Wednesday, 18 July 2012

PhD Bursary on Scientific Self-Knowledge and Moral Agency

Project Title: Scientific Self-Knowledge and Moral Agency
University of Central Lancashire - School of Education & Social Sciences
Reference No RB-12-ESS2

Applications are invited for a full-time bursary available in the School of Education & Social Science The bursary is tenable for up to 3 years for a PhD (via MPhil route) [subject to satisfactory progress] and is open to both Home, EU and International students.  The bursary will cover the cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU rate.  International students will be required to fund the difference between the Home/EU and International fee rate.  The successful applicant will commence on 1 January 2013.  Please note deferred starts from this date will not be permitted.

Project description
The tensions between adopting a scientific conception of the self, and retaining a conception of oneself as a moral agent, are well recognised.  In the face of these tensions, philosophers have sometimes been content to employ alternative vocabularies for dealing with moral appearances on the one hand, and bio-psycho-social realities on the other.  However, this strategy looks untenable in cases in which the very characterisation of a moral challenge requires the adoption of a scientific vocabulary (for example, with the challenges thrown up by new biotechnologies).  The aim of this project is to consider whether any notion of moral agency can be rendered consistent with a scientific conception of the self.

Specific project themes might include:
Whether recent forms of moral naturalism have the potential to reconcile moral realism with scientific realism.
Whether bioscience reveals, or could reveal, that moral agency is a myth.
Whether the retention of a viable notion of moral agency would impose principled limits on the epistemic authority of the sciences.
Whether the adoption of a bio-scientific self-conception promises to bolster, or undermine, moral autonomy.
Whether the adoption of a scientific self-conception has moral significance in and of itself, apart from its potential consequences.

Applicants should have, or expect to receive a minimum of UK 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area.   
Informal project related enquiries may be directed to Dr Peter Lucas email  Tel 01772 892548

Application Forms can be found at:
Completed application forms should be emailed to
The closing date for applications to the Graduate Research School Office:
Thursday 13 September 2012 12 Noon British Summer Time
Please note incomplete applications will not be processed