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2023-224-05123 Postdoc for Center for Applied Philosophy

At Aalborg University, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Department of Culture and Learning - Center for Applied Philosophy, a position as Postdoc is open for appointment from August 1st, 2023, or soon thereafter. The position is a full-time position and available for a period of 18 months.

Job description

The Postdoc is to join a research team working on DFF the project What is mine to give, but not to sell: The moral limits of the market directed by Associate Professor, Andreas Albertsen. The aim of the overall project will be to provide a novel framework for assessing when the market in some good or service is morally problematic.
The project group will conduct a literature review categorizing the existing arguments from the literature over the moral limits of the market along three categories: the good being sold, the participants of the exchange and goods or persons external to the exchange. The advertised position will contribute to this literature review, and oversee WP III, which addresses the following question: ‘When is the market in a discretionary good impermissible due to its effects on the parties to the exchange?’.
Thus, the successful applicant the expectation will be to contribute to our understanding of if, when and how, having a market in a particular good may be wrong for reasons related to, for example, the harm experienced by the seller. The selected candidate will be expected to contribute substantially to academic publications in peer-reviewed journals, both as first and secondary author and to participate in research group activities such as organizing and attending workshops.

The Research Project
The research project ‘What is mine to give, but not to sell: The moral limits of the market’ is funded by the Danish Research Council and led by Associate Professor, Andreas Albertsen.

The project will a) assess strengths and weaknesses in existing frameworks for assessing the moral wrongness of markets b) contribute and analyze ongoing academic debates over the wrongness of markets and c) provide a new framework for assessing the wrongness of markets.

The research will be turned into high impact publications that advances our understanding of current and emerging controversial markets.  The project offers a novel approach and develops a framework to identify the moral limits of markets (understood as the generalized exchange in some good or service).
The first innovation, the focus on discretionary goods, is important because it limits the discussion to goods, which people are permitted to give. In the literature, much attention is devoted to markets in goods, which are not discretionary (i.e., selling a rented house or killing people for money), making a market problematic because the seller may not give these goods away. To know what makes markets wrong qua markets, we discuss discretionary goods.
The second innovation distinguishes three elements that jointly exhaust the persons and goods potentially affected by a market exchange: the good itself, the participants, and goods/persons external to the exchange. Anything that makes a market impermissible must relate to at least one of these elements. This helps classify and compare existing theories with respect to what they claim is wrong about a particular market.
The third innovation is to use insights from debates over distributive justice. We cannot properly assess markets without considering the distributions they create and the circumstances of buyers and sellers. This project employs a luck egalitarian understanding of justice, implying that people are unjustly worse off, if and only if, they are worse off than others through no fault of their own. The developed framework will inform policies and debates about controversial markets. It provides us clear guidance in terms of when markets are permissible and what kind of markets are permissible when they are.

Methodologically, the project will approach these questions from the approach of analytical political philosophy. The project consists of 5 workpackages. WPI discuss weaknesses in existing frameworks, while WPII-IV is committed to particular kind of claims about what makes (some) markets impermissible. WPV develops the framework.  WP II-IV address claims that the market in some good or service is morally problematic for reasons related to: the good being sold; the participants of the exchange and, goods or persons external to the exchange.
The project will host several workshops and conferences in the project period, and the postdoc will be invited to attend and present at several of these.
We seek applicants with expertise within the areas of political philosophy, political science, political theory, or related fields, ideally with previous experience with high-quality research in one of these areas. A familiarity with the debate over moral limits of the market is considered an advantage.
We expect the candidates to have extensive communication skills in spoken and written English, and an ability to produce state-of-the art philosophy, while working in an environment where you interact and work together across work packages. We expect a collaborative mindset and a willingness to engage with the work of colleagues.  
In addition to a CV and proof of PhD degree (or the near completion of a PhD degree), interested applicants should provide a 1–2-page application letter motivating why they are interested in the position and how they can contribute to the research project. 

Who are we:
The project group is managed by associate professor Andreas Albertsen, from the department of Political Science, Aarhus University. The research team consists of Professor Jørn Sønderholm, and assistant professor Jens Damgaard Thaysen and the postdoc hired on this call. The project also has several external collaborators attached. We will host workshops and conferences, and we are working with a great group of external collaborators: Simon Rippon (CEU), David Axelsen (Essex), Nicholas Vrousalis (Leiden), Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus), Eva Erman (Stockholm), and James Stacey-Taylor (New Jersey).

Further information
The applicants should be prepared to actively participate in all aspects of the day-to-day activities of the department. For information on the research profile, Center for Applied Philosophy of the department etc., please see the department’s website en.culture.aau.dk - Aalborg University

The position will be heavily weighted in favour of research. In addition, there will be a certain amount of teaching activities. The performance of other duties may be required to a limited extent. The university determines the exact weighting of the various responsibilities. The weighting of the various responsibilities may vary over time.

Appointment as a postdoc cannot exceed a period of four years in total at Aalborg University. Appointment at postdoc level cannot exceed a period of eight years in total in Denmark, however max. six years at Assistant Professor level - which includes Postdoc - at the same institution.

The application must contain the following:
•    A motivated application
•    Your CV
•    A complete publication list and markings of the attached publications to be taken into consideration in connection with the assessment. No more than five publications may be attached.
•    In case you attach joint, a co-author statement must be enclosed specifying your contribution to the joint work. The co-author statement must be signed by at least one of the co-authors. Template co-author declaration
•    Documentation of your teaching qualifications. Guidance Teaching portfolio
•    Copies of your degree certificates (including Master’s and PhD certificates).

Your application including attachments must be sent electronically by clicking the “Apply online” link below.

The application must be written in English. 

Candidates will be assessed by an assessment committee. 

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All candidates will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

The selected candidates will be informed of the composition of the assessment committee, and will have the opportunity to comment on the assessment that applies to the applicant in question. Assessed applicants may be invited to an interview and/or asked to give a trial lecture.

When the employment process has been terminated, a final rejection will be sent to the applicants who are not considered for the position.

Any enquiries about the position may be addressed to professor Jørn Sønderholm, email jorns@ikl.aau.dk 

Any enquiries relating to the application procedure should be addressed to Human Resources, email hs-hr@adm.aau.dk.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

Workplace is Aalborg.


Employment is in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (the Appointment Order) and the Ministry of Finance's current Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Employment and salary are in accordance with the collective agreement for state-employed academics.

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