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  1. Tagung: Willensfreiheit und göttliches Handeln

    21. August - 23. August

Topics for a Doctorate at the IAP


At the moment there are two professors at the IAP who supervise doctoral research: Daniel von Wachter and Alexander Batthyany. Read below in which areas they supervise. If the topic of your choice is not within our own field of research, we might be able to find a suitable guest professor as second or, in some cases, first supervisor. Doctoral dissertations can be written in German or in English.

In general, the IAP favours research that is not primarily historical. So if you just want to investigate Hume or Hegel, the IAP might not be the best place for you. We want to train you to argue and to find and defend answers to philosophical questions. But a doctoral thesis can contain a significant amount of discussion of some ancient author. We will show you strategies to includes this in a philosophical dissertation. If you want to investigate little-known authors, we will try to find a specialist as a second supervisor.

Daniel von Wachter

Areas in which doctoral research is supervised:

Philosophy of Religion, for example: Arguments for or against the existence of God. The problem of evil (theodicy). Miracles. Could God be outside time? The Platonist versus the the personalist conception of God. Is God’s goodness compatible with his omnipotence? Are all duties based on divine commands? (voluntarism, Eutyphro dilemma, divine command theory) Is divine foreknowledge compatible with human freedom? Does God exist necessarily, and if so in which sense? Faith and reason. Life after death. Philosophical investigation of Christian doctrines, e.g. atonement (philosophical theology).

For suggestions about further topics, browse the category ‘philosophy of religion’ in and .

Metaphysics, for example causation; laws of nature; ontology, the problem of universals; free will; modality.

Philosophy of mind: Does man have a soul?

Ethics: metaethics, for example: ethical intuitionism; particularlism; values; Are there objective duties?

Epistemology: justification, probability, and certainty; internalism vs. externalism.

Below you find ancient authors whom you could investigate.

Alexander Batthyany

Philosophy of psychology, for example: the trait vs state debate; situationist and virtue ethics; artifacts in psychological research and theory; attitude-behaviour consistency; cognitive luck; introspection.

Existential psychology, for example: death attitudes and mortality awareness; terror management theory; Franklian psychology.

Theoretical and philosophical foundations of psychotherapy (especially logotherapy), for example: self-control and self-regulation; motivation and personality theories; meaning-orientation; precursors of personal maturity; self-focus; image of man in psychotherapy; logotherapy and existential analysis.

Philosophy of mind, for example: qualia and the hard problem; mental causation; free will; self and personal identity.

Ancient authors whom you could investigate in your thesis

17th century: protestant scholasticism (with a specialist on scholasticism as second supervisor); for example Nicolaus Taurellus (1547–1606); Christoph Scheibler (1589–1653); Cornelius Martini (1568–1621); Jakob Martini (1570–1649); Hugo Grotius (1583–1645); John Bramhall (1594–1663).

18th century: for example Christian Thomasius (1655–1728); Johann Franz Budde (1667–1729); Joachim Lange (1670–1744); Andreas Rüdiger (1673–1731); Samuel Clarke (1675–1729); Christian von Wolff (1679–1754); August Friedrich Müller (1684–1761); Johann Georg Walch (1693–1775); Martin Knutzen (1713–1751); Christian August Crusius (1715–1775); Benedikt Stattler (1728–1797); Samuel Clarke (1675–1729); Joseph Butler (1692–1752); George Campbell (1719–1796); William Paley (1743–1805); Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847).

19th century: for example Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841); Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848); Immanuel Hermann Fichte (1796–1879); Gustav Fechner (1801–1887); Hermann Ulrici (1806–1884); Rudolf Hermann Lotze (1817–1881); Gustav Teichmüller (1832–1888); Franz von Brentano (1838–1917); Ludwig Busse (1862–1907); Günther Jacoby (1881–1969).

The IAP has always continued the tradition of realist phenomenology and has a large library on this area. You can work on Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), Alexander Pfänder (1870–1941), Max Scheler (1874–1928), Adolf Reinach (1883–1917), Hedwig Conrad-Martius (1888–1966); Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889–1977); Edith Stein (1891–1942), Roman Ingarden (1893–1970).


Aktuelles Projekt: Die Offenheit des Universums für Willensfreiheit und Gottes Handeln

Dank der großzügigen Unterstützung der John Templeton Foundation findet von 2017 bis 2019 an der IAP das Projekt The Openness of the Universe for Free Will and Special Divine Action statt.

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