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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

Studying at Cambridge


Dr William Simpson

Dr William Simpson

Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge

Research Associate, Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge

Honorary Research Fellow, University of St Andrews


William Simpson joined the VHI in 2020. He is a Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of St Andrews. He is also a Research Associate of the Divinity Faculty, Cambridge, and 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).

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.

Research Interests

William's 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'.

Key Publications

Edited volumes

  • Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature, William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons, James Orr (Contributing Editors), Routledge, 2021
  • Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons and Nicholas J. Teh (Contributing Editors), Routledge, 2017.
  • Forces of the Quantum Vacuum: an introduction to Casimir Physics, William M.R. Simpson, U. Leonhardt (Contributing Editors), World Scientific Publishing, 2015.


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

Select papers

  • "What’s the matter with Super-Humeanism?", W.M.R. Simpson, British  Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2019.
  • "Half-baked Humeanism", in Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, Eds. W.M.R. Simpson, R.C. Koons, N. J. Teh, Routledge, 2017.
  • "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", Journal of Pentecostal Theology, 16(1), 64-96.


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