Andrew Bowie

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Andrew Bowie

Andrew S. Bowie (born 1952) is Professor of Philosophy and German at Royal Holloway, University of London and Founding Director of the Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC).[1]

He has worked to promote a better understanding of German philosophy in the Anglophone analytical tradition [2] - including the works of Johann Georg Hamann, Johann Gottfried von Herder, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Theodor W. Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Albrecht Wellmer and Manfred Frank.

Frank and Habermas have spoken highly of his work in this area - with Habermas calling his work "masterly" and Frank calling him an "exceptional scholar", whose work represents "the most knowledgeable presentation in English of the history of the German contribution to so-called continental philosophy".[3] The philosopher Charles Taylor has described his work on music as "excellent and densely argued".[4]

He has translated the works of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling[5] and Friedrich Schleiermacher.[6] His recent work has focused on music and philosophy,[7] and Adorno on the nature of philosophy. In addition to his philosophical work on music, he is a keen jazz saxophonist and has played with leading contemporary jazz musicians such as Al Casey and Humphrey Lyttelton.[8]

He did his doctoral research on "History and the Novel" (1980) at the University of East Anglia, where he was taught by the renowned German writer and scholar W. G. Sebald (who later cited Bowie's work on Alexander Kluge in his Campo Santo[9]). He studied German philosophy at the Free University of Berlin. He was Professor of Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University until 1999. He was also Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Philosophy department of Tübingen University. He is on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Philosophy.

His elder brother, Angus, is a classicist.


  • Schelling and Modern European Philosophy: An Introduction (1993)
  • From Romanticism to Critical Theory (1997)
  • Schleiermacher: 'Hermeneutics and Criticism' and Other Writings (ed) (1998)
  • Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche (2nd edition, 2003)
  • Introduction to German Philosophy: From Kant to Habermas (2003)
  • Music, Philosophy, and Modernity (2009)
  • Philosophical Variations: Music as 'philosophical Language' (2010)
  • German Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (2010)
  • Adorno and the Ends of Philosophy (2013)


  1. ^ HARC website.
  2. ^ See his book on German Philosophy in the Very Short Introductions series and his Introduction to German Philosophy from Kant to Habermas
  3. ^ See their reviews of his Introduction to German Philosophy Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ See Taylor, Charles (2016). The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674660205.
  5. ^ See On the History of Modern Philosophy
  6. ^ See Hermeneutics and Criticism
  7. ^ Such as his 2008 Music, Philosophy, and Modernity, reviewed here
  8. ^ See his biography on the Royal Holloway website and the Soundcloud page for the Andy Bowie Quartet
  9. ^ See W.G. Sebald, Campo Santo (London, Random House: 2005), pp. 73, 74, 214.

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