Academic Positions Europe

KU Leuven, Belgium

Kant’s Multi-Layered Account of the Imagination in the Critique of Pure Reason

(Ref. BAP-2016-635)

Occupation : Full-time
Period : Fixed-term contract extendable
Place : Leuven
Apply no later than : February 28, 2017
The Institute of Philosophy of KU Leuven is pleased to announce a 4-year Ph.D fellowship, fully funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). The candidate is to carry out the project ‘Kant’s Multi-Layered Account of the Imagination in the Critique of Pure Reason’ under the supervision of prof. dr. Karin de Boer.


The project is formally embedded within the Center for Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture and will be carried out within the context of the Leuven Research Group in Classical German Philosophy. Among many other activities, the group hosts the yearly Leuven Kant Conference.


The imagination is traditionally considered the capacity of the mind to make things present despite their actual absence. Since all knowledge requires that we retain the images of past things, any kind of knowledge can be said to rely on the imagination. Even though many philosophers have recognized this basic function of the imagination, most philosophical accounts of the way in which we come to know something are framed by the opposition between the senses and thought. This is true of classical empiricism and rationalism, but no less of the currently very vivid debate in Kant scholarship on the role of concepts in Kant’s theory of perception. At first sight, Kant seems to hold on to the opposition between sensibility and thought. Yet it gradually emerges from the Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) that, for him, any knowledge, whether empirical, mathematical or metaphysical, presupposes the imagination, which he regards as the capacity of the mind to unify representations in a way that is not purely intellectual. Kant scholars who have contributed to the so-called debate on non-conceptual content have largely eschewed the allegedly obscure account of the imagination in the CPR. The project aims to bring this account to bear on this debate so as to provide it with new conceptual resources and to move beyond the current divide between conceptualist and non-conceptualist readings of the CPR. This objective will be achieved by dissecting Kant’s account of the role played by the imagination in perception, empirical cognition, mathematics, and the apriori principles constitutive of any cognition of objects in the CPR and other relevant texts.

For more information, see 



  • MA in Philosophy
  • Knowledge ofKant’s philosophy
  • Independent and self-motivated
  • Excellent writing skills
  • A high level of proficiency in English and(preferably) German 

The candidate will carry out the project described below with the aim of publishing a doctoral thesis and presenting the results of her/his research in journals and at conferences. Candidates are expected to assist in the organization of workshops and/or conferences. They will be charged with minor teaching responsabilities (up to 2 hours a week during the academic year) and/or administrative tasks (up to 4 hours a week during the academic year). 

Duration: 2 years (extendable with another 2 years)

The KU Leuven pursues a policy of equal opportunity and diversity.


The Institute of Philosophy of KU Leuven has a very large international program, enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide, and was ranked 26 by the QS World University Ranking 2016. Leuven is an historic and vibrant city located in the heart of Belgium, 20 minutes from Brussels and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Karin de Boer at
You can apply for this job no later than February 28, 2017 via the online application tool
KU Leuven

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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