PhD-scholarship at Macquarie University

  • 04 May 2011
  • 27 Jun 2011
  • Macquarie University, NSW
A Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) is available in the Department of Philosophy associated with successful ARC Discovery Project DP110104056, ‘The Social Ontology of Personhood – A Recognition Theoretical Approach’.

The theme of recognition is one of the most intensively debated topics in social and political philosophy today, with Axel Honneth, Charles Taylor and Nancy Fraser among the most prominent authors. Yet, it is often not adequately acknowledged that recognition is not merely a good that people demand and struggle for in the political realm, but also something without which humans would not be persons in the first place, nor live in the kind of social and institutional world that they do. In other words, there is lack of adequate understanding of the ontological importance of recognition.

The constitution of the social and institutional world is the topic of a
rapidly expanding field of philosophical inquiry called ‘social ontology’, with John Searle, Margaret Gilbert, Raimo Tuomela, Philip Pettit and Seumas Miller among the leading names. A poverty of social ontology, as it is currently mostly practiced is that authors tend to presuppose more or less full-fledged persons as given, without inquiring into the social processes whereby they develop into persons in the first place. The general aim of this project is to develop a holistic approach for conceiving both the constitution of human persons and the constitution of the social and institutional world as a single process by means of the theory of recognition.

The doctoral candidate is to work on a dissertation project on a theme directly or indirectly related to the overall project. These include: different aspects of recognition, personhood, or social ontology, as well as suitable themes in Hegelian and neo-Hegelian philosophy. Candidates with analytical and continental backgrounds are equally encouraged to apply.

Prospective applicants should submit a research proposal, two writing samples (preferably of published work), a cover letter detailing relevant experience, a CV and academic transcripts to the principal supervisor, Dr Heikki Ikäheimo, email:, phone: 02 98508817. For
further information and discussion about this Scholarship, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Heikki Ikäheimo.

The 2011 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $22,860 pa tax exempt for 3.5 years.

Applicants will need to complete a candidature/scholarship application form and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Refer to: for further
application instructions. Macquarie University will advise the successful applicant of entitlements at the time of scholarship offer.

*Please quote the allocation number 2011114 on your application*.

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