Three to Four Year Postdoctoral Position at Vrije Universiteit Brussel with Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne, Research Project: ‘An Integrated Study of Isaac Newton’s Methods’.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: November 8, 2020

Project Description

The postdoctoral research project ‘An Integrated Study of Isaac Newton’s Methods’ will focus on the potential interaction between the different methods which Isaac Newton used in his work. Newton is often celebrated as one of the most important physicists in the history of science. However, Newton was not only an innovative physicist and mathematician, he also developed new methodological instruments. Ever since I.B. Cohen’s seminal study The Newtonian Revolution, scholarly attention has been devoted to Newton’s natural philosophical methods, and especially to his so-called ‘Principia-style’ methodology. More recently, scholars including Raquel Delgado-Moreira, Rob Iliffe, Mordechai Feingold and Jed Z. Buchwald, and William R. Newman have unearthed and studied the methods on which Newton relied in his chronological work, in his work on Church history, in his prophetical work, and in his alchemical work. As it stands, we lack a comprehensive historical and systematic analysis of Newton’s methods, and we do not fully know whether the different methods which Newton pursued in different areas of research interacted or not. This research project will provide a integrated study of Newton’s methods, which means that the development of the methods which he used in different areas of research will be studied jointly so that claims can be developed about their potential interaction. The postdoctoral researcher will work closely with the supervisor, Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne, and with a doctoral student who is currently preparing a PhD on the development of Newton’s methods in his optical work. The research areas that will be studied (chronology, alchemy, Church History, prophesy, etc.) will depend on the researcher’s expertise. The duration of the research project and the salary will depend on the seniority of the candidate.

Job Profile and Requirements

* The candidate has a strong interest in the history of science, research methods, Isaac Newton, and he or she has expertise that is relevant to the research topic.
* The candidate has published in international journals and he or she has presented his or her research at international conferences.
* The candidate holds a PhD degree.
* The candidate is able to independently read and translate Latin and has excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
* The candidate is an enthusiastic team player, self-propelling and committed to becoming an active member of the Centre for Logic and Philosophy Science.
* The candidate is willing to travel abroad.
* Female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Applications are welcomed in English. Please send:
(1) a cover letter describing your interest in and suitability for this postdoctoral fellowship;
(2) a full curriculum vitae (including a. a copy of your PhD diploma, b. an copy of your PhD dissertation, and c. one or two (un)published writing samples); and
(3) two letters of recommendation
to before Sunday 8 November 2020. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed (online, if necessary).

For more information, please contact Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne at

Posted: July 15, 2020