School of Histories, Languages and Cultures

WILSON, Dr Dawn M. (née Phillips)

BA (Hons.), MA, PhD (Durham), PGCHE, FHEA


Dawn Wilson

Lecturer in Philosophy

Tel: +44(0)1482 465184
Office: Wilberforce 214

Personal Website

LinkedIn Profile Profile


Dawn joined the University in October 2011, having previously worked at St Anne's College, Oxford and the Universities of Warwick, Southampton, Kent and University College Cork. Her main areas of research interest are:

(1) The philosophy of Wittgenstein, early and late, particularly the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and topics such as logical analysis, clarity, symbolism, language and the expression of thought.

(2) Art, Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Photography, including work on time and the causal provenance of photographs, self-portrait photography and analogies between works of music and works of photography.

(3) Bildtheorie - The Philosophy of Images, Pictures, Models.

Dawn serves on the executive committees of the British Society of Aesthetics (BSA) and the Society for Women in Philosophy ( SWIP UK). She is an active member of the White Rose Aesthetics Forum, the Anglo-German Bildtheorie/Picture-theory Research Group and philosophical societies such as the British Philosophical Association, Nordic Wittgenstein Society, British Wittgenstein Society and European Society of Aesthetics.

Selected Publications

Journal articles:

  • Dawn M Wilson, ‘Facing the Camera: Self-portraits of Photographers as Artists’ in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2012) Vol.70 No.1 pp. 56-66
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘Photography and Causation: Responding to Scruton’s Scepticism’ in the British Journal of Aesthetics (2009) Vol. 49 Issue 4 pp.327-340
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘Fixing the Image: Re-thinking the ‘Mind-independence’ of Photographs' in the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics (2009) Vol.6 Issue 2
  • Diarmuid Costello and Dawn M Phillips, ‘Automatism, Causality and Realism: Foundational Problems in the Philosophy of Photography’ in Philosophy Compass 4/1 (2009): pp.1-21
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘Clear as Mud’ (2006) in the Journal of Philosophical Research Vol. 31 pp.277-294

Book chapters

  • Dawn M Wilson, 'Photography' in The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics (3rd edition). (Eds.) Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes (2013, Routledge) pp.585-595
  • Dawn M Wilson, 'Philosophical Scepticism and the Photographic Event' in Thinking Photography - Using Photography (eds.) Jan-Erik Lundström and Liv Stoltz (2013 Stockholm: Centrum för Fotografi) pp. 99-109.
  • ‘Wittgenstein’s “Picture-Theory” and the Aesthetic Experience of Clear Thoughts in Image and Imaging in Philosophy, Science and the Arts Vol. 1 (eds.) Richard Heinrich, Elisabeth Nemeth, Wolfram Pichler, David Wagner (2011 Ontos Verlag) pp. 143-161
  • David Connearn and Dawn M Phillips, ‘Wittgenstein’s House at Skjolden: Conservation and Interpretation’ (co-authored with David Connearn) in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Contextualisations of a Genius (eds.) Jan Drehmal and Kristina Jaspers (2011 Junius-Verlag) pp. 34-39
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘Complete Analysis and Clarificatory Analysis in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus’ (2007) in The Analytic Turn: Analysis in Early Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology (ed.) Michael Beaney (London: Routledge) pp.164-177
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘The real challenge for an aesthetics of photography’ (2007) in Arguing about Art (3rd Edition) Eds. A. Neill and A. Ridley (London: Routledge) pp. 246-248
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘The continuity of Wittgenstein’s say-show distinction’ (2005) in The Proceedings of the Durham-Bergen Conference pp.25-37

Encyclopaedia entries:

  • Dawn M Wilson, ‘Philosophy of Photography’ (10,000 words) currently under preparation for the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
  • Dawn M Phillips, ‘Film and Photography’ entry (5000 words) for the Encyclopaedia of Time (ed.) H. James Birx (New York: Sage Publications)

Book reviews

Other publications:


  • Philosophy of Photography
  • Philosophy of Images/Bildtheorie
  • Aesthetics
  • Philosophy of Art
  • History of analytic philosophy
  • Wittgenstein


Undergraduate Modules

Dawn Wilson teaches on the following undergraduate modules:

  • 27113 Reason, Logic and Argument
  • 27130 Philosophy of Contemporary Thought and Culture
  • 27241 20th Century Philosophy
  • 27301 Dissertation

Postgraduate Teaching

Dawn Wilson teaches on the following postgraduate modules:

  • 27951 Philosophical Research Methods
  • 27502 Philosophical Theories and Texts
  • 27503 Philosophy in Practice
  • 27501 Dissertation

PhD Supervision

Dawn Wilson is currently supervising doctoral research in the following areas: Philosophy of Art and Culture Dawn Wilson welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in working in the following areas: The Philosophy of Photography, including aesthetics and epistemology; Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art; Philosophy of Images and Depiction; Wittgenstein; History of analytic philosophy


Current role

  • Convenor of the MRes in Philosophy

Previous role

  • Director of Postgraduate Studies for Philosophy
Back to top