philosophy II at Ruhr-University Bochum, Faculty for Philosophy and Educational Science, is offering a 4-year PhD position.

We are looking for candidates (m/f/d) interested in researching the emergence and dynamics of social reasoning processes.

extent: part-time
duration: temporary
beginning: as soon as possible
application dateline:
31.08.2022

Your tasks:

  •  Information flow, in particular in the digital age, is based on, and contributes to fragmented social landscapes which can lead to epistemically problematic belief formation processes. This raises the question which socio-epistemic mechanisms underlie such processes and what can be done to mitigate their harmful effects. In order to obtain a better understanding of such mechanisms, the PhD project may focus on some of the following issues:

    - the emergence of epistemically pernicious phenomena such as echo chambers, epistemic bubbles, etc.
    - the role of epistemic and non-epistemic reasons in social contexts
    - the role of higher-order evidence in social opinion dynamics
    - an epistemological assessment of interventions such as fact-checking
    - the role and emergence of cognitive biases in social reasoning contexts
    - the social emergence of nonmonotonic and argumentative aspects of reasoning - etc.
  • We are especially interested in applicants who intend to employ formal methods, such as:
    - agent-based models and simulations,
    - Bayesian and similar quantitative models of reasoning,
    - argumentation theory,
    - formal logical methods,
    - methods from artificial intelligence,
    - etc.

Your profile:

  • You hold a Master’s degree or equivalent degree in Philosophy, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a discipline related to the listed research themes. Other Master’s degrees than Philosophy will be considered if you have a demonstrable experience with the tackling of analytical/conceptual problems. You have an interest in (some of) the above listed research themes. Your research will be written and presented in English, so you need a very good command of English. Knowledge of German language is not required.

Our offerings:

  • Team-oriented cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • Support in reconciling family and work/academics (including childcare placement, holiday offers, mobile children's room).
  • Day care centre on the campus
  • Extensive further and advanced training opportunities
  • A varied range of sports with over 80 sports and the university's own gym

Additional information:

Applicants are welcome to, but do not have to submit a research project. The selected candidate (m/f/d) will be supervised by Dunja Šešelja and Christian Straßer and enjoy a vibrant local research environment at RUB. The candidate is expected to actively contribute to seminars, workshops, reading groups, etc. A traveling budget covering expected costs will be provided.The candidate is expected to teach a course for philosophy students (in English or German) 2h/week, on a topic related to the research project.

The load of teaching will be calculated according to § 3 of Lehrverpflichtungsverordnung (state of North Rhine-Westphalia).

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.


The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

For any questions please contact us at dunja.seselja@rub.de and christian.strasser@rub.de.

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see: https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/en/information-collection-personal-data-application-process.

How to Apply Please send your application with the following documents (bundled in one PDF document):
1. a letter of motivation explaining your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
2. your curriculum vitae;
3. a writing sample (Master thesis, seminar paper or equivalent);
4. names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references;
5. optionally, you can submit a research statement, elaborating on your ideas for a research focus in line with (some of) the above themes.

Applications must be sent by 31 August 2022, 23:59 CEST as a bundled PDF document to the following e-mail address: rrs-philosophy@rub.de. Please indicate "Application for PhD position 2022 with call number 888" in the subject line. If you have any questions, please contact us at dunja.seselja@rub.de and christian.strasser@rub.de.


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