Utrecht Hires 11 New Philosophers

Utrecht University has hired 11 new philosophers.

They have each been hired as “Universitair Docent,” which is a permanent position, pending a standard one-year probationary period.

(The following information has been supplied by Daniel Cohnitz, head of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht.)

Uğur Aytaç will be appointed in the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Political Philosophy of Technology in September 2023. He will be a PPE Core Teacher.

    • His research interests lie primarily in democratic theory, political legitimacy, power and domination, ideology critique, the digital public sphere, and political realism.
    • PhD 2021 from University of Amsterdam.
    • He is currently a postdoc in the ERC project The Business Corporation as a Political Actor in the Ethics Institute and will continue his work there, part-time, for the coming two years.

Marie Chabbert will join the History of Philosophy group as universitair docent for History of Modern Philosophy.

    • Her research explores debates surrounding religious freedom and pluralism in France in the wake of two World Wars, de-colonialization, and the so-called ‘return of religion’
    • PhD in French Studies from the University of Oxford; an MSc in Social Anthropology (London School of Economics), and MPhil in Comparative European Culture from the University of Cambridge.
    • She is currently a research fellow at John’s College, University of Cambridge.

Sanneke de Haan will be appointed in the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Ethics, starting September, 2023, while continuing her 0.2 FTE appointment as Socrates Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy at the Erasmus School of Philosophy & Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam (funded by the Stichting Psychiatrie en Filosofie).

    • She specializes philosophy and ethics of psychiatry, with an emphasis on enactivist approaches
    • PhD 2015 University of Heidelberg.
    • She is currently Assistant Professor at Tilburg University, in the Department of Culture Studies, completing a VENI grant on self-illness ambiguity in patients with recurrent depressions.

Jamie Draper was appointed in 2022 and will take up a position at the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Political Philosophy and Environmental Ethics, starting September 2023.

    • He specializes in normative political theory, focusing on issues relating to climate change, migration and displacement, and housing and gentrification.
    • PhD 2020 in Political Theory from the University of Reading.
    • He is currently a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford and is an Associate Editor at Res Publica.

Chiara Lisciandra will be appointed in the Theoretical Philosophy group as universitair docent for Practical Reasoning, starting September 2023.

    • In her research in philosophy of economics, philosophy of science, and social philosophy, she combines formal analysis with qualitative and quantitative research to address (in a highly interdisciplinary fashion) questions about (changing) norms in science.
    • PhD 2013 from Tilburg University.
    • She is currently Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy.

Uwe Peters will be appointed jointly in the Theoretical Philosophy group and the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, starting October, 2023.

    • His research is in Philosophy of AI, AI Ethics, and Epistemology, Philosophy of Science (esp. Psychology), and Philosophy of Economics.
    • PhD (2016) in Philosophy and MSc (2022) in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health, from King’s College London.
    • He is currently a postdoc at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, and the Center for Science and Thought, University of Bonn.

Carina Prunkl will be appointed in the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Ethics of Technology, December 2023.

    • She specializes in autonomy and AI; community governance; and bias detection through inverse design.
    • PhD in 2018 from University of Oxford.
    • She is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Ethics in AI and a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, University of Oxford.

Janis Schaab will be appointed in the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Moral, Political, and Social Philosophy, starting September 2023.

    • His research focuses on Kant and ethical theory and is clustered around four interrelated themes: morality’s source in practical reason; morality’s second-personal dimension; duties to oneself; and conspiracy theories.
    • PhD in 2019 from the University of Andrews.
    • He is currently a postdoctoral Fellow at the Berlin-based Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Human Abilities.

Emily Sullivan will be appointed in in the Theoretical Philosophy group as universitair docent for Philosophy of Science.

    • Her research is at the intersection between philosophy and data and computer science and explores the way that technology mediates our knowledge. She is an Associate Editor for the European Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 
    • PhD 2016 from Fordham University
    • She is currently Assistant Professor of philosophy and Irène Curie Fellow at Eindhoven University of Technology and the Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute.

Juri Viehoff will be appointed in the Ethics Institute as universitair docent for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, September 2023. He will be a PPE Core Teacher.

    • His research focuses on solidarity as well as the morality of novel institutions and technologies, with special attention to supranational and global governance.
    • PhD in 2014 from the University of Oxford.
    • He is currently lecturer (assistant professor) in Political Theory at the University of Manchester’s MANCEPT.

Sarah Virgi will be appointed jointly in the department’s History of Philosophy group and in Islam and Arabic Studies as universitair docent for Islamic Philosophy.

    • She specializes in Ancient and Medieval psychology, medicine, and theology, both in Western and non- Western traditions.
    • PhD in 2022 from Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich.
    • She currently holds a research position in the DFG project, “Heirs of Avicenna.”

You can learn more about philosophy at Utrecht here.

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Graham Harman
9 months ago

Well that’s some nice news, for a change. Congratulations to all of the new appointees!

Reply to  Graham Harman
9 months ago
Cecil Burrow
9 months ago

Surely there must be a back story as to how a department gets to make 11 hires …