Ph.D.-Stipend (3 years)

Munich School of Philosophy is pleased to announce one 3-year Ph.D.-Stipend.

We invite graduates in philosophy and psychology (with proof of strong philosophy background) to apply for a three year Ph.D.-Stipend starting March 15th, 2018. The stipend is (in most cases) tax-exempt and will pay EUR 1.250,-- per month, there are no social benefits included in the stipend. The grantee is prohibited from holding other employment during the period of the grant, unless given explicit permission by the HfPh.

Possible topics are deliberately given wide thematic scope. The stipend will enable scholars in philosophy to conduct independent cutting-edge research at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. The stipend will be part of the interdisciplinary project:

“Motivational and Volitional Processes of Human Integration: Philosophical and Psychological Approaches to Human Flourishing

The project is based at the Munich School of Philosophy and the Technical University of Munich. The research methodology is interdisciplinary, combining philosophical and psychological approaches. Philosophically the project is situated in analytic theory of action, philosophy of mind, and meta-ethics.

From the executive summary of the project:

[6-page project summary]

The proposed project explores the idea of a dynamic and organismic concept of the self at the interface of philosophy and experimental psychology. We argue that human self-realization is a goal-oriented process leading from less integrated to more integrated states.

Although Harry Frankfurt and others have explored the idea of integration as a central characteristic of human life, we argue that those models lack complexity mainly because they do not sufficiently acknowledge the findings of empirical research in psychology. We draw from the philosophical tradition ranging from Duns Scotus to Harry Frankfurt in considering the volitional system to be the core of the human person. In our model, an understanding of this system is grounded in three factors: (1) implicit, unconscious motives and (2) explicit, propositional motives which in turn are integrated and regulated by (3) meta-motivational attitudes.

Based on a substantial concept of human integration and its relation to subjective well-being, we aim to detail the necessary conditions for flourishing. The project is, therefore, normative in the sense that it delineates the necessary conditions for flourishing, but not normative in the sense that it describes the material, sufficient conditions.

Projects ought to be systematic in character. We do not seek to support projects which are purely historical.

We expect the recipient to complete his or her Ph.D.-thesis and to be scheduled for defense of the PhD-thesis by the end of the project. Prospective stipendees should be willing to engage in the interdisciplinary setting of the project; this includes the willingness to acquire a proficiency in current psychology, esp. motivational psychology: in particular the “3C model of motivation and volition” (Kehr), the “personality-systems-interaction model” (Kuhl), and the “self-determination model” (Ryan/Deci).

Possible areas of research may include:

  • Processes of human integration, the will, and the motivational system.
  • Processes of human integration and philosophical concepts of human flourishing (eudaimonia).
  • Processes of human integration and externalism and internalism about reasons, as well as externalism and internalism about motivation.
  • Processes of human integration and the diachronic unity of persons.
  • Processes of human integration and narrativity.
  • Processes of human integration and the role of second-person-relations.

Munich School of Philosophy provides all necessary infrastructure. The stipendee receives access to internet and to all university libraries and other infrastructure provided by the Munich School of Philosophy. Additional assistance may be provided, as needed, by partner institutions: the Technical University of Munich, the Bavarian State Library, and the Leibniz-IT-Center. Residence in the Greater Munich area is expected (details below).

Stipendees will find themselves surrounded by a stimulating blend of interdisciplinary research seminars at two universities, conferences, and regular guest lectures dedicated to the topics they are working on themselves. There is the opportunity to interact regularly with faculty members of both departments in a familiar atmosphere.

Information concerning eligibility, applications, dates, etc.

Conditions for Eligibility

  • Master of Arts (or equivalent) in philosophy or psychology (with a strong philosophy background);
  • familiarity with recent developments in philosophical action theory, familiarity with philosophy of psychology is desirable;
  • proficiency in English, oral and written; some familiarity with the German language is a plus but not a requirement.

In addition, candidates are expected to be willing

  • to participate in seminars and conferences of the project organized;
  • to work in a larger research group.

Further inquiries about project eligibility or about the application should be directed to

Application Material Should Contain:
  • your statement of interest (approx. 250 words);
  • your CV;
  • a copy of your Masters-diploma;
  • an abstract of your research proposal (200-250 words);
  • your research proposal (1.500-2.000 words) outlining the research project as well as how it is relevant for and contributes to the overall perspective of the project;
  • two confidential letters of recommendation from two university professors addressing the applicant’s qualifications for outstanding Ph.D.-research. These should be sent by the recommenders to the email-adress below.

Please use “Ph.D.-Stipend TRT-Project” in the header of your mail!

Applications can be in German or English.

The application materials must be submitted in electronic form (PDF with US-letter or DIN-A4 sized pages, double spaced) to:

We will acknowledge each submission within 48 hours. All inquiries should be mailed to the address above.

Important Dates

Deadline for applications: December 22th, 2017

Information about decision: January 15th, 2018

Start of the stipend: March 15th, 2018

Additional Information

We expect the successful applicant to move to the greater Munich-area as soon as possible, but no later than the summer term of 2018 (June 1st). Details are up to negotiation.

Munich School of Philosophy, an Equal Opportunity Employer, has a strong commitment to diversity and actively encourages applications from candidates from groups underrepresented in higher education! 



This project is made possible through a generous grant by Templeton (TRT)

Additional support is provided by the Erich J. Lejeune Endowed Chair for Philosophy and Motivation