William D’Alessandro

william dalessandro

Postdoctoral Fellow, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (2020-2023)

Philosophy Fellow, Center for AI Safety (2023)

MS in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago (2019)

PhD in Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago (2017)

Recent Publications

Forthcoming. “Large Language Models and Biorisk” (with H. Lloyd and N. Sharadin). American Journal of Bioethics.
2023. “AI Language Models Cannot Replace Human Participants” (with J. Harding, N.G. Laskowski and R. Long). AI & Society.
2022. “Unrealistic Models in Mathematics.” Philosophers’ Imprint.
2022. “Transferable and Fixable Proofs.” Episteme.
2022. “Is It Bad to Prefer Attractive Partners?” Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
2021. “Proving Quadratic Reciprocity: Explanation, Disagreement, Transparency and Depth.” Synthese.


Some philosophy of science topics I've written about include explanation, understanding,  models, proof, and imagination. A unifying theme in my work is the importance of paying close attention to scientific and mathematical practice.

I think AI will be a transformative technology; we need to think about how to use it wisely. I'm interested in the role of AI in science and in our personal lives, and generally in the problem of living well with powerful artificial minds.

I like to learn by teaching and have taught courses on many topics, including, recently:

Explanation and Understanding (Winter 2022/23, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy)

Longtermism: Ethics and the Future (Summer 2022, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy)

Philosophy of Mathematical Practice (Winter 2021/22, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy)

Metaphysics and the Sciences (Winter 2020/21, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy)