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PhD: Philosophy of music at Bern, Switzerland

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A PhD position for three years is available in the project “Ontology of Musical Works and Analysis of Musical Practices”.

Context: The project addresses the metaphysics and especially the identity conditions for musical works. Like other contributors to philosophical discussion in the field, we take as our point of departure the development of standard musical notation in the nineteenth century, roughly around and especially after the time of Beethoven. The project is based at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bern and funded by the Swiss National Fund (SNF), and will extend from February 2015 through January 2018. Other project participants are Prof. Dale Jacquette, Dr. Thomas Gartmann, and Dr. Marcello Ruta.

Focus of the dissertation: The successful applicant is expected to systematically explore the metaphysics of music and the identity conditions for specific works of music. There is a considerable literature on the subject in aesthetics and art and music criticism, and the project will assimilate and contribute to philosophical discussion about the ontology of musical works in relation to an understanding of the plurality of musical practices. We are budgeted to organise two conferences, from which we hope to edit at least one book of essays on the central topics of the project from conference participants. The Ph.D. student is not only expected to write her/his dissertation, but to participate at philosophical discussions and organisation of events, editing of the book(s), and related activities. The working research language is English or German.

We seek a PhD candidate with:

– an excellent master’s degree in philosophy (completed by the date the position is taken up)
– strong promise of completing an outstanding PhD dissertation in three years in the project area
– good knowledge of analytic metaphysics
– serious interest in music
– ability to use formal tools in philosophical analysis
– willingness and ability to contribute to organising the conference and book editing project

We offer:

– opportunity to complete a PhD in philosophy in an internationally oriented research context
– opportunity to gain a variety of research related skills and experiences in helping to organise conferences in aesthetics and edit the proceedings
– opportunity to meet philosophers active in research in aesthetics, philosophy of art and philosophy of music
– attractive working conditions in a highly collaborative research group
– possibility of shaping the agenda of one’s specialized research field by co-organising workshops

Starting date for employment: February 2015 (with some flexibility).

To apply for the position, please send us (preferably electronically):

– a letter of motivation
– your curriculum vitae
– certificates (copies)
– a writing sample (15 – 25 pages, e.g. chapter from the master’s thesis)
– one or two letters of recommendation (which can be sent to us directly by the referees)

Please send your application to Prof. Dr. Dale Jacquette, Department of Philosophy, University of Bern, Unitobler, Länggassstrasse 49A, CH-3000 Bern, Switzerland, dale.jacquette@philo.unibe.ch.

Deadline: December 15, 2014.

If you have further questions, please contact Dale Jacquette.