Two Postdoc Positions in Philosophical Logic

Two Postdoc Positions in Philosophical Logic

Published Deadline Location
25 Jan 16 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) currently has two vacant Postdoc researcher positions as part of the ERC Starting Grant project GENERALISE, led by main researcher Dr. Thomas Schindler (Assistant Professor). The ILLC is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

What are you going to do?
The most basic and best understood form of generalisation is generalisation over objects. In formal logic, this form of generalisation is achieved via first-order quantifiers, i.e. operators that bind variables in the syntactic position of singular terms. However, many theoretical contexts require generalisation into sentence and predicate positions. Very roughly, generalisation into sentence and predicate positions is a high-level form of generalisation in which we make a general statement about a class of statements (e.g. the principle of mathematical induction, the laws of logic). We can distinguish two competing methods for achieving generalisation into sentence and predicate positions: (A) The direct method: by adding variables that can stand in the syntactic position of sentences and predicates, and quantifiers for them.

This method is exemplified in the use of second- and higher-order logic (type theory). (B) The indirect method: by adding singular terms that are obtained from sentences and predicates by nominalising transformations, or by ascending to a metalanguage and attributing semantic properties to linguistic expressions or their contents. This method is exemplified in the use of formal theories of reified properties, sets, and classes, and formal theories of truth and satisfaction.

As both methods come with their own ideological and ontological commitments, it makes a substantial difference which one is chosen as the framework for formulating our mathematical, scientific and philosophical theories. Some research has been done in this direction but it is still very much in its early stages. This research project will provide a sustained systematic investigation of the two methods from a unified perspective and develop novel formal tools to articulate deductively strong theories.

Both postdocs are expected to contribute to the research objectives of the project, in agreement with Thomas Schindler. The first postdoc will contribute to investigating and overcoming expressive limitations of higher-order logic / type theory. We are especially interested in the problem of cross-type generalisation and paradoxes such as the Russell-Myhill and the Prior-Kaplan paradox. The second postdoc will contribute to developing expressive type-free theories. We are especially interested in theories that feature a universal set or universal property so that they can model absolute generality.

Your tasks and responsibilities:
  • conducting research, presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences and publishing articles in top tier journals;
  • participating in meetings of the project research group;
  • co-organising knowledge dissemination activities.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Your experience and profile
Candidates need to have the following qualifications:
  • a completed PhD in philosophy, logic or related field. You may apply if you have not yet completed your doctoral degree but you need to graduate before the starting date;
  • strong background in logic and analytic philosophy;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by track record of publishing in high-ranking journals or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • good command of English (knowledge of Dutch is not necessary).

Having worked on topics relevant to the project (e.g. higher-order logic, propositional quantification, formal theories of truth, properties and sets, the problem of absolute generality/unrestricted quantification, the higher-order versus first-order debate) is highly desirable. Candidates will be selected based on fit with the project and academic excellence.

Conditions of employment

The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities and will conduct the research in Institute for Language, Logic and Computation (ILLC). The employment will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with two additional years. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is September 1st, 2024 or as soon thereafter.

Your salary, depending on relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between € 4,036 (scale 10.5) to € 5,090 (scale 10.12) gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. Favourable tax agreements may apply to applicants moving from abroad. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an enthusiastic and professional academic team;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world renowned.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €4036 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12558


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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