Mind and Emptiness
Evan Thompson 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, he was home-schooled at the Lindisfarne Association, a think tank and retreat founded by his father, William Irwin Thompson. In 1977, Evan met Chilean phenomenologist Francisco Varela when Varela attended a Lindisfarne conference that was organized by Evan and Gregory Bateson. Evan 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. He has taught at the University of Toronto, Concordia University, Boston University, and York University. While at York University, he was also a member of the Centre for Vision Research. He has held visiting appointments at the Center for Subjectivity Research in Copenhagen, and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He worked with Francisco Varela at CREA (Centre de Recherche en Epistemologie Appliquée) at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. During this time, they wrote The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Evan's book, Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind, explores how life relates to mind. His most recent book is Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy.