Alexander Broadie was born in Edinburgh on 18 October 1942. While growing up in Edinburgh he was a pupil at Royal High School and was later an undergraduate at Edinburgh University from which he graduated with first class honours in mental philosophy. Later at the University of Glasgow Broadie was awarded a doctorate of philosophy for his thesis ‘Investigation into the Cultural Ethos of the Samaritan Memar Marqah, with special reference to the work of Philo of Alexandria’. In 1967 Professor Broadie joined the philosophy department at the University of Glasgow.
Professor Broadie’s honours include his appointment as the first Henry Duncan Prize lecturer in Scottish Studies at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1990–1993) and as Gifford Lecturer in Natural Theology at Aberdeen in 1994. A portion of his Gifford Lecture series, The Shadow of Scotus: Philosophy and Faith in Pre-Reformation Scotland, was published the following year. Also of note, in 1991 Broadie was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in the same year was appointed to a personal chair in philosophy at the University of Glasgow. In January 1995 he assumed the post of professor of logic and rhetoric at Glasgow a chair once occupied by Adam Smith; that same year he was awarded a Doctorate of Letters by Glasgow University. In 2007 he was awarded the degree of Doctorat de l’université honoris causa by Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand for his contribution to Franco-Scottish relations in the field of the history of philosophy.
Professor Broadie’s two main research fields are medieval philosophy and the philosophy of the Enlightenment. In both these fields he has concentrated on the Scottish contribution; and consequently, the majority of his books are on the history of Scottish philosophical thought.
His publications include: A Samaritan Philosophy (1981); George Lokert: Late-Scholastic Logician (1983) The Circle of John Mair: Logic and Logicians in Pre-Reformation Scotland (1985); Introduction to Medieval Logic (1987); Notion and Object: Aspects of Late-Medieval Epistemology (1989); Paul of Venice: Logica Magna (1990); The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy (1990); a translation of and introduction to Robert Kilwardby, O.P., On Time and Imagination (1993); Introduction to Medieval Logic (1993); The Shadow of the Scotus: Philosophy and Faith in Pre-Reformation Scotland (1995); The Scottish Enlightenment: An Anthology (1997); Why Scottish Philosophy Matters (2000); The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation (2001); The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment (2003); Thomas Reid on Logic Rhetoric and the Fine Arts (2005); George Tumbull’s Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy, vols. 1 and 2, edited annotated and with an introduction (2005).