Paul Crowther

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Paul Crowther MRIA (/ˈkrðər/; born 24 August 1953) is a British philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy and author specialising in the fields of aesthetics, metaphysics, and visual culture. He has written nine books in the field of History of Art and Philosophy. He was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, and he was raised in the Belle Isle estate, Hunslet, and Middleton areas of south Leeds. He began taking an interest in art and philosophy at the age of 16.[1] He is a proponent of an approach to aesthetics he dubbed "post-analytic phenomenology".[2][3]


Crowther initially enrolled at the University of Manchester to study history and politics.[1] He subsequently migrated to the University of Leeds where he took a joint honours degree in Philosophy and the History of Art.[4] He was a graduate student at the University of York and also holds a teaching certificate in Classical Studies.[4] He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford.[4] Crowther is a former fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he was a lecturer at the Department of the History of Art and Reader in the History Faculty.[5] He has also taught at the University of St Andrew's (Fife, Scotland), the University of Central Lancashire, and Jacobs University Bremen.[4] Between 2009 and 2016, Crowther held the post of Chair of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway and subsequently has been emeritus professor of philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway.[6]

In May 2017 Crowther was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy.[6]

Philosophical work[edit]

Crowther's interests and expertise are in the fields of visual aesthetics, phenomenology, and Kant. Works by him on the philosophy of visual art have been translated into Chinese, Korean, German, and Serbian, amongst other languages.[7]

In 2014, Crowther — together with Slovenian artist Mojca Oblak, and assistance from the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia and the Moore Institute in Galway, Ireland — organized an exhibition of Victorian art entitled Awakening Beauty [8] at the National Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Crowther, Paul (2009). Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (even the frame). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.[9]
  • Crowther, Paul (2007). Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.[10]
  • Crowther, Paul (1997). The Language of Twentieth-Century Art: A Conceptual History. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.[11]
  • Crowther, Paul (1993). Art and Embodiment: From Aesthetics to Self-Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.[12]
  • Crowther, Paul (1989). The Kantian Sublime: From Morality to Art. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.[13]


  1. ^ a b Kernan Andrews (2010) 'There's really no such thing as useless knowledge' Archived 29 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Galway Advertiser 18 February 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ Paul Crowther, Phenomenologies of Art and Vision: A Post-Analytic Turn, Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 161.
  3. ^ "Post-analytic phenomenology vs market serfdom" - Paul Crowther interviewed by Richard Marshall Archived 23 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Philosophy - Teaching Staff - Paul Crowther". Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010..
  5. ^ Oxford University Press: Author Information - Paul Crowther (Accessed May 2011)
  6. ^ a b "Two NUI Galway Academics Elected as New Members of the Royal Irish Academy". National University of Ireland, Galway. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  7. ^ See, for example, the book The Language of Twentieth-Century Art (in Chinese) Jilin Press, Jilin, China, 2007, and the papers ‘Postmodernism in the Visual Arts: A Question of Ends’ (in Korean) in Mapping Contemporary Art, ed. Youngchul Lee, Shigak gwa Uneo, Seoul, 1998; ‘Jenseit von Kunst und Philosophie: Deconstructivismus und das Postmoderne Sublime’ in Deconstructivismus: Eine Anthologie ed. Benjamin, Cooke, and Papadakis, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, 1989; ‘Umetnost I Autonomnost’, Treci Program Vol. 64, No. 1, 1985, pp. 267-279.
  8. ^ "Awakening Beauty - National Gallery of Slovenia". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  9. ^ 'Why are the visual arts so important and what is it that makes their forms significant?' Stanford University Press: Review of Paul Crowther, Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (even the frame). Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  10. ^ Torsen, Ingvild (2008). Review of Paul Crowther, Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (4).Aesthetics.
  11. ^ Davey, Nicholas (2002). Review of Paul Crowther, The Language of Twentieth-Century Art: A Conceptual History. The British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (1).
  12. ^ Altieri, Charles (1995). Review of Paul Crowther, vols 1 and 2 of Art and Embodiment. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1): 87-9.
  13. ^ Mothersill, Mary (1992). Review of Paul Crowther, The Kantian Sublime: From Morality to Art. Mind 101: 156-160.