2nd Call for Applications:

in the project 'To and Fro: Scientific Metaphysics at Physics's Frontiers'

University of Geneva

The Department of Philosophy in Geneva solicits applications for a research 
position ('collaborateur scientifique'), starting 1 September 2019 or as soon 
as possible thereafter. The position is funded by the Swiss National Science 
Foundation grant 'To and Fro: Scientific Metaphysics at Physics's Frontiers'. 
The position will be funded for up to 9 months from the starting date.

The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the project's 
research independently and in collaboration with Professor Christian Wuthrich. 
They will be expected to participate in weekly meetings of the Geneva Symmetry 
Group during term, and help with the administration and organization of the 
group's activities. Fluency in English is required.

Please find more information on the project at the end of this ad. More 
information on the Geneva Centre for Philosophy of Science can be found at 
 More information on the Geneva Symmetry Group can be found at 

Applicants with strong backgrounds in metaphysics (particularly laws of nature, 
causation, philosophy of mind), philosophy of physics (particularly spacetime, 
quantum physics), and the relevant physics (particularly quantum gravity) will 
be strongly preferred, but candidates with backgrounds in only some of these 
areas will also be considered. The Ph.D. must be in hand at the time of 

The position is fixed-term for up to 9 months. The salary is competitive. Some 
research funds for travel to relevant conferences are available.

Applications must contain a cover letter detailing the pertinent experience for 
the position, a CV, a one-page research statement describing the work to be 
accomplished for the project including publication plans, one or two writing 
samples, and three letters of reference. The letters of reference must be sent 
under separate cover, i.e., directly by the letters writers or their 
administrator and not by the candidate. All materials should be sent to 
Professor Christian Wuthrich at 

Review of the files will begin on 30 June 2019 and will continue until the 
position is filled. The competition for this position opens on 30 June and 
closes on 31 August 2019.

Applications from women and underrepresented minorities are particularly 

For more information, please contact Professor Christian Wuthrich at 


To and Fro: Scientific Metaphysics at Physics's Frontiers

Scientific metaphysics is a recently much discussed approach in metaphysics 
that aims to bridge the artificial gap between contemporary analytical 
metaphysics and science by promoting a strong interrelationship between the two 
fields. In this context, the project explicitly considers the two directions of 
the relationship between contemporary analytical metaphysics and current 
fundamental physics, taking space and time as an exemplar for the interaction 
between the two. Consequently, the two interrelated parts of the project aim to 
travel the road between scientific metaphysics and the frontiers of physics in 
the two directions. In the first part 'From metaphysics to physics', the 
project aims to show how the tools of functionalism as developed in the 
philosophy of mind and metaphysics can help to resolve the conceptual problems 
related to the absence of standard space and time at the quantum gravity level, 
in particular regarding a threat of empirical incoherence. In this co
 ntext, the project aims to develop a new model of functional emergence of the 
empirically relevant spatio-temporal features from a non-spatio-temporal 
ontology suggested by the current main research programs in quantum gravity. 
Thus, tools from metaphysics are employed to enable a successful interpretation 
of fundamental physical theories. Traveling in the other direction, 'From 
physics to metaphysics', the second part of the project aims to redefine 
central metaphysical conceptions concerning laws of nature and causation in the 
light of current research on space and time at the frontiers of physics; the 
goal is to update and to enrich these traditional metaphysical debates with 
novel inputs from contemporary fundamental physics. We aim to generalize the 
two main families of conceptions--namely reductive and non-reductive 
ones--regarding laws of nature and causation to the non-spatio-temporal setting 
suggested by quantum gravity.

The project implements what is argued to be a fruitful--indeed ultimately 
inevitable--dialogue between contemporary analytical metaphysics and current 
fundamental physics, providing concrete examples of a two-way avenue to and fro 
metaphysics and physics. The project will be of relevance to a large audience 
of philosophers, and will bring together metaphysicians, philosophers of 
science, and physicists through its network of national and international 

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