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Profile: Ian J. Thompson (University of Surrey, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
  1. Ian J. Thompson, Layered Cognitive Networks.
    In cognitive psychology there appears to be a creative tension between models that use connections of a network, and models that use rules for symbol manipulation. The idea of a connectionist network goes back to McCulloch & Pitts [1943] and Hebb [1949], and finds recent revival in the `parallel distributed processing' (PDP) models that have been extensively examined in the last few years (see e.g. Rumelhart et al. [1986]). In the intervening years, however, the predominant explanations of psychology have been (...)
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  2. Ian J. Thompson, Power and Substance.
    An ontological extension of dispositional essentialism is proposed, whereby what is necessary and sufficient for the dispositional causation of events is interpreted realistically, and postulated to exist. This ‘generative realism’ leads to a general concept of ‘substance’ as constituted by its more fundamental powers or propensities appearing in the form of some structure or field. This neo Aristotelian view is reviewed historically, and in respect to quantum physics.
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  3. Ian J. Thompson, Process Theory and the Concept of Substance.
    Since the failure of both pure corpuscular and pure wave philosophies of nature, process theories assume that only events need to exist in order to have a physics. Starting from an ontology of actual events, a dispositional analysis is shown here to lead to a new idea of substance, that of a `distribution of potentiality or propensity'. This begins to provide a useful foundation for quantum physics. A model is presented to show how the existence of physical substances could be (...)
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  4. Ian J. Thompson, Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: A Causal Correspondence Theory.
    We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain. Accompanying material for a talk at The Second Mind and Brain Symposium held at the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London on 20th October, 1990.
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  5. Ian J. Thompson (2010). Philosophy of Nature and Quantum Reality. Eagle Pearl Press.
    Earlier versions of parts of chapters 1, 2, 3 and 8 have appeared in articles in Cogito and The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  6. Friedrich Beck, Carl Johnson, Franz von Kutschera, E. Jonathan Lowe, Uwe Meixner, David S. Oderberg, Ian J. Thompson & Henry Wellman (2008). Psycho-Physical Dualism Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Lexington Books.
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  7. Ian J. Thompson (2008). Discrete Degrees Within and Between Nature and Mind. In Alessandro Antonietti, Antonella Corradini & E. Jonathan Lowe (eds.), Psycho-Physical Dualism Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Lexington Books.
    Examining the role of dispositions (potentials and propensities) in both physics and psychology reveals that they are commonly derivative dispositions, so called because they derive from other dispositions. Furthermore, when they act, they produce further propensities. Together, therefore, they appear to form discrete degrees within a structure of multiple generative levels. It is then constructively hypothesized that minds and physical nature are themselves discrete degrees within some more universal structure. This gives rise to an effective dualism of mind and nature, (...)
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  8. Ian J. Thompson (2002). Are Quantum Physics and Spirituality Related? New Philosophy 107:333-355.
    Discussing questions concerning quantum physics and spirituality together is particularly valuable in order to see the connection between them from a New Church standpoint. An urgent reason for discussing this link is that some people want to identify these things. The feeling is widespread that somehow they are connected, but some “new age” people want to say that quantum physics tells us about spirituality. We know from Swedenborg that the connection is not quite so simple, so we need to understand (...)
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  9. Ian J. Thompson (1993). The Consistency of Physical Law with Divine Immanence. Science and Christian Belief 5:19-36.
    A model is presented to show how the existence of physical law could be a reasonable consequence of Divine Immanence in the world of natural phenomena. Divine Immanence is seen as the continual production of the principal causes or dispositions which enable created things to act and change. It..
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  10. Ian J. Thompson (1988). Real Dispositions in the Physical World. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):67-79.
    The role of dispositions in the physical world is considered. It is shown that not only can classical physics be reasonably construed as the discovery of real dispositions, but also quantum physics. This approach moreover allows a realistic understanding of quantum processes.
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  11. Ian J. Thompson (1988). Swedenborg and Modern Science. Network (The Scientific and Medical Network) 36:3-8.
    This year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 - 1772). Although he worked in the eighteenth century, his investigations into the nature of physical, physiological and spiritual processes are still relevant today, although they are not as widely known as they deserve. In this article, I will briefly describe the stages in Swedenborg's life, and outline his mature teachings with particular relevance to what is relevant to the concerns of contemporary science, and to the concerns (...)
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  12. Ian J. Thompson (1988). The Nature of Substance. Cogito 2 (2):17-19.
    Modern physics has cast doubt on Newton's idea of particles with definite properties. Do we have to go back to Aristotle for a new understanding of the ultimate nature of substance? If we ask, `what is the nature of substance?', we might be told that this substance is salt, that one is copper, or that the atomic nucleus is a mixture of protons and neutrons. But what are all these substances? What do they have in common which makes them substances? (...)
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