Post-Doc: Socially Disruptive Technologies and Conceptual Change

The Technical University Eindhoven (TU/e) is looking for a Philosophy & Ethics Post-Doc in the project Socially Disruptive Technologies and Conceptual Change. This position will be part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies research programme, a new 10 year long international programme (2020-29) of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands. This programme has a combined budget of € 27 million, and is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the Gravitation funding scheme for excellent research, and by matching funds from the participating institutions.

The programme has the aim of achieving breakthrough research at the intersection of ethics, philosophy, technology / engineering and social sciences, and to position its consortium at the top of its field internationally. A key objective is to investigate how new technologies challenge moral values and ontological concepts (like “nature”, “human being” and “community”), and how these challenges necessitate a revision of these concepts.  The programme includes four research lines, “Nature, life and human intervention”, “The future of a free and fair society”, “The human condition” and “Synthesis: Ethics of Technology, Practical Philosophy, and Modern Technology-Driven Societies”. The Postdoc project we advertise will be part of the Synthesis research line.

Intended starting date: 1st September 2020 (or soon after)

Please note that there are other vacancies in the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies programme at different participating universities. In case several are of interest to you, we want to encourage you to apply to them as well.

The Post-doc project

One of the central ideas of the gravitation programme is that the new generation of socially disruptive technologies will challenge and even change key concepts with which we understand and evaluate ourselves, our social world and natural environment. These concepts include agency, responsibility, autonomy, democracy, and nature.

It is, however, not evident what this conceptual change amounts to. The main aim of this project is to understand what conceptual change in the context of socially disruptive technologies actually can mean. Concepts may change over time in several relevant respects. These include the meaning or intention, the scope or extension, and the preciseness or fuzziness. Conceptual change may be driven by internal developments in a scientific discipline, but also by external developments in society, such as technological developments or by normative developments.

One of the key tasks of the project is to come up with a useful concept of ‘concept’ in the context of the research programme on socially disruptive technologies. The project will include case studies. One we foresee at the moment is on the concept of privacy: how has it changed over time in and in what relevant respects?

Job requirements

Your Profile

You hold a Ph.D. degree in philosophy, and have a background in philosophy of language, logic, philosophy of science, or conceptual history of philosophy, and should have affinity with cognitive science and ethics.

The TU/e is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. As we aim to increase the diversity in our Section Philosophy & Ethics and in the field of philosophy, we especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Conditions of employment

We offer you a 3 year Post-Doc, starting September 1st (or soon thereafter), 2020. The gross salary is between €3255 and  €4274 per month (with full social security benefits). Additionally, Eindhoven University of Technology provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amounting to 8% of the annual salary), an end-of-year bonus (amounting to 8.3%), and a number of additional benefits.

Information and application


Your application should contain the following documents:

  • a letter of application which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a writing sample
  • a one-page motivation statement, elaborating on your ideas for a research focus in line with the project
  • names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before June 21st 2020. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter. To apply please use the “apply now” button on this website page. Make sure to apply no later than 20th Jun 2020 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).

Please note that a maximum of 1 document can be uploaded, so if you have more than 1 document you will have to combine them. Please do not send us applications by e-mail.

Further information

For further information on the project and the position, please contact Prof. Vincent C. Müller v.c.muller[at]

More information about the Programme “Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies” can be found at

More information about the Philosophy and Ethics Department at TU/e can be found at

More information about the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences can be found at

Information about the terms of employment can be obtained from Kim van Puijenbroek, HR advisor (pz.ieis[at] Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at

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