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Dr William Simpson

Research Assistant Professor

Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy


William Simpson is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University, where he holds an Early Career Leverhulme Fellowship for a project called "Minding your matter". He is also a Research Fellow of Blackfriars, Oxford* and a Research Associate of St Edmund's College, Cambridge*. (*Non-stipendiary appointments.)

Simpson's research lies at the intersection of philosophy and physics, overspilling into the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of religion. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Cambridge (2020), and a doctorate in physics from the University of St Andrews (2014). He was awarded the Cardinal Mercier Prize in Philosophy in 2021, and received an Expanded Reason Award in 2020. He was a Visiting Fellow at the St Cross Centre for History and Philosophy of Physics, Oxford in 2023, and a Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford in 2023-4.

For more information about his current work, including an up-to-date list of publications, visit Dr Simpson’s Academia page or his personal website.

Work in Progress

“The Limits of Quantum Physics and the Emergence of Complexity” with George F. R. Ellis (under contract with Cambridge University Press)

“Cosmopsychism and the Laws of Physics: A Hylomorphic Perspective”, Journal of Consciousness Studies, forthcoming

“Priming Prime Matter: a Theory of Bare Particulars” with R. Koons (invited by Res Philosophica)

“Matter and Form in Polanyi’s Post-Critical Platonism” (invited by Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical)

“Powerist and Nomological Interpretations of Quantum Theory” (invited by Philosophy Compass)

“Prime Matter Revisited” in Thomism Revisited, G. Kerr (Ed.), Cambridge University Press, forthcoming


Research interests

  • Philosophy of physics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion

Esteem Indicators

  • 2021: Cardinal Mercier Prize in Philosophy: Jointly awarded by The Institut supérieur de philosophie (ISP) of UCLouvain and the Hoger Instituut Voor Wijsbegeerte (HIW) of KU Leuven.
  • 2020: Expanded Reason Award: Jointly awarded by Universidad Francisco de Vitoria and The Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, 2020.
  • 2014: Springer Thesis Prize in Physics: Nominated by the Weizmann Institute of Science.


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article