Evan Thompson

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A.B. (Asian Studies, Amherst College); M.A. (Philosophy, University of Toronto); PhD (University of Toronto)


Evan Thompson’s current research interests are cross-cultural philosophy, especially Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, and contemporary Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy of mind and cognitive science; Phenomenology, Continental philosophy of science, and contemporary European philosophy; and cognitive science (especially embodied cognition and the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness). His most recent book, Waking, Dreaming, Being: New Light on the Self and Consciousness from Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy, will be published by Columbia University Press in 2013. He also recently co-edited the volume, Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Philosophical Traditions (Oxford University Press, 2010). Thompson is the  author of  Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007), which won the Edwin Ballard Prize for an outstanding book in Phenomenology in 2010. He is also the author of Colour Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception (Routledge Press, 1995), and is co-author ofThe Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1991).

In 2012, Thompson was the Co-Director (with Christian Coseru, College of Charleston, and Jay Garfield, Smith College) of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer School on “Investigating Consciousness: Buddhist and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives.”

In the winter/spring semester of 2014, Thompson will be a Numata Invited Visiting Professor at the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has held invited visiting appointments at the Faculty of Philosophy, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany; the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen; the Centre de Récherche en Epistémologie Appliqué at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris; and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Thompson is on the Advisory Board of the Mind and Life Institute and has served as the Academic Chair for the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen.

Thompson joined the University of Toronto as Professor of Philosophy in 2005. Previously, he taught at York University (1996-2005), where from 2002-05 he held a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science and the Embodied Mind, and at Boston University (1994-96) and Concordia University (1992-94).


For more information visit Prof. Thompson’s personal website.

Department of Philosophy, 170 St. George St., Room 428