Martin Pickup


  • Associate Professor - The Global Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I have a wide range of philosophical interests across my research areas of Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics and Early Modern Philosophy. I am open to supervising topics in any of these areas, including where they overlap. I warmly welcome email enquiries from potential PhD students at any time.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I arrived in Birmingham in 2021 as a Senior Lecturer, with a focus in Philosophy of Religion. Before that, I had a number of research and teaching posts in Oxford spanning about a decade, including most recently as the Turpin Junior Research Fellow at Oriel College. Most of my training was also at Oxford, where I received my doctorate in 2012. I have been an International Visiting Professor at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and have broad research interests spanning Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, and Early Modern Philosophy.

Research interests

I am interested in the ultimate character and structure of reality, and in the ways that religious claims fit into this (or fail to). This interest manifests through research into three different areas: Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics and Early Modern Philosophy (particularly Leibniz).

In Philosophy of Religion I work within the growing field of analytic theology, using the tools of contemporary analytic metaphysics to clarify and address key theoretical issues in religious thought. My research in this area can be characterised as a kind of ‘applied metaphysics.’ I don’t argue for the truth (or falsity) of any of the target claims, but rather, by translating them into the language of analytic metaphysics, investigate whether they are coherent. In future work, I will focus on the metaphysics of ‘down-stream’ religious claims, such as those concerning religious practice and rituals. A particular area of research will be the metaphysics of the Eucharist.

Within Metaphysics, my motivating questions concern what the world contains and how it is put together. I am developing a view, called ‘situationalism’, which holds that reality, in certain circumstances, is metaphysically indeterminate. I have published several papers exploring this idea and am working on a book manuscript which presents a systematic account and defence of the view. I also have independent research projects on topics such as the relationship between objects and space/time.

My current work in Early Modern Philosophy is primarily focussed on Leibniz and his metaphysics. I engage with Leibniz’s struggles in distinguishing between things that have to be the case and things that could have been otherwise (i.e. between necessary and contingent truths).

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

External positions

Professor, Universidad de Navarra

1 Mar 20191 Apr 2019


  • B Philosophy (General)
  • metaphysics
  • philosophy of religion
  • Leibniz


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  • 1 Similar Profiles
  • The Situationalist Account of Change

    Pickup, M., 23 Feb 2023, Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Zimmerman, D. & Bennett, K. (eds.). Oxford University Press, Vol. 13. (Oxford Studies in Metaphysics).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Defending the Situations-Based Approach to Deep Worldly Indeterminacy

    Pickup, M. & Darby, G., 28 Jul 2022, Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality: Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy. Allori, V. (ed.). Springer, p. 365-373 (Synthese Library; vol. 460).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    8 Downloads (Pure)
  • Unsettledness in times of change

    Pickup, M., 8 Apr 2022, In: Synthese. 200, 2, 20 p., 116.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    43 Downloads (Pure)
  • Modelling deep indeterminacy

    Darby, G. & Pickup, M., 28 Feb 2021, In: Synthese. 198, p. 1685–1710 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    3 Citations (Scopus)
    150 Downloads (Pure)
  • The Problem of Change Restored

    Pickup, M., Nov 2021, From Existentialism to Metaphysics: The Philosophy of Stephen Priest . Weir, R. & Gocke, B. (eds.). Peter Lang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access
    102 Downloads (Pure)