Peter J. Lewis

Academic Appointments
  • Chair, Department of Philosophy

  • Professor of Philosophy

Peter Lewis received his B.A. in Physics from Oxford University and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. His research interests center on philosophy of physics, in particular the foundations of quantum mechanics. Should we think of quantum mechanics as decribing the world? If so, what kind of description does it suggest, and in what ways does it conflict with our common sense conception? If not, what is the role of quantum mechanics, and how does this reflect the nature of scientific theories in general? He is also interested in various other issues concerning the nature of belief, scientific and otherwise. Should we regard scientific theories as true, even in the face of so many false theories in the history of science? How does evidence (particularly statistical evidence) confirm scientific theories? Under what circumstances is evidence misleading? How should we judge the overall accuracy of a set of beliefs?


Thornton, Room 212
HB 6035




  • Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
  • M.A. University of California, Irvine
  • B.A. Brasenose College, Oxford University

Selected Publications

  • Books:

    Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press (2016).


    (with Don Fallis), "Toward a Formal Analysis of Deceptive Signaling", Synthese 196: 2279–2303 (2019).

    "Quantum Mechanics, Emergence, and Fundamentality", Philosophica 92: 53–75 (2017).

    "Holism and Time Symmetry", Quanta 5: 95–92 (2016).

    (with Don Fallis), "The Brier Rule is Not a Good Measure of Epistemic Utility (and Other Useful Facts about Epistemic Betterness)", Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94: 576–590 (2016).

    "In Search of Local Beables", International Journal of Quantum Foundations 1: 215–229 (2015).

    "Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics", in J. Fieser and B. Dowden (eds.), The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2015).

    "Measurement and Metaphysics", in S. Gao (ed.), Protective Measurement and Quantum Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 93–106 (2014).

    "Retrocausal Quantum Mechanics: Maudlin's Challenge Revisited", Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44: 442–449 (2013).

    "The Doomsday Argument and the Simulation Argument", Synthese 190: 4009–4022 (2013).

    "Dimension and Illusion", in A. Ney and D. Albert (eds.), The Wave Function. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 110–125 (2013).

    "Conspiracy Theories of Quantum Mechanics", British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57: 359–381 (2006).

    "Why the Pessimistic Induction is a Fallacy", Synthese 129: 371–380 (2001).

    "What is it Like to be Schrödinger's cat?", Analysis 60.1: 22–29 (2000).

    "Quantum Mechanics, Orthogonality and Counting", British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48: 313–328 (1997).