What We Talk About When We Talk About Bowie: David Bowie and Enlightenment Philosophies of Identity

This essay argues that David Bowie’s explorations of identity can meaningfully be linked to explorations of the same topic by Enlightenment philosophers. It analyses these connections in both Bowie’s work and his life and considers the ways in which that life and work extend the thinking of John Locke, David Hume, and George Berkeley to offer a new possible construction of identity, one that depends on the viewer rather than the viewed.