Alice Murphy


I'm a final year PhD student interested in the connections between the philosophy of science and the philosophy of art. My research focuses on the role of the imagination in science, particularly in thought experiments and modelling. I am supervised by Professor Steven French and Professor Aaron Meskin. As of January 2021, I’ll be a postdoctoral researcher at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU.


  • “Towards a Pluralist Account of the Imagination in Science”, Philosophy of Science, (forthcoming) preprint
  • "The Aesthetic and Literary Qualities of Scientific Thought Experiments", in French, S. and M. Ivanova (eds), Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding, Routledge (2020)
  • Beauty and the Scientific Imagination” blog post for The Junkyard (2019)


  • I am very thankful for a WRoCAH scholarship and a Jacobsen studentship for funding my PhD research
  • The Prize for Outstanding Performance in the MA in Philosophy, University of Warwick, 2015


  • I teach in the areas of Philosophy of Science, Aesthetics, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Introduction to Philosophy, and Ethics. 

Academic History

  • Graduate Research Trainee, McGill University, Mar-Apr 2018, supervised by Prof. David Davies
  • MA Philosophy (Distinction), University of Warwick, 2015
  • BA Philosophy (First), University of Bristol, 2014

Selected Talks

  • ‘Thought Experiments and the Value of Surprise’, Philosophy of Science Seminar, University of Bristol, Feb 2020
  • ‘The Value of Surprise in Science’, with Steven French, Leeds HPS WiP, Dec 2019
  • “Beauty and the Scientific Imagination”, Workshop on Imagination in Religion and Science, University of Georgia, Sep 2019
  • “Thought Experiments and the Aesthetics of Science”, BSPS Annual Conference, Durham, Jul 2019 and Auburn Aesthetics Forum, Auburn University, Sep 2019
  • "The Literary Form of Scientific Thought Experiments", White Rose Aesthetics Forum, Leeds, Jan 2019
  • "Thought Experiments and Mental Models", PSA Biannual Meeting, Seattle, Nov 2018
  • "Imagination in Science", with Steven French and Melanie Keene, The Forum for European Philosophy, LSE, Oct 2018
  • "Creativity in Scientific Thought Experiments", Creativity in Art, Science, and Mind, University of Cambridge, Jul 2018
  • "Thought Experiments, Computer Simulations and Novel Data", Univie Summer School/ Scientific World Conceptions, University of Vienna, Jul 2018
  • "Thought Experiments, the Imagination, and Surprise", Bridging the Gap: Scientific Imagination Meets Aesthetic Imagination, London School of Economics, Oct 2017 
  • "Irene Manton's Art and Science or, Other Ways of Looking at Nature", Lecture 16: HPS in 20 Objects public lecture series at the University of Leeds, (with Steven French and Nicola Williams), June 2017