Alasdair Richmond is a threefold graduate of Aberdeen University and joined Philosophy at Edinburgh in September 2003. He has published on constructive empiricism, the Anthropic Principle, Doomsday arguments, Descartes' conception of immortality, time travel and the topology of time. Following research leave 2008-09 (part-funded by the AHRC), he is currently working on a book entitled 'Time Travel for Philosophers' and a series of related articles. Besides teaching epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of science, he was closely involved with the Higher Philosophy programme 1999-2003, conducting classes for pupils and Continuing Professional Development days for teachers from all over Scotland.
E.U.S.A. Teaching Recognition
- Winner: Campbell Award for Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2010-2011)
- Runner-up: Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award (2008-2009).
- Berkeley's "Principles of Human Knowledge": A Reader's Guide, (Continuum, hardcover and paperback, 2009): http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/berkeleys-principles-of-human-knowledge-9781441119841/
- 'Time Travel, Hyperspace and Cheshire Cats', forthcoming in Synthese: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11229-017-1448-2.
- 'On Behalf of Spore Gods', Analysis, January 2017: https://academic.oup.com/analysis/article/77/1/98/3077160/On-behalf-of-spore-gods?guestAccessKey=187b4055-5e54-4a3c-82f4-1fbeaab35381.
- 'Why Doomsday Arguments Are Better Than Simulation Arguments', forthcoming in Ratio. DOI: http://10.1111/rati.12135
- 'Achilles, the Tortoise and the Time Machine: A Carrollian Dialogue', forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophical Research. DOI: http://10.5840/jpr201682391
- 'Hilbert's Inferno: Time Travel for the Damned', Ratio, 26, 2013: 233-49. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rati.12012
- 'Time Travel, Parahistory and the Past Artefact Dilemma', Philosophy, 85, 2010: 369-73. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819110000197
'Doomsday, Bishop Ussher and Simulated Worlds', Ratio, 21, 2008: 201-17. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9329.2008.00395.x
- 'Recent Work: The Doomsday Argument', Philosophical Books, 47, 2006: 129-42. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0149.2006.00392.x
- 'Immortality and Doomsday', American Philosophical Quarterly, 41 2004: 235-247. Stable JSTOR URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20010159
- 'Gödelian Time-Travel and Anthropic Cosmology', Ratio, 17, 2004, 176-190. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9329.2004.00246.x
- 'Recent Work: Time Travel', Philosophical Books, 44, 2003: 297-309. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0149.00308
- 'Time-Travel Fictions and Philosophy', The American Philosophical Quarterly, 38, 2001: 305-18. Stable JSTOR URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20010046
- 'Plattner's Arrow: Science and Multi-Dimensional Time', Ratio, 13, 2000: 256-74. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9329.00126
- 'Epicurean Evolution and the Anthropic Principle', The American Philosophical Quarterly, 37, 2000: 149-61. Stable JSTOR URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20009993
- 'Between Abduction and the Deep Blue Sea', The Philosophical Quarterly, 49, 1999: 86-91. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9213.00131
- Chapter 'Time travel and metaphysics' and Hume section of chapter 'Should you believe what you hear?' in Philosophy for Everyone, co-authored by Matthew Chrisman, Duncan Pritchard, Jane Suilin Lavelle, Michela Massimi, Alasdair Richmond and Dave Ward, Routledge, September 2013, http://188.8.131.52/books/details/9780415719476/
- 'Hume on Miracles' (with Duncan Pritchard), The Bloomsbury (forrmerly Continuum) Companion to Hume, editors Alan Bailey and Dan O'Brien, (Continuum 2012, Bloomsbury 2015): 227-244, http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-continuum-companion-to-hume-9780826443595/
- 'The Simulation Argument and Simulation Hypotheses', chapter in Philosophy Through Science Fiction: A Coursebook With Readings, (edited by Ryan Nichols, Routledge, 2008): 107-19, http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/books/details/9780415957557/
- 'Time Travel', Oxford Bibliographies Online. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0295.xml?rskey=5SopYQ&result=247
- 'The Anthropic Principle', Oxford Bibliographies Online. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0135.xml
- 'Space and Time', Oxford Bibliographies Online. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0115.xml
- 'Time Travel Testimony and the 'John Titor' Fiasco', THINK: The Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 26, 2010: 7-20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1477175610000266
- 'Tom Baker: His Part in My Downfall – A Philosopher's Guide to Time Travel', THINK: The Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal, Vol. 7, Issue 19, 2008: 35-46. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1477175608000043
- 'Apocalypse Now does The Matrix: Anthropic Adventures from Doomsday to Simulation', THINK: The Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal, Vol. 6, Issues 17-18, 2008: 29-40. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1477175600002955
- Peter Kail, 'Berkeley's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge: An Introduction', The Philosophical Quarterly, 2016.
- Bede Rundle, 'Time, Space, and Metaphysics'. Analysis Reviews, 71, 2011: 391-393.
- Stephen H. Daniel (ed.), 'New Interpretations of Berkeley's Thought' and 'Reexamining Berkeley's Philosophy', British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 18, 2010: 724-26.
- Craig Callender (ed.), 'Time, Reality, and Experience', Philosophical Books, 45, 2004: 358-59.
- Barry Dainton, 'Time and Space', Philosophical Books, 44, 2003: 72-3.
- 'Artificial Horizons: Local and Global Anti-Realism', Philosophical Writings, 11, 1999: 3-9.
- 'Abductive Anti-Realism in Science', Philosophical Writings, 7, 1998: 31-41.
- 'Symmetry, Evolution and Realism', Philosophical Writings, 5, 1997: 45-62.
- 'Signs and Spaces: Berkeley and Newton's Dynamics', Philosophical Writings, 4, 1997: 5-25.
All published in Cathexis (Aberdeen University Postgraduate Philosophy Journal), which is long-since defunct so the following link to PDFs on my Dropbox:
- 'Uroboros: Time-travel, Causal Loops and Explanation', (May 1997). https://www.dropbox.com/s/xsxw5f54k5stbsp/Uroboros.pdf
- 'Objectivity and Epistemic Privilege', (November 1996). https://www.dropbox.com/s/8hg4t85st2p97ck/object03.pdf
- 'Berkeley in Flatland: Sight and Geometry in Two Dimensions', (October 1996). https://www.dropbox.com/s/5trr26x6udl355i/Berkeley%20in%20Flatland%20.pdf?dl=0
Public Talks, Interviews, Media, etc.
- Talk on 'Time Travel: Possibilities and Paradoxes', Edinburgh Café Scientifique, May 25th 2009.
- Interview on time and quantum theory for installation project 'Classical Reality is Only an Approximation' by Noreen Jennison at Art, Space and Nature Studio, Edinburgh College of Art, 13-28th June 2009.
- Interview on time travel for short film 'Gödelian City', part of architectural diploma project by Ben Carter Townsend, 9th February 2010, http://vimeo.com/13096257
- Interview/talk on time travel for 'Erratic Thinking', weekly radio show and podcast on Philosophy, February 12th 2010. http://erratic-thinking.blogspot.co.uk/ To download talk as an MP3 file, follow link here: https://app.box.com/shared/t0dlrgo8q2
- Talk to Edinburgh Skeptics on time travel, as part of the Free Fringe, 18th August 2013.
Articles on ‘The Conversation’
- Might some of Doctor Who actually be possible?, November 21st 2013
- Interstellar gives a spectacular view of hard science, November 10th 2014
- Terminator Genisys and the mind-bending world of alternative history, July 8th 2015
Course organiser for 'Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment'.
Open Day Co-Ordinator.
Metaphysics, history of (particularly early modern) philosophy, philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of religion.
Current Honours courses
- 'British Idealism and Immaterialism' (PHIL10111)
- 'Philosophical Issues in Evolution' (PHIL10106)
- 'Philosophy of Time' (PHIL10113)
- 'Philosophy of Time Travel' (PHIL10125)
No office hours 1st July 2016 to June 30th 2017 (on research leave) - please e-mail for appointment.
Areas of interest for supervision
I'm happy to consider supervisions for undergraduates or postgraduates (either Masters or PhD.) in any of the areas listed above under 'Research Interests' but I particularly welcome the chance to supervise dissertations on topics centred around time and time travel.
Current PhD students supervised
Metaphysics (especially time and space), philosophy of science, the British empiricists (especially Hume on miracles).