Naturalness and rewilding – philosophy of conservation in the Anthropocene

Keywords : Environmental philosophy, Conservation sciences, Nature, Rewilding, Protected areas

Profile and skills required : M.A. (or similar) in philosophy with a specialization in philosophy of science or environmental philosophy.
A training or a strong interest in ecology or conservation biology
A taste for nature conservation issues and field working.
Working langage in French and English

Project description : Global changes are disrupting the traditional roles of protected areas and shake the tenuous balances established between societies and their environment to conserve nature. This PhD project will be hosted by an interdisciplinary team that brings together researchers in philosophy, geography, ecology and conservation biology. It wil question and reinvest the concepts of ‘naturalness’ and ‘wilderness’ in the context of the Anthropocene (Maris 2018) . The theoretical inquiry will be based on the empirical study of practical challenges faced by biodiversity managers as well as policy makers. Addressing the old philosophical issue of the human/nature relationships, this project is articulated at the interface between science, expertise and decision, in order to produce a useful reflection to think the adaptation of conservation strategies in the context of global changes. The PhD project will focus on how the ideas of rewilding and renaturalization are currently mobilized in the management of certain protected areas and on the link between these practical experiments and philosophical debates around the notions of ‘nature’, ‘naturalness’, ‘wildness’ and “wilderness”.

Funding : A PhD studentship for three years is already obtained (ANR)

Application : Send by email to before the 20th June 2019:
– A motivation letter
– A detailed curriculum vitae
– The grades for graduate studies
– One personal writing relevant to the research topic (published or unpublished essay, MA dissertation, non-academic writing…)
– Name and contact information of two potential referees

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