Prof Alastair Wilson


I'm a philosopher at the University of Birmingham, working on metaphysics and the philosophy of science, with particular interests in the metaphysics of modality and dependence, Everettian quantum mechanics, explanation, chance and laws of nature. Before joining Birmingham, I took the B.Phil and D.Phil at Oxford, and spent 18 months as a post-doc at Monash. In 2017-8 I was President of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science, and in 2018-19 I was Honorary Secretary of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science. I'm currently a Managing Editor of the open-access journal Ergo. You can email me at .

A Framework for Metaphysical Explanation in Physics (FraMEPhys): ERC Project 2018-2023

The Nature of Contingency: Quantum Physics as Modal Realism, Oxford University Press, 2020.

The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Forthcoming with Routledge, July 2021.

Co-edited with Eleanor Knox (King's)

Now available to pre-order: Routledge - Amazon - Google

Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Contributors: David Z. Albert, Alexander Bird, Antony Eagle, Mathias Frisch, Alan Hájek, Toby Handfield, Carl Hoefer, Aidan Lyon, Christopher J. G. Meacham, L. A. Paul, Wolfgang Schwarz, David Wallace, Brad Weslake, Jessica Wilson, Alastair Wilson.

Reviews: Nina Emery, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews; Craig Callender, Australasian Journal of Philosophy; Patricia Palacios, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.

Online Research

[click title for postprint pdf; click journal name for published version.]

"Counterpossible Reasoning in Physics". Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science 88(5), Dec 2021.

"Plenitude and Recombination". Forthcoming in David Lewis: A Historical Perspective, eds. Helen Beebee and Anthony Fisher, Oxford University Press, 2022.

"Explanations of and in Time". Forthcoming in Philosophy Beyond Spacetime, eds. Chris Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan and Nick Huggett, Oxford University Press, Aug 2021.

"Classifying Dependencies". In The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space and Time, eds. David Glick, George Darby and Anna Marmodoro, Oxford University Press, 2020.

"Causation, Explanation, and the Metaphysics of Aspect, by Bradford Skow" (Review), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2019.

"Making Things Up, by Karen Bennett" (Review), Mind 128(510): 588-600, 2019.

"Metaphysical Causation", Noûs 52(4): 723-751, 2018.

"Grounding Entails Counterpossible Non-Triviality", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96(3): 716-728, 2018.

"The Quantum Revolution in Philosophy, by Richard Healey" (Review), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2018.

"Super-Humeanism: Insufficiently Naturalistic and Insufficiently Explanatory", Metascience 27(3): 427-431, 2018.

"Skow on the Passage of Time", Analysis 78(1): 117-128, 2018. Skow's reply.

"How Physics Might Undercut Fine-Tuning". Draft of 30/04/2018, now superseded by "Anthropic Contingency", chapter 6 of The Nature of Contingency.

"The Magic of Mirrors" (with Aaron Sloman).

"Bradley on Chance, Admissibility, and the Mind of God". Discussion of Darren Bradley's reply to my "Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty".

"The Quantum Doomsday Argument", The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68(2): 597-617, 2017.

"Chance and Context" (with Toby Handfield). In Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, Oxford University Press, 2014.

"Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty", The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65(3): 573-598, 2014.

"Quitting Certainties: A Bayesian Framework Modeling Degrees of Belief, by Michael Titelbaum" (Review), in The British Journal for Philosophy of Science 65(4):887-891, 2014.

"Metaphysics and Science, eds. Mumford & Tugby" (Review), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2014.

"Objective Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics", The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64(4): 709-737, 2013.

"Schaffer on Laws of Nature", Philosophical Studies 164(3): 653-667, 2013.

"The Emergent Multiverse: Quantum Theory according to the Everett Interpretation, by David Wallace" (Review), Metascience 22(3): 583-586, 2013.

"Mind, Meaning, and Reality, by Hugh Mellor" (Review), Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91(3): 626-627, 2013.

"Everettian Quantum Mechanics Without Branching Time", Synthèse 188(1): 67-84, 2012.

"The Human Story Behind Everettian Quantum Mechanics" (Review), Metascience 21(1): 143-146, 2012.

"Macroscopic Ontology in Everettian Quantum Mechanics", Philosophical Quarterly 61(243): 363–382, 2011.

"Modality: Metaphysics, Logic and Epistemology, eds. Hale & Hoffman" (Review), Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89(4): 755-756, 2011.

"Disagreement, Equal Weight, and Commutativity", Philosophical Studies 149(3): 321-326, 2010.

"Disposition-manifestations and Reference-frames", dialectica 63(4): 591-601, 2009.

Online Talks

Video - "Substantive Discovery in Naturalistic Modal Metaphysics", Bristol, 2020.

Video - "Quantum Metaphysics", Edinburgh, 2020.

Video - "Plenitude and Recombination", Manchester, 2019.

Video - "Counterpossible Reasoning in Physics", Birmingham, 2019.

Video - "Emergent Contingency", Edinburgh, 2016.

Video - "Emergent Spacetime: Grounded or Caused?", Chicago, 2016.

Video - "Metaphysical Causation", Edinburgh, 2015.

Audio - "Quidditism and Modal Methodology", Oxford, 2013.

Video - "Quantum Mechanics and the Metaphysics of Many Worlds", St Andrews, 2012.