Alice Murphy


I'm a third-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 Prof. Steven French and Prof. Aaron Meskin.

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


  • I am very thankful to WRoCAH for awarding me an AHRC scholarship for the duration of my PhD
  • The Prize for Outstanding Performance in the MA in Philosophy, University of Warwick, 2015


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


  • “Thought Experiments and the Aesthetics of Science”, BSPS, Durham, Jul 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 and the Scientific Imagination", HPS WiP Series, University of Leeds, Apr 2018
  • "What's the Nature of the Imagination in Scientific Reasoning?", McGill Philosophy Workshop Series, McGill University, Apr 2018
  • "The Scientific Imagination", WRoCAH annual conference, University of York, Oct 2017
  • "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
  • "Thought Experiments and Computer Simulations in Science", Leeds PG WiP Seminar, May 2017


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