Position Announcement: University of Hamburg 

PhD position on social epistemology of organizations, University of Hamburg The “Culpable Ignorance Project” invites applications to a PhD position (65% E 13 TVL) with a starting date of 1 October 2022 (an earlier or later starting date can be negotiated). 

Application Deadline: May 23, 2022.

Organizational misconduct often stems not from bad motives, but from ignorance. For instance, silence of research departments about side effects delays the recalling of drugs. Lack of coordination between police departments hampers finding serial killers. Such ignorance is culpable if organizations could have known better. The goal of the “Culpable Ignorance Project” is to investigate what organizations have a duty to know, and which qualities help them to fulfil these duties. The research group approaches this question in an interdisciplinary manner. The project is grounded in social epistemology, and draws on the emerging field of epistemic virtue and vice theory. To answer the question of which qualities help organizations to fulfil their duties to know, we use quantitative and qualitative research methods, from interviews to case studies and the development of psychometric scales to measure epistemic virtue and vice. The project will help to better understand an overlooked cause of corporate misconduct, providing guidance to organizations and regulators to prevent culpable ignorance. The scope of the dissertation project will be determined with the successful applicant. Depending on the interests of the applicant, the project can be more theoretical or more applied, and be more or less interdisciplinary.

Here are a few examples of research questions that the successful candidate might pursue:  

•  Can collectives be epistemically virtuous or vicious? 
•  Are there any exclusively collective epistemic virtues and vices? 
•  Can proposals for ameliorating epistemic vices be extended to the collective level? 
•  Do collectives have epistemic duties? 
•  What kind of incentive structures enable the efficient, reliable and fair pursuit of knowledge? 
•  How can the epistemic performance of knowledge institutions such as universities, think tanks and media organizations be improved by careful design?

More information about the positions can be found here: https://www.uni-hamburg.de/en/stellenangebote/ausschreibung.html?jobID=7ac674a785a8b659131735ee708a96d6cc90d70f

All the best,

Marco Meyer

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