Silvia Jonas holds a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship by the European Commission. She completed her Ph.D. at Humboldt University Berlin in 2012, a BPhil in Philosophy at the University of Oxford (2010), an MLitt in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews (2008), and a Magister Artium in Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Munich University (2007). From 2012 to 2017, she was a Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow at The Van Leer Institute and a Visiting Researcher and Lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; from 2017-2019, she was a Minerva Fellow funded by the Max Planck Society at MCMP.
Silvia Jonas’ primary areas of research are in philosophy of mathematics and science, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language. Central questions of her research are how mathematics shapes the philosophical conceptualization of reality, whether reality exceeds the physical realm, and if there can be knowledge beyond the limits of language.
- Ineffability and its Metaphysics: The Unspeakable in Art, Religion, and Philosophy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2016). (Reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews; The Expository Times; New Books in Philosophy)
- 'Mathematical Indispensability and Arguments from Design’. Philosophia (forthcoming).
- 'Whereof one cannot speak.’ In: D. Frank and A. Segal (eds.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).
- ‘Mathematical and Moral Disagreement.’ The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 279 (2019).
- ‘Modal Structuralism and Theism.’ In: Fiona Ellis (ed.), New Models of Religious Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2018).
- ‘Aesthetic Ineffability.’ Philosophy Compass, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2017)
- ‘Access Problems and Explanatory Overkill.’ Philosophical Studies, Volume tba (2016).
- ‘On Mathematical and Religious Belief, and On Epistemic Snobbery.’ Philosophy, Vol. 91 No. 1 (2015).
Public outreach (selection):
- World Science Festival Panel Discussion with Brian Greene, Sheldon Goldstein, David Albert and Max Tegmark
- Panel discussion with Saul Kripke, Hilary Lawson, and Paul Boghossian (2019).
- Public lecture on The Mathematics of Thought (2019).
- Panel discussion with Julian Baggini, Joanna Kavenna, and Jan Westerhoff (2019).
- Interview with Michel Friedman on the topic of mathematics (2019).
- ‘What mathematics can teach us about debating’ (in German). (2019) Süddeutsche Zeitung, Feuilleton, 7. January 2019.
- ‘Unspeakable things: Life’s most meaningful experiences can leave us tongue-tied. What can be said, let alone understood, about what’s unsayable?’ Aeon. A digital magazine of ideas and culture (2017).
Grants / Awards / Scholarships
Silvia Jonas has been selected for the Fast Track Program for Outstanding Women in Science of the Robert Bosch Foundation. She has held a Minerva Fellowship by the Max Planck Society (2017-2019) and was a research fellow in the project Abrahamic Inquiries into Science and Religion, funded by the John Templeton Foundation (2016-2019). She has also been awarded research grants and scholarships by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Polonsky Academy, and the Hebrew University.