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Postdoctor in Theoretical philosophy

Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 18 months
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, Gothenburg
First day of employment: 2017-09-01, or by mutual agreement
Reference number: PER 2017/5

The University of Gothenburg tackles society's challenges with diverse knowledge. 37 000 students and 6 000 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programs attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future. The successful applicant will be employed by the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of science (FloV). The department was founded in 2009, and offers teaching and research in theoretical and practical philosophy, linguistics, and theory of science. The department also hosts several big research programs, including The Gothenburg Responsibility Project, CLASP, and Representation & Reality.

Subject area

Theoretical philosophy

Specific subject description

The successful applicant is expected to contribute to work done in the project Metaphysical Explanation, financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and led by professor Anna-Sofia Maurin. This project investigates the nature of so-called metaphysical explanation, trying to answers questions like: What is the nature of metaphysical explanation? How does metaphysical explanation relate to grounding? How does it relate to causal/scientific explanation? What role does e.g., understanding play in such explanation? Must metaphysical explanation come to an end? More information about the project theme, project activities, and project members can be found on the project website https://metaphysicalexplanation.wordpress.com/

Job assignments

The successful applicant is expected to do research that contributes to the aims and objectives of the project. We are especially interested in applicants able to complement the existing research group by doing specialized research on issues to do with the relationship between metaphysical explanation, fundamentality, and grounding, and applicants interested in further researching the relationship between metaphysical- and scientific/causal explanation.

Apart from conducting independent research in areas of relevance to the project, the successful applicant is expected to be actively involved in the research-group's activities, including meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences; both as organizer and as participant, and to help in the writing of future research funding applications. Co-authoring of papers with other members of the research group is encouraged.

Opportunities for teaching will be offered according to the department's needs and the holder's area of expertise, but cannot exceed 20 % of full time. The holder of the appointment is expected to carry out her/his research in Gothenburg. As this is the project group's primary language, applicants are expected to be proficient in English.


Eligible for a postdoctoral position are those with a PhD or other equivalent academic degree in theoretical philosophy or an equivalent subject. To be eligible, the applicant's PhD degree must have been awarded not more than 3 years prior to the application deadline. Due to parental leave, sick leave or military duty, this period can be extended. Eligibility criteria are described in the Gothenburg University's Appointments procedure for teachers.


Scholarly proficiency is the most important ground for assessment. Proficiency is judged primarily based on the quality of the applicant's publications (special emphasis on publications in international, peer-reviewed journals), and on the applicant's research plan. Priority is given to applicants whose merits and research-plan relevantly and interestingly ties in with research conducted in the project Metaphysical. Other important desiderata include documented good organizational, communicative, and social skills.

The recruitment process may include interviews (possibly by video link) and contacting references.

For more general assessment criteria, cf. the Gothenburg University's Appointments Procedure for Teachers.

Additional information

The following documents should be attached to the application (in pdf):

1. A research proposal: The applicant must attach a proposal of at most 2500 words to the application, detailing the research she/he plans to conduct in the project. The proposal should include a discussion of how the applicant’s research will contribute to the project’s aims.
2. A PhD certificate.
3. A CV listing academic degrees, employments, publications, and other relevant merits.
4. At most three scientific publications, plus the applicant’s PhD thesis.
5. Contact information for two academics familiar with the research work of the applicant.

For more information, cf. the instructions for Qualifications Portfolio at the Faculty of Arts.

We welcome applications written in English, since a non-Swedish speaking person may be appointed as external expert in the recruitment process.

Related information

For further information please contact

Anna-Sofia Maurin, Professor of theoretical philosophy and the PI for the project Metaphysical Explanation
031-786 6969

Ragnar Francén Olinder, Deputy Head of research
031-786 4837

Fredrik Engström, Head of department
031-786 6335


Labour union

OFR/S: Madelen Hansson
031-786 1171

SACO: Mikael Brisslert
031-786 1078

SEKO: SEKO Funktionstelefon
031-786 1173

Closing date


Appointment Procedure

Please apply online.

Complementary documents, such as publications/books should be sent to the following address:

University of Gothenburg
Box 200
SE-405 30 Gothenburg

Reference number should be clearly stated when sending complementary documents.

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Salary is determined on an individual basis.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

Page Manager: rekrytering@gu.se|Last update: 3/6/2017

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