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Thomas Sturm

Thomas Sturm

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


After studies in philosophy, history, and political science at the University of Göttingen and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), I obtained my PhD in 2007 from Marburg University. Before joining ICREA in 2014, I held positions at Marburg (1995-2000); UCSD (2000), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanities (2001-2005), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (2005-2009), and the Dept. of Philosophy, UAB (Ramón y Cajal Scholar, 2009-2014). I am also a member of the IHC (UAB), the LOGOS group (UB), the Kant-edition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanities, and Associate Research Fellow at the Wundt Center for Philosophy & History of Psychology, Universidade Federal Juiz de Fora (Brazil). In 2019, I became elected member of the Academia Europea and Head of the Kantian Rationality Lab at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University at Kaliningrad.

Research interests

How is rationality understood in philosophy and the human sciences? How should it be understood? What is its function in various domains? These are the guiding questions for my research, which comprises topics reaching from early modern philosophy – esp. Immanuel Kant’s philosophy – up to current discussions at the interface of philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences. I study aspects of reason in Kant’s philosophy in relation to his notions of truth and the systematicity of science; I analyze the history as well as the potentials and limits of current psychological theories of rationality; and I also study their role in politics and ethics. I’m moreover interested in the philosophy of knowledge, mind, and science. Methodologically, I combine tools of analytic philosophy and history of science: I am unconvinced by widespread opinions according to which they cannot, or should not, be integrated.

Selected publications

Sturm T 2021, ‘Theories of rationality and the descriptive/normative divide: A historical approach’, Handbook on Rationality, ed. by M. Knauff & W. Spohn, Cambridge/MA: MIT Press, pp. 71-86.

Sturm T, Hoefer CRosenkranz S (eds.) 2021, ‘Instrumentalism about epistemic rationality’, Topical Collection, Synthese, 198.

– de Freitas Araujo S, Ribeiro Pereira T, Sturm T 2021. The force of an idea: new essays on Christian Wolff’s psychology, Springer, New York.

Sturm T 2021, ‘Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View’, in: J Würth (ed.), Cambridge Kant-Lexicon, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 699-704.

Sturm T 2021, ‘History’, in: J Würth (ed.), Cambridge Kant-Lexicon, Cambridge University Press, pp. 217-220.

Selected research activities

Dissemination: Sturm & Suarez, 2021. ‘Hacia una educación filosófica mejor para nuestra democracia liberal’, Letras Libres, March 12, 2021

2021- Member, Spanish-German Scientific Network, German Embassy Madrid

2019- Member, Academia Europaea

2021-2024 Mercator Fellow & Co-PI, Rationality as Pragmatic Prudence for the World – DFG project no. 449581114

2019-2021 PI, Kantian Rationality and Its Impact in Contemporary Science, Technology, and Social Institutions (IKBFU, Kaliningrad) – Russian Ministry of Science, project no. 2019-220-07-5933

2019- Member, LOGOS Research Group, UB  – Catalan Government, project 2017-SGR-63

2017-2024 Editor, New edition of Part I, “Works”, of the Academy edition of Kant’s Collected Writings; PI: V. Gerhardt, BBAW – DFG project GE 657/16-1

Conference organization:

Kantian Rationality Lab Lectures

Kantian Rationality in the Project of the Enlightenment (Kaliningrad, Oct 2021)

Kantian Rationality in Ethics (Kaliningrad, May 2021)

Director of 4 ongoing PhD theses

Editorial Board Member, History of Philosophy and Science (DeGruyter book series)

Reviewer for (selected): German Research Council (DFG); Leverhulme Trust; Canadian Journal of Philosophy; Kant-Studien; Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; Synthese


ICREA Memoir 2021