Post-Doc position in Helsinki

I am pleased to announce the opening of a Post-Doc position for one year, renewable for a second year, within the Academy of Finland project "Modalities and conditionals: systematic and historical studies" directed by Sara Negri at the Philosophy Unit of the University of Helsinki.

The main focus of the project is on philosophical logic. The ideal candidate is expected to have a strong background in modal logic, epistemic logic and proof theory, research experience with labelled deductive systems, and a strong motivation for collaborative work with the PI on the project's specific themes.

Qualification requirements: Applications are invited by highly motivated and competent candidates with a doctoral degree in philosophy, mathematics, or computer science with focus on logic, with research experience and expertise relevant to the project. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their ability to produce high-quality research, as evidenced by their doctoral thesis and publications, conference presentations, and references. The position does not require knowledge of Finland's national languages, as the research on the project will be conducted and published in English.

Terms of employment: The position involves full-time employment for one year, renewable for a second year. The start date is negotiable, but should be not later than September 1st, 2018.

The postdoctoral fellow will be expected to produce high-quality research on the project, individually and in close collaboration with the principal investigator. The fellow will be expected to publish the results of his/her research in first-class international journals and conferences and to disseminate them via international conferences, workshops, seminars and other suitable events. The fellow will also assist with some administrative work related to the project, such as organising related conferences, workshops, and seminars. A 5% teaching duty is involved in the fellowship.

Salary will be based on the Finnish salary scale for Academic employment and decided on the basis of the researcher's experience.

Application requirements: Candidates should send their cv, list of publications, a copy of their doctoral dissertation, a cover letter with a statement indicating their background, motivations, suitability for the project as a single message with attachments as pdf (however, large files such as the doctoral dissertation and accessible through web repositories can be just linked) and subject "Post-doc application"; a letter of recommendation by the PhD thesis supervisor should be sent directly to Prof. Sara Negri.

Deadline for application: 15 January 2018.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Sara Negri (

Brief project description: The proposed research belongs to philosophical logic, a core area of theoretical philosophy. The main objectives of the proposal are the application and further development of a novel logical methodology for the study of the inferential aspect of modalities and conditionals and the study of the sources of related modal concepts in European philosophy.

Philosophical logic has been traditionally devoted to the study of conceptual pairs such as necessity and possibility, and obligation and permission. Its privileged approach has been, since the introduction of possible worlds semantics, the semantical one, with analytic systems of proof considered an impossibility even for basic modal logics. The role of logic has been restricted to giving classes of axiomatizations for the basic notions at hand. The axiomatic approach, however, fails to represent inferential processes that require hypothetical reasoning. Further, the classical systems of logic are inadequate as representations of modalities and conditionals that are outside the idealized realm of mathematical entities. They escape the standard truth value semantics and even possible worlds semantics fails in providing a sufficiently comprehensive setting.

The more general neighbourhood semantics will be used for a sharpening of the methods at the formal core of the project, with a parallel development of the normative, descriptive and deductive aspects of a logical system, and the addition, through decision methods, of a predictive component. Specific objectives include the proof-theoretical investigation of non-normal quantified modal logics, of conditionals both in pure form and in association with alethic, dynamic, and doxastic modalities. The inferential systems obtained are applied in research areas that belong to pure and applied logic and formal epistemology.

Keywords: Philosophical logic, possible worlds semantics, neighbourhood semantics, modalities, first-order modal logic, conditionals, dynamic epistemic logic, sequent calculus, inferentialism, history of structural proof theory, history of modern modal logic.

Helsinki, 4.12.2017

Professor Sara Negri