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Faculty of Divinity

Metaphysics of science
Theology of nature


William Simpson is a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of St Andrews. His research interests span philosophy, physics and theology. His current work is funded by the John Templeton Foundation as part of the international project, God and the book of nature.

William holds doctorates in both philosophy and physics. He obtained a PhD in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (2016-20), supported by a full doctoral scholarship from Peterhouse, and wrote a thesis on the metaphysics of science entitled, "What's the matter? Toward a neo-Aristotelian ontology of nature", for which he received an Expanded Reason Award. Prior to his 'conversion' to analytic philosophy, he obtained a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of St Andrews (2010-14), supported by a SUPA Prize full doctoral studentship, and wrote a thesis entitled, "Surprises in Theoretical Casimir Physics", for which he was awarded the Springer Thesis Prize.

William is an Associate Member of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. He was a visiting scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (2010-12). The profile picture was taken by Gillian Gamble.


Key publications: 

Edited volumes


Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature, W. M. R. Simpson, R.C Koons and J.Orr (Contributing Editors), Routledge, 2021. DOI: 10.4324/9781003125860

 neo Aristotelian

Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, William M. R. Simpson, R.C Koons and N. J. Teh (Contributing Editors), Routledge, 2017. DOI: 10.4324/9781315211626

quantum forces Forces of the Quantum Vacuum: an introduction to Casimir Physics, William M.R. Simpson, U. Leonhardt (Contributing Editors), World Scientific Publishing, 2015. DOI: 10.1142/9383


surprises casimir  Surprises in Theoretical Casimir Physics, William M.R. Simpson, Springer, 2014 

Select papers in philosophy

"Toppling the pyramids: physics without physical state monism" [with S.Horsley], in Time, Laws and Free Will, Springer, 2021 (forthcoming)

"From Quantum Physics to Classical Metaphysics", in Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature, Routledge, 2021, DOI: 10.4324/9781003125860-3

"Reflections on Science, Theology and the New Aristotelianism" [with R. Koons & J. Orr], in Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature, Routledge, 2021,  DOI: 10.4324/9781003125860-1.

"Cosmic Hylomorphism: a powerist ontology of quantum mechanics", European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 2021, DOI: 10.1007/s13194-020-00342-5

“What’s the matter with Super-Humeanism?”, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axz028

“Half-baked Humeanism”, in Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, Routledge, 2017. DOI: 10.4324/9781315211626-7

“Ontological aspects of the Casimir Effect”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2014.08.001

Select papers in physics

“Exact solution for the Casimir stress in a spherically symmetric medium” [with U. Leonhardt], Phys. Rev. D, 2011. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.081701

“Divergence of the Casimir stress in inhomogeneous media” [with S. Horsley & U. Leonhardt], Phys. Rev. A, 2013. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.87.043806

“Casimir forces at the cutting edge”, [with U. Leonhardt, R. Decca, & SY, Buhmann] in Forces of the Quantum Vacuum: an introduction to Casimir Physics. World Scientific, 2015.

Papers in theology

“Knowing nature”, in Knowing Creation, Eds. A. B. Torrance, T. H. McCall, Zondervan, 2017.

“The Significance of Andrew Perriman’s ‘Faith, Health and Prosperity’ in the Word of Faith Debate”, the Journal of Pentecostal Theology, Vol 16(1) 64-96.

Other publications: 


Book Review: "Reconsidering causal powers: historical and conceptual perspectives, Edited by B. Hill, H. Lagerlund, S. Psillos ", in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. DOI: 10.1080/09608788.2021.1921694

Book review: "Emergence Towards a New Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science, by M. Tabaczek", in The Thomist (forthcoming).

Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge
Research Associate, Divinity faculty, Cambridge
Honorary Research Fellow, University of St Andrews
Dr William  Simpson

Contact Details

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