Robert Howell is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Albany. His work focuses on Immanuel Kant’s philosophy and on the areas in which philosophy of art intersects with work in metaphysics. He is the author of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and of essays on Kant and the ontology of art. He has held grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the SUNY Research Foundation; and he has pursued research on Kant while in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton).
Howell will be at Moscow State University during 2007-08. He is working on a study of Kant’s account of the objects of knowledge and of the ways in which objects appear in fiction and representational art. In this work, he plans to collaborate with members of the department of history of philosophy and their colleagues. MGU philosophers have published widely on Kant, and in April 2006 Howell lectured there on Kant and found the audience’s comments very helpful. In addition, he will teach seminars on recent American (and related) interpretations of Kant and on issues in the metaphysics of art. Through these activities, he would like to contribute to a fruitful dialogue between American and Russian philosophers. He also will serve as Co-Director of the State University of New York Center on Russia and the United States, a SUNY-wide institution devoted to strengthening scholarly and cultural contacts and exchanges particularly with Moscow State University.
Howell visited Russia during the Soviet period, while he held a Fulbright-Hays fellowship at Oxford University as a graduate student. He thought Russia and its culture were fascinating then. He found the country changed, and even more interesting, during his 2006 visit, when he lectured at Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg Universities as well as at MGU. (Kant is buried in Kaliningrad, incidentally.) He is looking forward to the opportunity to interact with Russian philosophers, students, and citizens on a daily basis.