Evan Thompson

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Evan Thompson (born 1962) is professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He writes about cognitive science, phenomenology, the philosophy of mind, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

As a child, Thompson was home-schooled at the Lindisfarne Association, a think tank and retreat founded by his father, William Irwin Thompson. In 1977, Thompson met Chilean phenomenologist Francisco Varela when Varela attended a Lindisfarne conference which was organized by Thompson and Gregory Bateson. Thompson received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1990 and an A.B. in Asian Studies from Amherst College in 1983.

Thompson has taught at the University of Toronto, Concordia University, Boston University, and York University. While at York University, Thompson was also a member of the Centre for Vision Research. Thompson has held visiting appointments at the Center for Subjectivity Research in Copenhagen, and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Thompson worked with Francisco Varela at CREA (Centre de Recherche en Epistemologie Appliquée) at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. During this time, Varela and Thompson wrote The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience.[1] Thompson's book, Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind, explores how life relates to mind.[2] Thompson's most recent book is Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy.[3]


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