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Postdoctoral Researcher “System Philosophy and Responsibility”

Postdoctoral Researcher “System Philosophy and Responsibility”

In the project: SRCrowd: Individual and Collective Agency in Socially Responsible Nudging of Crowds
Aanstellingsfunctie(s)
(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Faculteit(en)
Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences
FTE
1,0
Sluitdatum
15/05/2021
Aanvraagnummer
V39.4920

Functieomschrijving

The aim of this project is to analyse the role of individual and collective action in situations in which groups are being nudged to behave in a desired way. The philosophy project will develop insights from system philosophy/philosophy of collective agency and ethics of technology to understand the phenomenon of crowd nudging and to improve socially responsible nudging of crowds. 

The systems philosophy postdoctoral researcher will closely work together with one postdoctoral researcher in psychology, one in social physics, and other researchers in the three disciplines. She/he will bring in the systems philosophy “in the mix” being sensitive to the two other disciplines in three steps. The philosophy/ethics postdoc researcher will design her/his research to develop a theoretical system model for understanding individual and collective agency and responsibility in crowd behaviour, to use the crowd dynamics measurements for empirical justification of her/his model, and to developed interventions that are morally acceptable and that optimise individual and collective responsibility in the train stations.

Parallel with the research, you will be part of the Physics of Social Systems learning line (three courses totalling 15 ECTS) in which students work on similar topics following an innovative challenge-based learning approach. The student work is expected to be input to the postdoc’s research. The education percentage is negotiable, but expected around 25%.

SRCrowd Project.

The philosophy post-project is part of the interdisciplinary SRCrowd research project

The SRCrowd research project will analyse the different roles individual and collective agency play when crowds in train stations are nudged towards more responsible behaviour. The project will involve social physicists, psychologists, and system philosophers. The social physicists have already set up innovative multi-scale crowd dynamics measurements that enable individual, high-accuracy, dynamic pedestrian tracking. Psychologists will start from the individual’s angle and philosophers will start from the system angle to describe together crowd phenomenon. The overall project will consist of developing the necessary conceptualizations, modelling the crowd phenomenon and performing and studying the effects of nudging individuals/crowds towards responsibility in an ethically acceptable way.

Functie-eisen

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher able to perform the above tasks. We consider the following competencies and/or requirements as relevant:

  • eager to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary research team;
  • strong interest in system philosophy (Luhmann, Bateson,..) or other theories of collective action;
  • interest to show the importance of collective agency and responsibility;
  • interested in both the theoretical elaboration of a system model as well as the empirical justification. For this, also;
  • interest in in-depth collaboration with the other disciplines and activities present in the project: modelling, nudging, collecting data on ethical acceptability of the crowd nudging and views on responsibility;
  • PhD in philosophy or applied ethics; candidates with other relevant background (sociology, psychology …) are also welcome to apply, provided their interests and abilities match the strong conceptual focus of the project;
  • proven ability to conduct high-quality academic research, demonstrated by relevant publication(s); and
  • excellent mastering of the English language and good communication skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 2 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research and valorization,  professional development courses for PhD students, and didactical courses of the TEACH training program.
  • A gross monthly salary between 3,353 and 4,402 and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Your application should contain the following documents:

  • a letter of application explaining (1) your interest in the position, (2) your qualifications for it, (3) names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references; and (4) an elaboration how you want to develop the system philosophy or collective action research (Which focus would you like to make in your research? What would be your personal aim in your research? …);
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a writing sample;

If you are interested, we invite you to apply before May 15, 2021. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter. Please use the 'apply now' button to apply. 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 Gunter Bombaerts (g.bombaerts[at]tue.nl)
More information about the Philosophy and Ethics Department at TU/e can be found at https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/philosophy-ethics/.
Information about the terms of employment can be obtained from Kim van Puijenbroek, HR advisor (pz.ieis[at]tue.nl ).  Further information about Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at www.tue.nl.