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3-Year Postdoctoral Position (full time) at the MCMP


Postdoctoral Position at the MCMP (Project “Amalgamating Evidence About Causes: Medicine, the Medical Sciences, and Beyond”)

The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) and the Chair of Philosophy of Science at the Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and Study of Religion at LMU Munich seek applications for a

3-year postdoctoral position

starting as soon as possible but no later than on October 1st, 2024.

The successful candidate will have a background in formal epistemology, agent-based modeling and the philosophy of statistics and will work on the project "Amalgamating Evidence About Causes: Medicine, the Medical Sciences and Beyond". The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is carried out jointly with the group of Prof. Jacob Stegenga from the University of Cambridge.

Here is a summary of the project: In many areas of science, one can rely on a variety of evidence from different methods, experts, and disciplines to derive causal statements. Accordingly, the adequate amalgama¬tion of evidence to produce causal knowledge is a widespread challenge for scientists and those aiming to rely on scientific causal claims in decision-making. This is particularly true in the biomedical sciences and medical practice. Here, there are at least four particular areas in which practitioners must synthesize causal knowledge: (i) treating a series of patients in routine clinical practice, (ii) measuring individual effect sizes from multiple medical trials and combining them into an overall effect size, (iii) drawing conclusions about intervention effects based on widely varying evidence, and (iv) synthesizing the judgments of a group of experts. In each area, the evidence for presumed causal relationships has different forms and proper¬ties, as well as different levels of reliability, and the way in which this different evidence can be synthesized varies from area to area.

It turns out that there are numerous controversial and unresolved debates in each of these areas. One might be tempted to think that these are purely scientific issues that could be resolved by technical developments in medicine or statistics. In fact, however, the existence of these unresolved debates is indicative of deeper philosophical challenges. Accordingly, the goal of this project is to systematically explore steps toward a better understanding of the range of possibilities for amalgamating evidence of causes in each of the four areas descri¬bed above, using the tools of philosophy of science. In particular, we aim to formulate formal constraints, prescriptive principles, and methodological heuristics that could guide practitio¬ners in medicine and be used as evaluative norms in this practical, policy-oriented context. To do this, we use case study investigation, formal work, and computer simulations.

The position is remunerated with a full-time employment contract under the German TV-L E13 salary scheme (conditions apply). We also provide funds to cover costs to attend some workshops and conferences.

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. The successful candidates will partake in the MCMP's academic activities and enjoy its administrative facilities and support. The official language at the MCMP is English and fluency in German is not mandatory.

We especially encourage female scholars to apply. LMU Munich endeavors to raise the percentage of women among its academic personnel. Among applicants chosen for interviews, given equal qualification, preference will be given to candidates with disabilities and minority scholars.

Applications (including a cover letter that addresses, amongst others, one's academic background, research interests, fit to the project and the proposed starting date, a CV, a list of publications, and a sample of written work of no more than 5000 words) should be sent by email (in one PDF document) to by 20 January, 2024.

Additionally, two confidential letters of reference addressing the applicant's qualifications for academic research should be sent to the same email address from the referees directly. Candidates who have not finished their PhD at the time of the application deadline have to provide evidence (in the cover letter or in the reference) that they will have their PhD in hand at the time the position starts.

For further information, please contact Prof. Stephan Hartmann (