The Aristotelian Society is pleased to offer five Student Bursaries of £3000 for the academic year 2021-22, intended for the support of postgraduate research in any area of philosophy.
• Applicants must be PhD students engaged in study at a UK institution during 2020-21 and must already have completed at least one year of this research program by the start of the academic year 2021-22.
• Applicants must be a member of the Aristotelian Society.
• No one who is in receipt of full AHRC funding or equivalent for the academic year 2021-22 will be eligible for a bursary.
• Applications for Student Bursaries should be made by filling in the application form available to download here, which includes a research statement of max. 500 words.
• Please email the completed form together with a CV to Holly De Las Casas, Managing Editor of the Aristotelian Society, at postgrad[at]aristoteliansociety.org.uk
• Applicants should also ensure that two references are sent to the Managing Editor by the deadline for applications, Friday 11 June 2021.
• Successful applicants will be informed in July 2021.
Bursary Recipients for 2020–21
Farbod Akhlaghi (Oxford)
Farbod Akhlaghi is a DPhil student at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Roger Crisp and Timothy Williamson. His main research interests lie within moral philosophy, (meta-)metaphysics, and their intersections. His DPhil thesis concerns the metaphysics of morality, and of normativity more generally. It examines the existence and nature of moral and other normative facts and properties from a novel methodological perspective, aiming to demonstrate both the importance and the fruitfulness of greater methodological reflection within the metaphysics of morality and normativity. Emerging from his thesis are novel ways to understand and conduct metaphysical debate in meta-ethics that he will explore further in future work. He has a very broad range of other research interests, mostly concerning meta-philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, transformative experience, the philosophies of culture, race, and education, and the history of philosophy (esp. British and Classical Islamic moral philosophy). Before Oxford, he received an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, an MLitt from the St Andrews/Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme, and a BA from the University of Reading.
Jessica JT Fischer (UCL)
Jessica JT Fischer is PhD candidate in philosophy at University College London, with research interests in moral and political philosophy. She previously completed an MPhil Stud and MA in philosophy, and a BA in European Social and Political Studies, also at UCL. Most recently, she was a visiting student at Princeton. Her work problematises consequentialist thinking and, in particular, investigates the basic consequentialist intuition that we ought to maximize the good. She is supervised by Véronique Munoz-Dardé and Joe Horton.
Hannah Laurens (St Andrews)
Hannah Laurens is completing her PhD research on nature and nous in Aristotle under the supervision of Prof. Sarah Broadie at the University of St Andrews. In her doctoral thesis, Hannah considers whether Aristotle’s account of human nous (the intellect) is sufficiently non-naturalistic so as to serve as a suitable illustration of Aristotle’s conception of divine nous.
In addition to her research in Ancient Philosophy, Hannah works on the Early Modern period, in particular on Spinoza and the Spinozist Dutch philosopher Adriaan Koerbagh. To commemorate the 350th anniversary of Koerbagh’s tragic death in 1669, Hannah curated an exhibition devoted to his life and works, which toured the Netherlands in 2019/20. She has also published an introduction to his philosophy.
Prior to her PhD, Hannah completed a BPhil at the University of Oxford, an MA in Political, Legal and Economic Philosophy at the University of Bern, and a BA in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. After her doctoral studies, Hannah will continue her research with the support of a Lisa Jardine History of Science Award from the Royal Society and a Junior Fellowship at the University of Utrecht.
Benjamin Marschall (Cambridge)
Benjamin Marschall is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge currently working on Carnap’s philosophy of mathematics. In his thesis he develops a new interpretation of an argument by E. W. Beth which shows that Gödel’s incompleteness theorems undermine Carnap’s attempt to do mathematics without ontology. His broader research interests are the nature of metaphysics and foundational philosophy of language, and he plans to work on Quine’s philosophy of mathematics and Susan Stebbing’s conception of metaphysical analysis in the future. Before coming to Cambridge he studied at the Humboldt University of Berlin and in the St Andrews/Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme, and he has visited the University of Pittsburgh during his PhD. In his spare time he likes to walk through (mostly) flat and empty landscapes.
Xintong Wei (St Andrews and Stirling)
Xintong Wei is a fourth year PhD student on the St Andrews and Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme (SASP), working under the supervision of Philip Ebert and Crispin Wright. Prior to that, she received a MLitt in philosophy from SASP and a BA in philosophy from UCL. Xintong mainly works on topics that lie at the intersections between epistemology, normativity and philosophy of mind. Her thesis investigates the normative relation between truth and belief. She is currently working on a genealogy of our truth-directed epistemic practices. Her wider research interests include moral epistemology, philosophy of literature and Chinese philosophy.
Bursary Recipients for 2019–20
David Heering (UCL)
David Heering is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Leeds working under the supervision of Helen Steward and Pekka Väyrynen. His research is situated at the area of overlap between metanormativity, theories of motivation and action-explanation, and the metaphysics of agency.
In his PhD project, he defends a novel actual sequence reasons-responsiveness view of free agency against so-called leeway views – i.e. views according to which the ability to do otherwise is crucial to free agency.
Importantly, the project understands the opposition between actual sequence and leeway views as a particular manifestation of a more general opposition between 'explanationist' and 'modalist' approaches to the concept of 'non-accidentality'. Non-accidentality is central not only to free agency, but a whole host of philosophical notions (like 'knowledge' and 'moral worth').
Non-accidentality has traditionally been understood modally – which explains the popularity of leeway view of free agency. However, David argues that modalist accounts of non-accidentality are mistaken. He proposes an explanationist account of non-accidentality - and consequently of free agency.
David's long-term project is to fully develop and explore the consequences of a proper explanationist account of non-accidentality.
Kacper Kowalczyk (Oxford)
Kacper Kowalczyk is a DPhil student in Philosophy at Oxford, currently at St Anne's College. He received a BPhil from Christ Church, Oxford, in 2016 and a BA from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2014. He is interested in population ethics, personal identity, aggregation, risk, egalitarianism/prioritarianism, and decision theory. His thesis project is entitled “Population ethics and the metaphysics of persons”.
Annina Loets (Oxford)
Annina Loets is a DPhil student at the University of Oxford with research interests in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Language. Before starting the DPhil, Annina received a BPhil from Oxford, and a BA and MA from Humboldt-University in Berlin. Annina’s dissertation Identity & Identities: Metaphysics and Semantics for ‘Qua’ is a systematic study of qualifications with ‘as’ or ‘qua’ such as ‘John is corrupt as a judge’, ‘Tom Robinson is disadvantaged as a knower’, or ‘Duchamp’s urinal has value qua work of art’. The dissertation investigates the metaphysics and semantics of qualification in the context of non-identity arguments by Leibniz’s Law. In recent work Annina seeks to draw on the results of this study to advance central debates in various areas of philosophy, including debates about the nature of opacity in the philosophy of language, the nature of intersectionality in social philosophy and the nature of conflicting obligations in moral philosophy.
Rowan Mellor (UCL)
Rowan Mellor is a fourth-year PhD at UCL, working primarily on moral and political philosophy under the supervision of Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL and UC Berkeley). His doctoral research focusses on the notion of structural injustice: unjust social conditions which are brought about not by the actions of a few powerful individuals, but by large-scale behavioural patterns enacted by many ordinary people. The core argument of the thesis is that many of the actions which help to sustain such social conditions are not morally wrong; this does not mean, however, that we cannot condemn those conditions as unacceptable. Rowan is also interested questions concerning the philosophy of action, the philosophy of social science, and equality.
Before starting his PhD, Rowan completed and BA and MPhil in philosophy, both at UCL. In 2018, he was also a visiting doctoral student at the École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales in Paris.
Nina Poth (Edinburgh)
Nina Poth is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She is supervised by Dr Mark Sprevak (Edinburgh), Dr Alistair Isaac (Edinburgh/Munich) and Dr Peter Brössel (Bochum). Within the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, her work focuses on models of concept learning and perceptual categorisation (e.g., models that investigate why we categorise an apple and a banana as fruit despite their being two different things). In her thesis, she argues that a Bayesian model of concept learning unifies two accounts of similarity but does not explain categorisation. Other interests of hers concern issues in philosophy of language and philosophy of science. Before studying in Edinburgh, she completed her MSc in Cognitive Science and BA in Philosophy and Social Science at Ruhr University Bochum (DEU), including research visits in Salzburg (AUT) and Tallinn (EST).
Bursary Recipients for 2018–19
Julian Bacharach (UCL)
Julian Bacharach completed his first degree in Music at Oxford in 2008, and subsequently moved into philosophy. He is currently studying for a PhD at UCL, under the supervision of Mike Martin and Rory Madden. His research concerns the connections between temporal thought, self-consciousness, and agency. His PhD thesis, ‘Events and the Agential Perspective’, argues that investigation of the temporal structure of ethical and autobiographical thought reveals an implicit ontological commitment to the category of event, and that this has consequences for how we should understand intentional action and temporal experience: namely, as involving a temporal perspective on an event whose actual boundaries extend beyond the present moment of awareness. Beyond the PhD thesis, he plans to extend the project to a more general consideration of the idea of a self-conscious perspective on a system in which the thinker has their place, especially insofar as such a perspective is characteristic of tensed and first-personal thought. Julian’s wider philosophical interests encompass various issues in philosophical logic, as well as historical interests in Aristotle, Kant, and early analytic philosophy.
Claire Field (Cambridge)
Claire Field is a fourth year PhD student at the University of St Andrews, with research interests in epistemology, ethics, and normativity. She is supervised by Jessica Brown (St Andrews) and Brian Weatherson (Michigan). She is a member of both the Arché Philosophical Research Centre and the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at St Andrews. Her current work uses an account of epistemic appraisal to solve a stubborn puzzle arising from misleading evidence about what rationality requires.
Aart van Gils (Reading)
Aart van Gils is a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Reading. His supervisors are Brad Hooker (Reading) and Patrick Tomlin (Warwick). Aart's primary research interests are in moral philosophy and political theory. His PhD research focuses on interpersonal aggregation and T. M. Scanlon's contractualism. Specifically, his thesis considers the question whether a limited form of aggregation, in line with the so-called Relevance View could be developed as an alternative to pure aggregation, which is characteristic of the most common forms of utilitarianism/consequentialism. Other research interests of Aart are (i) justified resistance and legitimacy, (ii) risk and risk-imposition, and (iii) exploring (the links between) the debates on moral uncertainty and reasonable pluralism.
Before starting his PhD, Aart completed a Research Master at the University of Groningen and, prior to that, a BA from Tilburg University. As part of his Research Master, Aart spent a term at St Andrews as a visiting student. During the third year of his PhD, Aart was a PhD Summer Workshop Fellow at the Center for Moral and Political Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Pilar Lopez-Cantero (Manchester)
Pilar Lopez-Cantero is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Manchester, working on philosophy of emotion and ethics under the supervision of Thomas Smith and Joel Smith. Her research focuses on romantic love and theories of narrative identity: she defends an account of romantic identification through narrative self-understanding. According to her thesis, loving another is the result of an individual’s aim to make the world and themselves intelligible through narrativization. The project offers a novel account of romantic love which accommodates the constructivist critique without diminishing the value we attach to our romantic partners and relationships. During her PhD, she has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Tilburg and written papers on related themes in applied philosophy.
Before going to Manchester, Pilar completed an MSc in Philosophy with Specialization in Ethics at The University of Edinburgh. She arrived to academia after a previous career as a journalist, with special interest in politics and human rights.
Jake Wojtowicz (KCL)
Jake Wojtowicz is a PhD candidate at King’s College London who works on ethics and the philosophy of law. He previously completed an MPhilStud on epistemology and a BA in philosophy at King's. He visited Cornell University on a Norman Malcolm Fellowship in fall 2016.
His thesis, Agent-regret in our lives, is a detailed analysis of agent-regret and the idea that we can be responsible for outcomes that we did not intend to bring about. By giving a full account of the nature of agent-regret and defending the associated picture of responsibility, he aims to show that agent-regret is—and should be—a central part of our lives.
Bursary Recipients for 2017–18
Vanessa Carr (UCL)
Vanessa Carr is a PhD candidate in philosophy at UCL, working primarily in metaphysics and philosophy of action. She completed the MPhilStud, also at UCL, and received a BA in Philosophy, Psychology and Physiology from the University of Oxford. Vanessa’s PhD research addresses the nature of activity, and examines the relationship between causation and activity. She defends the existence of causation by agents, but challenges the viability of an account of activity in terms of causation by the agent. This project draws on a range of literatures, including those on causation, action, free will, reduction and grounding, and abstract objects.
Alexander Moran (Cambridge)
Alexander Moran is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. His supervisor is Prof. Tim Crane. His research primarily focuses on the philosophy of perception: in his doctoral thesis, he defends a neglected form of disjunctivism about visual experience, which combines a naive realist view of visual perception with a sense datum account of visual hallucination. He also has strong research interests in various aspects of contemporary metaphysics, and in both early modern and early analytic philosophy.
Before coming to Cambridge, he completed the B. Phil at Oxford with Distinction. Prior to that, he obtained a B.A. in philosophy from UCL, where he won several awards, including the Rosa Morrison Medal for best degree results across the Arts and Humanities Faculty.
Gary Mullen (Leeds)
Gary Mullen is a doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Leeds, with primary research interests in decision theory, philosophy of mind and philosophy of action. His PhD brings together these themes with a focus on the framing of decision problems and the phenomenon of decision instability. In particular, he thinks that the task of specifying an agent’s options deserves more attention and that a crude conception of the agent is behind existing puzzles about decision instability. Gary also has interests in logic and general philosophy of science, having completed an MA in formal methods at the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy. Prior to this, he earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Cambridge and an MLitt in philosophy from the University of St Andrews.
Alexander Roberts (Oxford)
Alexander Roberts is a D.Phil student at the University of Oxford whose main research interests are in metaphysics and philosophical logic. Before starting his D.Phil, he received a B.Phil from Oxford and an undergraduate degree from Leeds. His D.Phil thesis is a collection of essays on the metaphysics and logic of metaphysical modality, each of which considers a challenge to idea that metaphysical modality is the maximal objective modality. His recent research has been on the metaphysics of higher-order modal logic and indefinite extensibility.
Janis Schaab (St. Andrews/Stirling)
Janis Schaab is a third-year PhD student on the St Andrews/Stirling Philosophy Graduate Programme (SASP). Prior to that, he attained an MLitt in Philosophy on the same programme and a BA in Philosophy & Economics from the University of Bayreuth. Since starting his PhD, he has visited the philosophy departments at Yale University and Humboldt University Berlin to work as a visiting research student under the auspices of Stephen Darwall and Thomas Schmidt, respectively.
Janis’s research focuses on Kantian approaches within contemporary moral philosophy. Specifically, his thesis explores the prospects of the view known as Kantian Constructivism, according to which the source of morality’s normativity resides within our own will or ‘practical standpoint’. His aim is to clarify the ambitions and argumentative strategy of Kantian Constructivism, and ultimately to advance a qualified defense of the view. Despite its meta-normative focus, Janis’s research has implications for issues in first-order normative theory, such as the correct understanding of human dignity, the nature and foundations of moral rights, as well as the demandingness of our positive duties.