Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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3-year Doctoral Fellowship on “The Evolution of Unpopular Norms and Bullying"


The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy seeks applications for a Doctoral Fellowship. The successful candidate will work on the project "The Evolution of Unpopular Norms and Bullying” (project summary below), which is funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and part of the DFG Priority Programme “New Frameworks of Rationality”. The fellowship is open for candidates with a masters degree in philosophy or a related social science. The funding is for three years, and the fellowship should be taken up by January 1, 2015. However, a later starting date is also possible. (Please let us know if you wish to start at a later date.)

Applications (including a cover letter that addresses, amongst others, one's academic background and research interests, a CV, a list of publications (if applicable), a sample of written work of no more than 5000 words (ideally in English, but German is also acceptable), and a description of a planned research project of 1000-1500 words) related to the above mentioned project should be sent by email (ideally everything requested in one PDF document) by November 20, 2014. Hard copy applications are not accepted. Additionally, two confidential letters of reference addressing the applicant's qualifications for academic research should be sent to the same address from the referees directly.

The MCMP hosts a vibrant research community of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral fellows, master students, and visiting fellows. It organizes at least two weekly colloquia and a weekly internal work in-progress seminar, as well as various other activities such as workshops, conferences, summer schools, and reading groups. Several of our research projects are conducted in collaboration with scientists. The successful candidate will partake in all of MCMP's academic activities and enjoy its administrative facilities and financial support. The official language at the MCMP is English and fluency in German is not mandatory.

We especially encourage female scholars to apply. The LMU in general, and the MCMP in particular, endeavor to raise the percentage of women among its academic personnel. Furthermore, given equal qualification, preference will be given to candidates with disabilities.

Contact for informal inquiries:

Abstract: The Evolution of Unpopular Norms and Bullying

Although there is growing research about the relationship between individual and collective rationality, there has been relatively little work investigating the irrational behavior. The purpose of this project is to employ agent-based models to explain the evolution of norms that are collectively irrational. Unpopular social norms (e.g. feet-binding in China) are the most well-known examples, and this project will contribute to the small (but growing) literature on the emergence of unpopular norms. In addition to unpopular norms, the investigators plan to focus on an unexplored application: bullying. The project is jointly led by Stephan Hartmann (MCMP) and Conor Mayo-Wilson (University of Washington and MCMP).

For a more detailed description of the project, click here (PDF, 146 kb).