I want to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals:

Peter Strawson

Peter Strawson letter from 1991

Peter Strawson letter from 1991

For putting me up in his home in Cambridge in 1991 and encouraging me to develop my ideas. Interestingly, when I woke in his home there was an upside-down image of the garden on the bedroom wall opposite the window. After some dreamy thoughts about how this was so, I realised that there was a slit in the bedroom blackout-lined curtain which was acting like a pinhole camera.

Ilya Prigogine

For opening my letter back in 1987 and saying that he found my work very interesting! – not something every Nobel Laureate would do. (I found out after his death in May 2003 that he had said that were he to live his life again he would most likely pursue a career in the study of consciousness)

Hans Keller

For always joining me in the student cafe after lessons and discussing and arguing over ideas. I didn’t realise at the time that he was dying. I was always curious at how he seemed to be able to balance a whole length of cigarette ash on a cigarette without it falling off. All the students would watch in unison, as the fragile cigarette would move slowly up to his mouth, in anticipation of the long end falling off – as if in some quirky demonstration of his music theory:

“…the composer creates certain expectations, well-defined expectations, which he proceeds to meaningfully contradict. There is therefore a strong relation…. between that which happens and that which lies at its back – or to put it the other way round, between that which the composer leads you to expect, and that which he does instead…”
Hans Keller, Lecture on Beethoven’s Op.130, BBC broadcast from Leeds University, 1973.

and of Hans Keller:

“My experience from many talks with Hans Keller: always touching the nerves of a subject. Never escaping commitment to an answer. Sharply cutting half truths. Generous and gentle to a reliable friend. Regardful for struggling minds, uncompromising with garrulous talkativeness in words as well as in music. Quick but never in a hurry. Precise timer and flexible thinker. Innovative from a deep source of sensitiveness and fully conscious observations. Untiring worker.”
Josef Tal. Music Analysis 5 (2/3) 1986 p. 392

D’Arcy Thompson

on growth and form by D'Arcy Thompson

1983 cover of ‘On growth and Form’ by D’Arcy Thompson

For writing ‘On Growth and Form‘, my great original inspiration – Peter Medawar, the 1960 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, called it “the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue”.

Peter Carruthers

For pointing out that I do not write like a philosopher. And for letting me write his Wikipedia entry for him.

Daniel Dennett

It was good of DD to respond to my analysis of his book, ‘Intentional Stance’. He inadvertently convinced me that I should change the name of my theory from Hierarchical Systems Theory to Hierarchical Construct Theory and was instrumental in convincing me that I needed to create an infographic of HCT.

Geoffrey Madell

For highlighting weaknesses in some of my work and showing where greater clarity was required.

And finally thanks to a whole gaggle of philosophers for reading, analysing and providing feedback and suggestions.