Billy Wheeler, PhD

Billy Wheeler, PhD

Program Director of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Science and Society

College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Billy Wheeler is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Science and Society. Originally from the UK, he completed his BA in Philosophy at King’s College London (2003-2006) and his MPhil (2006-2007) and PhD (2007-2013) in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Wheeler’s interests are interdisciplinary and lie at the intersection of philosophy, science and technology. He is particularly interested in the metaphysical and epistemological aspects of computing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. He is the author of a number of papers in this area as well as the book Idealization and the Laws of Nature, which was published by Springer in 2018. Currently, Dr. Wheeler is interested in comparing Western and Eastern philosophical approaches to science, especially from the perspectives of Buddhism and Daoism.

Before joining VinUniversity, Dr. Wheeler was Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy (Zhuhai) at Sun Yat-Sun University, China (2017-2020) and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London (2016-2017).

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  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics
  • General Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Computing and AI
  • Applied Ethics
  • Asian Philosophy


  • Scientific Method and Rationality
  • Realism and Antirealism
  • The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
  • Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • Citizen Science and Public Communication
  • Ethics of Emerging Technologies


  1. Wheeler, B. (2023) “Ethics of AI and Robotics in Public Health: An East Asian Perspective”. In: Liamputtong, P. (eds) Handbook of Social Sciences and Global Public Health. Springer, Cham.
  2. Wheeler, B. (2022) “Confucianism and the Ethics of Social Robots in Eldercare” Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, vol. 366, pp. 276-285.
  3. Wheeler, B. (2022) “How Realist is Informational Structural Realism?” Synthese. Forthcoming.
  4. Wheeler, B. (2022) “Wong, Pak-Hang, and Tom Xiaowei WANG, eds., Harmonious Technology: A Confucian Ethics of Technology” Dao vol. 21, pp. 497–502
  5. Wheeler, B. (2022) “The Motherboard of Myriad Things: Daoism, Zhuangzi, and the Internet” Asian Studies vol. 10 no. 1, pp. 425-446
  6. Wheeler, B. (2022) “Causation in a Virtual World: A Mechanistic Approach” Philosophy and Technology vol. 35 no. 1, pp. 1-26
  7. Wheeler, B. (2020) “Idealization, Scientific Realism, and the Improvement Model of Confirmation” Science and Philosophy vol. 8 no. 2, pp. 7-15
  8. Wheeler, B. (2020) “Truth Tracking and Knowledge from Virtual Reality” Logos and Episteme vol. 11 no. 3, pp. 369-388.
  9. Wheeler, B. (2020) “Reliabilism and the Testimony of Robots” Techne: Research in Philosophy and Technology, vol. 24, no. 3, 2020, pp. 332-356.
  10. Wheeler, B., (2019) “Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds by M. Silcox (ed.) 2017,” Philosophy in Review, vol 39, no. 4, pp. 209-211.
  11. Wheeler, B. (2019) “Computer Simulations in Metaphysics: Possibilities and Limitations”, Manuscrito, vol. 42, no. 3, 2019, pp. 108-148.
  12. Wheeler, B. (2019) “Compressibility and the Algorithmic Theory of Laws,” Principia, vol. 23, no. 3, 2019, pp. 461–485
  13. Wheeler, B. (2018) “How to Find Productive Causes in Big Data: An Information-Transmission Account”, Filozofia Nauki, vol. 26, no. 4, 2018, pp. 5-28.
  14. Wheeler, B. (2018) Idealization and the Laws of Nature, London: Springer.
  15. Wheeler, B. (2017) “Giving Robots a Voice: Testimony, Intentionality and the Law”, in S. Thomson (ed.) Handbook of Research on Androids, Cyborgs and Robots in Contemporary Culture and Society. Hershey, PA: Ideas Group, Inc. 2017, pp. 1-34.
  16. Wheeler, B. (2017) “Humeanism and Exceptions in the Fundamental Laws of Nature,” Principia, vol. 21, no. 3, 2017, pp. 317-337.
  17. Wheeler, B.(2016) “Simplicity, Language-Dependency and the Best System Account of Laws,” Theoria: An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, vol. 31, no. 2, 2016, pp. 189-206.


  • VinUniversity Faculty of the Year Award 2023
  • Sun Yat-Sen University Early Career Research Grant
  • University of Minho Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society Honorary Research Fellowship
  • University College London Honorary Research Fellowship
  • Institute of Education PGCE Training Studentship
  • UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award
  • UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Masters Award
  • King’s College London Simon Daly Award for Philosophy