Professor Bowie's research is concerned with core issues in modern philosophy, particularly those explored by the German tradition from Kant to the present. He does not see the philosophical issues in question as separable from other key cultural responses to the problems of the modern world, and has written extensively about music and literature as well as philosophy. His books are: Aesthetics and Subjectivity: from Kant to Nietzsche (First edition 1990, second edition 2003, Spanish edition 1996; Iranian edition 2008, Chinese edition planned); Schelling and Modern European Philosophy. An Introduction; Introduction to, edition and translation of F.W.J. von Schelling: ‘On the History of Modern Philosophy’; From Romanticism to Critical Theory. The Philosophy of German Literary Theory (Iranian edition planned); Introduction to and Editor of Manfred Frank: ‘The Subject and the Text’. Essays in Literary Theory and Philosophy; Introduction to, edition and translation of F.D.E. Schleiermacher, ‘Hermeneutics and Criticism’ and Other Writings; Introduction to German Philosophy from Kant to Habermas (which was enthusiastically endorsed by Jürgen Habermas); Music, Philosophy, and Modernity; German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction; Philosophical Variations: Music as Philosophical Language. These books and many other publications have helped bring the German tradition of modern philosophy to a much wider audience, and have been influential in philosophy, literary theory, musicology, and other areas of the humanities and social sciences. His next book will be on Adorno and the Ends of Contemporary Philosophy, which looks at Adorno from the point of view of his published and unpublished lectures, seeing him as a vital voice in contemporary debate about the aims and nature of philosophy. This project is part of a long-standing concern with mediating between the European and analytical traditions of philosophy.
He has supervised a very wide range of PhD topics, from, e.g., theses on Wittgenstein and Adorno, to theses on music and ethics, music and tragedy, philosophy and musical performance, to theses on modern literature and the history of the modern philosophy of language from Herder and Hamann to the present. He is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary work. He is an active jazz musician (saxophone), who has played with some of Britain's top jazz musicians, and is supervising theses on jazz and philosophy.
Current teaching on
GM1112 Truth, Language, Subjectivity and Art
GM2119 Introduction to Modern European Philosophy
GM3118 German Philosophy from Nietzsche to Habermas
Post Holocaust Philosophy on the MA Holocaust Studies
From 2011-12 these courses are being extended and altered as part of the Philosophy Joint Honours degree, but will still be offered to German and other modern language students.
He is also at present in charge of planning the new MA in Modern Philosophy, which aims to offer a chance to do post-graduate work on the relations between European and analytical philosophy. The MA will begin in 2011-12.
Professor Bowie did a comparative literature PhD on History and the Novel (1980) at the University of East Anglia, studied German philosophy at the Free University of Berlin, was Professor of Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University until 1999, and Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Philosophy department of Tübingen University. He was on the Benchmarking Academic Standards Group Philosophy for the QAA, and is on the Advisory Council of the Institute of Philosophy. He has lectured on philosophy in the USA, Japan, and all over Europe, and was keynote speaker for the Nordic Summer University, and Guest Fellow at a conference of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was Founding Director of the Royal Holloway Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC).
Research output: Book/Report › Book
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter
Research output: Book/Report › Book