Scholarships

Spinoza PhD Scholarships at Aberdeen

Elphinstone PhD scholarships are available at University of Aberdeen to work on the following projects:

  • Spinoza and German Idealism
  • Spinoza and the Philosophy of Time

Elphinstone scholarships cover full-time student fees and are open to students from anywhere in the world. Please note: no stipend for living costs is provided.

Deadline for applications: 31 March, 2017

For further information, see below, and this page: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-study/elphinstone-phd-scholarships-266.php#arts-and-social-sciences

Contact Dr. Beth Lord (s.b.lord@abdn.ac.uk) to express interest or discuss a research proposal.

 

Spinoza and German Idealism (supervised by Dr. Beth Lord)

The Philosophy Department at the University of Aberdeen welcomes project proposals on Benedict de Spinoza and German Idealism. Applicants may propose projects taking any direction within this broad theme, connecting Spinoza’s thought with that of any of the major German Idealist philosophers (Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel), less-studied idealists (such as Maimon, Trendelenburg, and the German Romantics) or literary figures associated with this movement (such as Goethe and Coleridge). Projects might focus on the reception of Spinoza by German Idealists; monism, rational religion, intellectual intuition, and other concepts the idealists inherited from Spinoza; the Pantheism controversy; Hegel’s critique of Spinoza; idealist elements of Spinoza’s own metaphysics and philosophy of mind; continuities and discontinuities between Spinoza’s political thought and the political doctrines of Hegel and others; the idealist use of Spinoza in eighteenth-century literature; or the role of German idealism in twentieth-century French Spinozist thought. Applicants should already have a good background knowledge of Spinoza or the German Idealist thinker(s) on whom they wish to focus. Those interested in applying are strongly advised to contact the supervisor to discuss project ideas prior to applying.

 

Spinoza and the Philosophy of Time (supervised by Dr. Beth Lord and Dr. Stephan Torre)

The Philosophy Department at the University of Aberdeen welcomes project proposals on Benedict de Spinoza and the Philosophy of Time. Applicants may propose projects taking any direction within this broad theme, focusing either on Spinoza’s own philosophy of time, or on a comparative/critical study of Spinoza and historical and/or contemporary philosophers. For example, projects on Spinoza’s philosophy of time could engage with the metaphysics of the infinite and eternal; the temporality of consciousness; the relationship between space and time; problems of duration and eternity; the possibility of change in Spinoza’s metaphysics; the relationship between time and freedom; the interpretation of the past; the role of prophecy in religion and politics; time and the imagination; or Spinoza’s concept of history. Comparative projects could examine one or more aspects of Spinoza’s philosophy of time in light of problems and theories raised by, for example, Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Bergson, McTaggart, Heidegger, Deleuze, and/or any contemporary philosopher(s) of time. The supervisory team consists of a Spinoza specialist and a specialist in philosophy of time. Those interested in applying are strongly advised to contact one or both supervisors prior to applying.

 

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Pre-doctoral grant in Early Modern Philosophy (Brussels)

Within the ARC project directed by Arnaud Pelletier, professor for philosophy at the ULB, Brussels, Belgium (https://www.ulb.ac.be/recherche/presentation/en-arcpelletieren.html), there is a vacancy for one eight-month “Seed-Money” grant for preparing a PhD project on any aspect of early modern philosophy (roughly from Descartes to Kant).

The topic is up to the applicant: it could touch, for example but with no limitation, the issue of practical reason before Kant (which is related to the ARC project). In any case, the project should be original and feasible. Decision will be made only on the basis of the overall quality of the application.

The applicant will have to develop his/her initial project by writing a detailed state of the art and by undertaking preliminary investigations. The objective is to write, in the course or at the end of the grant, an application for a fully funded three- or four-year PhD grant at the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FNRS) or at the ULB. The candidate will work under the supervision of Arnaud Pelletier; s/he will be part of the Research Center in Philosophy (http://phi.ulb.ac.be/); s/he will have to participate in the activities of the Center and of the Research Group in Modern Philosophy; s/he will have to involve in other scientific activities (publishing book reviews, presenting papers at a conference, starting the writing of an article, etc.). The thesis can be written in French or in English

Requirements:    – MA in Philosophy (passed between June 2014 and October 1, 2016)

– very good grades in all courses

Duration: 8 months, from October 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017

Amount: ca. € 1880,00 (netto) per month (for EU citizens; approx. € 15 000, 00 for 8 months)

Applicants should send, in French or in English, the following files to Arnaud.Pelletier@ulb.ac.be:

1)            a cover letter (explaining the applicant’s adequacy with the topic s/he wants to work on)

2)            a detailed CV (including an academic transcript mentioning all grades)

3)            a brief doctoral project (4 pages + bibliography)

4)            a writing sample (about 10 pages, possibly from the Master thesis)

For all practicalities, non-Belgian candidates can benefit from the support of the ULB Welcome Desk for international researchers.

 

Applications must be sent before September 3, 2016. For any further information, please feel free to contact Arnaud Pelletier (Arnaud.Pelletier@ulb.ac.be).

PhD scholarships on Spinoza and Political Affect

Three PhD scholarships are available to work with Dr. Beth Lord at the University of Aberdeen on the topic of “Spinoza and Political Affect”.

These are fee-waiver scholarships (no stipend for living costs) open to applicants of all nationalities commencing full-time, on-campus study in October 2016. The deadline for applications is 29 April 2016. For further information and how to apply, follow the link for each project below.

 

Political affect has recently become an important topic in continental philosophy. The philosophy of affect investigates what constitutes relations within and between bodies –physically, metaphysically, and socially – and how those relations determine action and thought. Its adherents seek to overcome the cognitivist model of the subject, and instead to understand subjectivity to emerge from these socially embedded and affectively interrelated bodies. The philosophy of political affect investigates how these relations, emergent subjectivities and processes determine political actions, decisions, and communities. This way of thinking draws on the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, process philosophy, theorists of the embodied/embedded mind, feminist philosophy, and philosophies of the non-human. Many strands of this thinking are rooted in, and explicitly drawn from, the 17th century philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, with his theories of the individual, of collective bodies, and of power, conatus, and the affects being particularly relevant.

Proposals are invited under any of the following three project areas. Though housed in Aberdeen’s Philosophy department, the projects are interdisciplinary in nature. Researchers may come from different disciplinary backgrounds and will be expected to engage with relevant literature from various fields. Researchers will be expected to consider avenues and activities for impact and public engagement for their project. Applicants are strongly advised to contact the main supervisor, Dr. Beth Lord, for an informal discussion prior to applying: s.b.lord@abdn.ac.uk

 

Spinoza and the dynamics of political movements (click HERE for full details)

PhD researchers are invited to develop a project linking Spinoza’s philosophy of the “body politic” with one or more specific historical and/or contemporary political movements. The purpose of the project is to explain and/or challenge the current understanding of a specific political situation or movement in terms of a theory of political affect. This will be developed through the study of (a) Spinoza’s theories of the individual, collective bodies, and affects; (b) relevant contemporary continental philosophy (which might include Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Rosi Braidotti, John Protevi, and Jane Bennett); (c) theoretical and empirical literature relevant to the chosen political situation, which should be a specific political movement, conflict, or event (examples might include ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ the Brixton Riots, or the fall of the Berlin Wall).

Spinoza and the politics of nonhuman animals (click HERE for full details)

PhD researchers are invited to develop a project on some socio-political aspect of human-nonhuman relations, drawing on the philosophy of Spinoza as well as recent continental philosophy of political affect and animal studies. The purpose of the project is to investigate a specific problem in our thinking about human relations to nonhuman animals, at the microphysical, somatic, and/or social levels. Examples of suitable topics might include: the political power of viruses; the affective dimension of animal labour; nonhuman animals’ status in political communities. The project will be expected to engage with Spinoza’s philosophy of bodies, affects, and animals, as well as with relevant continental philosophy (which might include Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Manuel deLanda, Rosi Braidotti, John Protevi, Jane Bennett, Donna Haraway, Wahida Khandker, and other thinkers of political affect and nonhuman animals).

Spinoza, political affect, and political decision-making (click HERE for full details)

PhD researchers are invited to develop a project on methods of political decision-making that draw on the philosophy of Spinoza and theories of political affect. The purpose of the project is to offer a critique of existing models of political decision-making and to develop new models based on recent theories of emergent, embodied, and socially embedded subjectivity. These will be investigated and explored with reference to (a) Spinoza’s philosophy of collective bodies, his denial of free will, and his theories of power and political organization; (b) recent philosophy of thought and action relevant to political affect, such as theories of the embodied/embedded mind, group psychology and collective action; (c) recent continental philosophy, such as Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of intensity; Foucault’s theory of biopower; Braidotti’s post-humanist feminist philosophy; and Hardt and Negri’s theory of the composition of political bodies. Projects may involve empirical research and/or case studies as relevant.