The studentship consists of an annual stipend of £13,863. In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for 3 years and the writing-up fee will be covered in the 4th year.
The studentship will only fully fund applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £7,600 per annum).
A description of the project can be found below. Applicants will have to detail how they will approach the project. The application form can be found on this page.
Applicants will preferably have an MA or complete on in the current academic year and have reading knowledge of French and/or German, or be willing to acquire it.
Summary of the proposed project
Key Words: Nature, Philosophy of Science and Technology, Deep-Field Problem, Synthetic Biology, nature-artifice distinction.
Description: The philosophical conception of Nature, neglected over the past two centuries due to the demonstrable explanatory and practical efficacy of the special sciences is enjoying a return to the centre of the philosophical/scientific stage. Two factors have prompted this renewed concern. First, background philosophical assumptions concerning what nature is have not kept pace with cumulative changes in the scientific image of nature, so that a new understanding of nature is now called for. Second, many recent advances in the special sciences are explicitly due to parallel technological developments, prompting a reconsideration of experiment as the production of a new situation, rather than the investigation of a previously existing one . Our research question is: do these developments call for a new and robust theory of Nature writ large that is able to account for the problems they introduce into the self-understanding of the sciences, e.g. emergence, creation, and mind, and if so why is philosophy best placed to provide it?
Work Plan: This project will investigate how the modern concept of nature changes in confrontation with these new scientific and technological developments and how a philosophical concept of nature as a whole can help us to better understand these developments in their proper significance as regards both nature itself and the human experience of it. The first part of the project will entail a conceptual history of Nature through its classical, romantic, and modern materialist iterations. The second part will explore what kind of concept of nature is demanded by the current state of the sciences, and ask indeed if a new concept of Nature writ large is necessary for the sciences to understand their own activity.
Practical information: This project corresponds with Grant’s on-going work on the deep field problem and Meacham’s work with the Bristol Synthetic Biology Centre.
For more information please contact Darian Meacham (firstname.lastname@example.org)