Vacancies – Seven PhD and postdoctoral positions in the history of modern philosophy and/or history and philosophy of science

Three four-year PhD positions, three four-year postdoctoral positions, and one two-year postdoctoral position in the history of modern philosophy and/or history and philosophy of science. The selected applicants will carry out part of the recently awarded project ‘RESPONSES TO NEWTON’S MATHEMATICAL-EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM IN 18TH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY’ (RENEW18). The project is funded by the Belgian research councils FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS (EOS) and led by Karin de Boer (KU Leuven), Steffen Ducheyne (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), and Arnaud Pelletier (Université libre de Bruxelles).

In addition to carrying out one of the designated subprojects, the selected applicants are expected to participate in (the organization of) common activities such as team meetings, talks, workshops, and conferences. We seek to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender or cultural background.

Deadline: 19 April 2022

Preferred starting date: between July and October 2022

More information on the project, the vacancies, and the application tools can be found here:


  1. Robert Greene’s Anti-Newtonian Natural Philosophy (1712-1727) – PhD (Ducheyne)
  2. Resistance to Newton in the Dutch Republic: From Ruardus Andala to Nicolaus Engelhard (c. 1718-1738) – Postdoc (Ducheyne)
  3. An Aristotelian Defense of Newton: The Jesuit Theory of Matter in France (1715-1743) – Postdoc (Pelletier)
  4. Newtonianism, Monadism and the Problem of Continuous Extension in Germany (1740-59) – Postdoc (Pelletier)
  5. ‘Newton’s Metaphysics’ in French Materialism: La Mettrie, Diderot, D’Holbach (1745-72) – PhD (Pelletier)
  6.  Non-Newtonian Conceptions of Space and Time in 18th-century German Philosophy: Wolff, Gottsched, Crusius, and Kant (1719-1770) – PhD (De Boer)
  7. Schelling’s Engagement with Newton (1797-1800) – Postdoc (De Boer)


RENEW18 aims to bring into focus the widely divergent responses to the mathematical-experimental paradigm elaborated in Newton’s Principia mathematica (1687) and Opticks (1704) on the part of 18th-century philosophers. The project studies the direct and indirect effects of Newton’s works on philosophers who drew from Aristotelian, Cartesian, Leibnizian, and Wolffian sources, covers the period between 1700 and 1800, treats developments in the Dutch Republic, England, France, and Germany, and foregrounds the impact of non-canonical authors and movements on canonical authors and the other way around.