Vacancy: PhD candidate in philosophy of technology

The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university, located in Enschede, the Netherlands. Distributed over 5 faculties, the UT offers 20 educational programmes ranging from applied physics and public administration to communication studies and biomedical technology. Research takes place within the context of institutes and focuses, among other things, on nanotechnology, information and communication technology, biomedical technology, policy studies, human behaviour, and mechanics, processes and control. More than 7,500 students and 2,700 staff members live, work and recreate at the UT, the Netherlands’ only campus university.

The Faculty of Behavioural Sciences offers the following Bachelor programmes: Educational Science (OWK), Communication Studies (CW) and Psychology (PSY), the following Master programmes: Educational Science and Technology (EST), Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (PSTS), Communication Studies (CS), Psychology (PSY) the Research Master Social Systems Evaluation & Survey Research and two Masters for Teachers. Most of the faculty’s research is carried out within the Institute for Behavioral Research (IBR), and focuses on the themes Health and Safety, Labor and Organization, Knowledge and Education and Communication and Media. Furthermore research is carried out within the Biomedical Institute (BMTI), Mesa+ and the Institute for Information and Communication Technology (CTIT).

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente has a long history of research in philosophy of technology, and has concentrated its research efforts exclusively in philosophy of technology since 1996. Its research , which was judged ‘excellent’ and ‘innovative’ by an international Research Evaluation Committee in 2006, includes philosophy and ethics of biomedical technology, philosophy and ethics of information and communication technology, technology ethics, philosophy of design and philosophy of engineering science. The philosophical research is often closely connected to or informed by empirical research on technological practices. The Department houses the Center for Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science (http://www.utwente.nl/ceptes/) and organizes the international master program Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Society. In addition, it provides courses in ethics and philosophy of science to many bachelor and master programs at the University of Twente.

For the Department of Philosophy we are looking for a:

PhD candidate (f/m, fulltime) for the project “Technology and the Limits of Humanity: the ethical and anthropological aspects of posthumanism ”

Tasks

Technological developments have started to interfere explicitly with human nature. Technologies like biotechnology, brain implants, and tissue engineering make it possible to reshape humanity in various ways. This PhD project will investigate the conceptual, anthropological and/or ethical aspects of this ‘posthumanist’ potential of technology, in close connection to actual developments in biotechnology, nanotechnology, cognitive science, and/or information technology. In what ways and to what extent do these technologies take us beyond the human being? Are existing philosophical-anthropological frameworks still adequate to understand and interpret these developments? What ethical questions are related to these developments, and what ethical approaches are appropriate here? The project is part of the VIDI project ‘Technology and the Limits of Humanity: the ethics and anthropology of posthumanism’.

Profile

You have a master’s degree in:

  • philosophy, with a demonstrable interest in technology and actual technological developments; or

  • a relevant technological field, with a demonstrable interest in the philosophy of technology, and in the social and cultural implications of technology.

In order to demonstrate your qualification for the project, we ask you to include a brief research proposal (2 page maximum) in which you elaborate the outlines of the research project you would like to carry out in the context sketched out above.

Offer

We offer a challenging position in an inspiring environment. As a PhD candidate you will be appointed in a full-time position for a period of four years, at the end of which you must have completed your PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from ? 2042 in the first year to ? 2612 in the final year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition, the University of Twente offers additional attractive employment conditions. We provide a PhD educational programme within the research school WTMC (Netherlands Graduate School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture) or the 3TU.Center for Ethics and Technology.

Information and application

For more information, please contact prof. dr. ir. P.P.C.C. Verbeek (+31.53.4894460, e-mail: p.p.c.c.verbeek@utwente.nl). Please send your written application, including a brief research proposal (two page maximum) and a full resume (including a list of your education, publications, research, and teaching experience), possibly with references, before July 4th, next, to dr. ir. J.F.C. Verberne, managing director of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences (e-mail: pz-gw@gw.utwente.nl), P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. Vacancy number 09/126. Interviews will be held in August.
For a description of the VIDI research project, see: http://www.utwente.nl/ceptes/research_staff/verbeek/vidi.doc/