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 CEHIC (UAB), the LOGOS group (UB), the Kant-edition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and Associate Research Fellow at the Wundt Center for Philosophy & History of Psychology, Universidade Federal Juiz de Fora (Brazil). In 2019, I was elected member of the Academia Europea; in November 2019, and became Head of the Kantian Rationality Lab at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad.

Research interests

How is reason or 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 economics. 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, social science, 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 2019, ‘Formal versus bounded norms in the psychology of rationality: Toward a multilevel analysis of their relationship‘, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 49, 190-209.

Sturm T 2019, ‘Rationalität versus Vernunft? Über eine Unterscheidung bei John Rawls (und anderen)’, in: D. Hommen & D. Sölch, eds., Philosophische Sprache zwischen Tradition und Innovation, Frankfurt a.M., Peter Lang, pp. 211-233.

Sturm T 2019, ‘Scientific innovation and scientific rationality: A conceptual explication and a dilemma‘, Theoria, 34, 321-341.

Sturm T & Nickles T 2019, ‘Introduction: Innovation in/through science‘, Theoria, 34, 317-320.

Selected research activities

July 2019: Elected member, Academia Europea

November 2019: Major grant from the Russian Ministry of Science for Kantian Rationality and Its Impact in Contemporary Science, Technology, and Social Institutions (2019-2021, project no. 2019-220-07-5933). For this, I also act as Head of Kantian Rationality Lab at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad

Further ongoing projects:

PI, Naturalism and the sciences of rationality (2016-2020) – MINECO project FFI2016-79923-P

PI, Barcelona HPS Group

Member, project New edition of Part I, “Works”, of the Academy edition of Kant’s Collected Writings (2017-2024; PI: V. Gerhardt, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities) – DFG project GE 657/16-1

Research stays: August 2019 – Associate Research Fellow, Academia Kantiana, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad

Conference organizationNationalism and the European Project (with S. Döring, Tübingen, March 2019); Kant and the Systematicity of the Sciences (with G. Gava & A. Vesper, Frankfurt/Main, July 2019)

Invited speaker (selected): at Kaliningrad (Keynote), Turin (Keynote), and London School of Economics

Director of 4 ongoing PhD theses

Reviewer for (selected): Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities; Kantian Journal; Kant-Studien; Quaderns de Filosofia; Synthese