James Ladyman
Honorary Visiting Professor



In 2005 I won the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Philosophy and Ethics. I was also awarded the Choice (American Library Association) Outstanding Academic Text Award for Understanding Philosophy of Science.

Between 2004 and 2011 I was co-editor (with Professor Alexander Bird) of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, for which I was previously a deputy editor and assistant editor.

I have also held the position of Honorary Secretary of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science from 2003-2007.



I am interested in most areas of philosophy, but my work has primarily been in philosophy of science. I have worked extensively on scientific realism, constructive empiricism, and structural realism (I made the distinction in my 1998 paper between epistemic and ontic forms of structural realism and I have defended the latter). I have also worked on scientific representation and more recently on physicalism, the relationship between the special sciences and physics, naturalised metaphysics, the philosophy of information and computation, and the philosophy of mathematics. I have always been interested in the philosophy of physics, especially quantum mechanics, and work specifically on identity and individuality in quantum mechanics and time-symmetric quantum mechanics.


  • I am currently trying to understand Quantum Field Theory.


Selected publications

  •  2013 (with J. Lambert & K. Wiesner), ‘What is a Complex System?’, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 3, pp. 33-67.
  • 2013 (with H. Kincaid & D. Ross), Scientific Metaphysics (Oxford, Oxford University Press).
  • 2013 (with A. Bird), Arguing about Science (Abingdon, Routledge).
  • 2013, ‘Towards a Demarcation of Science from Pseudoscience’, Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry (eds.), The Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (Chicago, University of Chicago Press).
  • 2012 (with S. French & O. Bueno), ‘Models and Structures: Phenomenological and Partial’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 43, pp. 43-46.
  • 2012, ‘Science, Metaphysics and Method’, Philosophical Studies, 160, pp. 31-51.
  • 2012 (with N. Bernstain), ‘Ontic Structural Realism and Modality’, Elaine Landry and Dean Rickles (eds), Structural Realism: Structure, Object and Causality (Dordrecht, Springer Dordrecht), pp. 149-168.
  • 2012 (with Oe. Linnebo and R. Pettigrew) ‘Identity and Indiscernibility in Philosophy and Logic’, Review of Symbolic Logic, 5, pp. 162-186
  • 2011, ‘Structural Realism versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air, Synthese, 180, pp. 87-101.
  • 2011 (with S. French), ‘In Defence of Ontic Structural Realism’, Alisa Bokulich and Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism (Dordrecht, Springer), pp. 25-42.

View James Ladyman's complete publications list on the University of Bristol webpage.

Contact details

Prof. James Ladyman
Honorary Visiting Professor