Professor Alastair Wilson BA, BPhil, DPhil (Oxon)

Professor Alastair Wilson

Department of Philosophy
Professor of Philosophy

Contact details

ERI Building, University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I’m a philosopher focusing on research in metaphysics and philosophy of physics. I also have research interests in epistemology and philosophy of science. For more information please visit my personal website.


  • BA in Physics & Philosophy (Oxford, 2005)
  • BPhil in Philosophy (Oxford, 2007)
  • DPhil in Philosophy (Oxford, 2011)


After completing undergraduate and graduate studies at various Oxford colleges, I spent a year and a half in Australia as a post-doc at Monash University, before joining Birmingham in 2012. My doctoral thesis was on the metaphysics of Everettian (many-worlds) quantum mechanics, and this line of thought culminated in my 2020 book The Nature of Contingency. More recently I have worked on explanation and dependence in physics and metaphysics as part of my ERC-funded project FraMEPhys, with a book manuscript in progress on metaphysical explanation in physics. I have also worked on laws of nature, chance, properties, causation, counterfactuals, and the epistemology of disagreement and of self-locating beliefs. I was President of the Society for Metaphysics of Science in 2017-18 and Honorary Secretary of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science in 2018-19. I remain on the SMS and BSPS committees, and am also a member of the climate task force of the Philosophy of Science Association and a Trustee of the Philosophy of Physics Association. I am Philpapers editor for the categories 'Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics' and 'Theories of Modality', and a managing editor of the open-access journal Ergo.


I'm currently teaching Early Modern Philosophy and Elements of Logic and Metaphysics to second year undergraduates, and Philosophy of Science to third years.

Postgraduate supervision

Prof Wilson has particular interests in the following topics:

Everettian Quantum Mechanics
Self-locating belief
Space and time

Prof Wilson is happy to supervise or co-supervise graduates in most areas of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science and philosophy of physics.

Find out more - our PhD Philosophy  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.



Highlight publications

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

Wilson, A 2018, 'Metaphysical Causation', Noûs, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 723-751.

Wilson, A 2020, Classifying Dependencies. in D Glick, G Darby & A Marmodoro (eds), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space and Time. Oxford University Press, pp. 46.

Wilson, A & Handfield , T 2014, Chance and Context. in A Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press, pp. 19-44.

Recent publications


Bryant, A & Wilson, A 2022, Modal Naturalism. Cambridge University Press.


Wilson, A 2022, 'Necessity first', Argumenta, no. 14.

Wilson, A & Robertson, K 2022, 'Theoretical Relicts: Progress, Reduction, and Autonomy', The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

Wilson, A 2021, 'Counterpossible Reasoning in Physics', Philosophy of Science, vol. 88, no. 5, pp. 1113-1124.

Hicks, M & Wilson, A 2021, 'How chance explains', Noûs.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Wilson, A 2022, Fundamentality and levels in Everettian quantum mechanics. in V Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality: Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy. 1 edn, Synthese Library, vol. 460, Springer, pp. 397-415.

Wilson, A 2022, Plenitude and recombination. in H Beebee & A Fisher (eds), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford University Press, pp. 41-65. <>

Wilson, A 2021, Explanations of and in Time. in C Wüthrich, B Le Bihan & N Huggett (eds), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime: Implications from Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 182-198. <>

Wilson, A 2020, Anthropic Contingency. in The Nature of Contingency: Quantum Physics as Modal Realism. Oxford University Press, pp. 185.


Knox, E & Wilson, A (eds) 2021, The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. Routledge Philosophy Companions, 1st edn, Routledge.

Book/Film/Article review

Wilson, A 2022, 'Review of Esfeld and Deckert (2018), A Minimalist Ontology of the Natural World', Dialectica, vol. 74, no. 3, pp. 1-7.

Wilson, A 2019, 'Causation, Explanation, and the Metaphysics of Aspect, by Bradford Skow', Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. <>

Wilson, A 2019, 'Making Things Up, by Karen Bennett', Mind, vol. 128, no. 510, pp. 588–600.

Wilson, A 2018, 'Super-Humeanism: Insufficiently Naturalistic and Insufficiently Explanatory', Metascience, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 427-431.

Wilson, A 2018, 'The Quantum Revolution in Philosophy, by Richard Healey', Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. <>

View all publications in research portal