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 - a project which I quit because of the war on Ukraine. In 2019, I became elected member of the Academia Europea.

Research interests

How is rationality understood in philosophy and the 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 Kant’s account of reason and his contributions to the natural and the human sciences. I analyze the history, the potentials, and the limits of current empirical and philosophical theories of rationality. I have more recently turned to the role of these theories in politics, ethics, and education. Methodologically, I combine tools of analytic philosophy, cognitive science, and history of science: I am unconvinced that they cannot, or should not, be integrated.

Selected publications

Sturm T, Burt F 2023 (eds.), ‘Immanuel Kant, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels (1755)’, Kant’s Gesammelte Schriften, Academy edition, Berlin: DeGruyter, vol. 1, 187-324.
Sturm T, Burt F 2023, ‘Editorischer Bericht, Sacherläuterungen und Literatur zu: Immanuel Kant, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels (1755)’, Kant’s Gesammelte Schriften, Academy edition, Berlin: DeGruyter, vol. 1, 672-822.

Selected research activities

-2023-2027 PI, Critical Reasoning, Philosophy at Secondary Schools, and the Education of Democratic Citizens –MICINN project PID2022-141952NB-I00
-2023- Advisory Board Member, Institute de Philosophie Indépendent (IPHI), Sorbonne University, Paris
-2021- Member, Spanish-German Scientific Network, German Embassy, Madrid
-2019- Member, Academia Europaea
-2019- Member, LOGOS Research Group, UB – Catalan Government, project 2017-SGR-63
-2017- Co-editor of works by Kant on natural science for the new Academy edition of Part I of Kant’s Collected Writings; PI: V. Gerhardt, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanities – DFG project GE 657/16-1
-2021-2024 Mercator Fellow, Rationality as Pragmatic Worldly Prudence (DFG project no. 449581114), Goethe University Frankfurt
-2021-2023 Convenor, LOGOS Colloquium
-Invited talks at Warsaw University; KU Leuven; University of Turin; TU Berlin; Sorbonne University, Paris
-Conference organization: Kant’s Anthropology and the Modern Social Sciences (with A. Salikov & A. Zhavoronkov, Frankfurt, July 2023)
-Director of 4 ongoing PhD theses
-Editorial Board Member (selected): History of Philosophy and Science (DeGruyter book series); ConTextos Kantianios; Rivista Internazionale die Filosofia e Psicologia 
-Reviewer for (selected): German Research Council (DFG); ERC; Foundations of Science; Kant-Studien; Oxford UP