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). From 2019-2021, I was Head of the Kantian Rationality Lab at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad. In 2019, I also became elected member of the Academia Europea.

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 and philosophical theories of rationality; and I also study their role in politics, ethics, and education. 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 2022, 'The conception of Kant’s “Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science”: Subject matter, method, and aim' in: M.B. McNulty (ed.), Kant’s “Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science”: A Critical Guide, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 13-35. 

- Sturm T & Feest U 2022, 'Implicit reasoning', in:  R. Thompson (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Implicit Cognition, London: Routledge, 377-388.

- Sturm T & R. Meer (eds.) 2022, The uses of reason in Kantian philosophy of science. Special issue, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

Selected research activities

Other research activities: 

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

2019- Member, Academia Europaea

2021-2024 Mercator Fellow, Rationality as Pragmatic Worldly Prudence (DFG project no. 449581114), Goethe University Frankfurt

2021-2023: Convenor, LOGOS Colloquium, UB

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

2017-2024 Co-editor of works by Kant on natural science within the New edition of Part I, “Works”, of the Academy edition of Kant’s Collected Writings; PI: V. Gerhardt, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanities – DFG project GE 657/16-1 

Invited talks (selected) at Central European University, Vienna; University of Trento; University of Antwerp; Sigmund Freud University, Vienna

Conference organization:

Kant’s Anthropology and the Genesis of the Social Sciences (with A. Salikov & A. Zhavoronkov, Frankfurt/Main, September/October 2022) -

Directed 1 PhD thesis completed in 2022

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