PhD Position for the Project "The Limits of Factive Knowability"
KU Leuven Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science



The Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS) at the Institute of Philosophy (KU Leuven) focuses on logic and philosophy of science, with a special concentration on the philosophy of special sciences, but also on (formal) epistemology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. The members of CLPS work within the tradition of analytic philosophy. The Centre actively cooperates with researchers from other disciplines, from other universities, and from other countries.



Famously, the Church-Fitch paradox of knowability is a deductive argument from the thesis that all truths are knowable to the conclusion that all truths are known. In the argument knowability is analyzed in terms of having the counterfactual possibility to know, which is a non-factive notion, i.e., a notion that does not imply truth. Several philosophers claim that, if the knowability thesis is reformulated with the help of factive concepts of knowability, then omniscience can be avoided. A factive notion of knowability is one that implies truth. In this project we will research different notions of factive knowability, relating these to non-factive epistemic -ability concepts, while taking into account general theories of so-called 'blankables' (e.g., 'thinkable'). Where needed, formal models will be constructed. Then we will investigate whether actual omniscience and possible omniscience, i.e., the existence of a 'state' at which every truth is known, can be avoided. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the limits of knowledge.


The candidate must 
  • either have a Master’s degree in philosophy (MA Philosophy) and must have obtained this Master’s degree in philosophy with an overall percentage of at least 75% 
  • or the candidate must have a Master's degree in Logic and must have obtained this degree with an overall percentage of at least 75%. 
Together with the future supervisor the candidate requests admission from the doctoral committee to enrol as a PhD researcher. An additional necessary condition for admission is the approval by the doctoral committee of a research proposal which was already approved by the supervisor and is submitted with the supervisor’s consent. The doctoral committee judges every application for admission on the basis of an evaluation of the entire application file. The decisive criteria in that evaluation are the estimated research potential, and the quality of the candidate and his or her research proposal.


We offer a full-time PhD position for four years. The starting date is any time between the date of admission into the doctoral programme and the end of the calendar year. 
We offer an attractive wage and a budget for research expenses (including small equipment, travel and accommodation costs, the organisation of events). 


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jan Heylen, tel.: +32 16 37 68 67, mail: or dr. Lorenz Demey, tel.: +32 16 32 88 55, mail:


You can apply for this job no later than August 15, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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