PhD scholarship in Chinese-Western Comparative Epistemology; at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

We invite applications from prospective PhD students to work on the research topic below. The scholarship will run over 4 years, and the following will be provided:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • AUD$40,000 p.a. stipend (tax-free)
  • Up to AUD$10,000 p.a. career development funds

PhD Research Project Title
Epistemology enlarged: knowledge as practice in Chinese and Western philosophy

Project Description
What is it to know? How does having or possessing knowledge enhance action? Different traditions might answer these questions differently. This project in comparative and systematic epistemology examines the nature of knowledge in the Chinese and Western philosophical traditions. For example, does Western philosophy lean toward studying the possession of knowledge, with the Chinese being more focused on knowledge as practice? If so, how does this impact on the way each tradition thinks about human learning, conduct and achievement? The project aims to improve our understanding of knowledge and practice by engaging these historically and geopolitically important traditions of thought.

The ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree with a major in philosophy. Familiarity with key questions in epistemology and the Chinese philosophical traditions is essential. He or she will have high-level analytical skills including: the ability to conceptualise complex ideas and theories; a capacity to work with both primary and secondary texts and to assess their ideas; and the ability to position one’s own view within the background of scholarly research. The ideal candidate must be able to read classical Chinese texts from the pre-Qin (pre-3rd c BCE) period. Applications from candidates also familiar with Han period texts (between 3rd c BCE and 3rd c CE) are particularly welcome.

Supervisory team
A/Prof Karyn Lai
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Prof Stephen Hetherington
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Prof Yong Huang
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Application Process

  1. Interested applications must read the scholarship guidelines to determine their eligibility:
  2. An expression of interest (EoI) and CV should be sent to A/Prof Karyn Lai (k.lai [at] by Friday 29th June 2018 (Australian EST 1700h).
  3. The EoI should address two questions:(a) the applicant’s relevant experience enabling them to conduct research on this topic (max 200 words) and(b) the applicant’s reasons for wanting to work on this project (max 200 words).
  4. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited (in the first week of July) to lodge a formal application. Closing date for the formal application is Friday 20th July (Australian EST).

Interested prospective applicants, you may get in touch with Karyn Lai if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Karyn Lai

Karyn Lai, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Coordinator, Postgraduate Research
School of Humanities and Languages
University of New South Wales
NSW 2052

Tel: +61-2-9385 1194
Fax: +61-2-9385 1029

Editor, Chinese Comparative Philosophy, Philosophy Compass
Associate Editor, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Assistant editor, Sophia: International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysical Theology and Ethics
Section co-editor (Chinese philosophy), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy