alphabetical staff register

Prof. Dr. Dr. Norman Sieroka

Building/room:  Seminar- und Forschungsverfügungsgebäude (SFG) 4190
Phone:  +49 (0)421 218 67830

E-Mail:  sierokaprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Outreach (recent interviews, articles, podcasts)

On "time" (selection):

On "critical thinking/research-based learning" (selection):

Research areas

Norman Sieroka is working in theoretical philosophy. His focus is on the philosophy of time, natural philosophy (Naturphilosophie), epistemology of the sciences (in particular, physics and mathematics), philosophy of mind (in particular, phenomenology and the perception of sound and music), and the historiography of philosophy and of the sciences. His historical expertise are the early Greek philosophers (especially Anaximander), Leibniz and Spinoza in the early modern period, Fichte and Schelling in German Idealism, and Husserl, Weyl, Cassirer, and Whitehead in the early twentieth century.

His book publications include Philosophie der Zeit – Grundlagen und Perspektiven (series C.H.Beck Wissen, 2018), Leibniz, Husserl, and the Brain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Philosophie der Physik – Eine Einführung (series C.H.Beck Wissen, 2014; 2nd edition 2022), Umgebungen: Symbolischer Konstruktivismus im Anschluss an Hermann Weyl und Fritz Medicus (Chronos, 2010) and Quantum Field Theory in a Semiotic Perspective (together with H.G. Dosch and V.F. Müller; Springer, 2005). 

A unifying theme in Norman Sieroka's work is "time". He investigates the different forms in which we encounter temporal orders (such as physical time, historical time, time as individually experienced, etc.); whether their basic structure is continuous or discrete; and how these different forms relate to one another. Important to him is a general understanding of the repetitive structure of events. In the context of the philosophy of mind, Norman Sieroka deals with fundamental questions of the perception of sequences (especially in the context of audition and music) and the inner dynamics of time consciousness. This enables a deeper understanding of the general relationship between mental events and physical events. On the metaphysical-epistemological side of Sieroka's work, the interplay between time, continuity, and discreteness is particularly relevant in connection with approaches from the exact sciences, for example regarding the question of the relation between matter and space-time. 

The consideration of philosophical problems from different, often interdisciplinary perspectives, as a characteristic feature of Sieroka's work, is born of a conviction that only such an approach can deliver a deeper understanding of systematic questions. This includes both the reference to recent developments especially in the context of data-driven methods (keywords here being "big data" and "machine learning") as well as an intensive reference to history in order to track developments and historical variations of concepts and themes. For instance, Sieroka supports the thesis that most areas of physics are shaped more by their longstanding methods and epistemological motives than by their concrete contents.

Norman Sieroka engages in research-based teaching and learning. He has been developing interdisciplinary courses together with colleagues from, for instance, physics, pharmaceutical science and architecture. To facilitate collaborative efforts in education and research he co-developed the "Knowledge Network Online Whiteboard" KNOW.

Find out more about concrete research projects.


Complete List of Publications




Thesis Supervision (M.A. and B.A.)

Norman Sieroka, born near Worpswede in 1974, has been Full Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Bremen since 2019. He is also a Fellow at the Einstein Center Chronoi in Berlin and a Lecturer in philosophy at ETH Zürich.

Norman Sieroka studied philosophy, physics and mathematics at the Universities of Heidelberg and Cambridge. At Cambridge he received the degree of M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science in 1999, at Heidelberg the diploma in Physics in 2002. In 2004, he received his doctorate at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Heidelberg University with a thesis on "Neurophysiological Aspects of Time Perception". This was followed by simultaneous teaching and research activities in philosophy, physics and neurophysiology in Heidelberg, Bamberg and Zurich, as well as a doctorate degree ("Umgebungen", 2009) and a "Habilitation" ("[Un-]Conscious Perception and Time", 2012) in philosophy at the ETH Zurich.

Norman Sieroka was, among other things, Visiting Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame (USA), Visiting Scholar at the Singapore-ETH Centre, Associate Member of the Zurich Center "History of Knowledge" and Managing Director as well as Board Member of the Turing Centre Zürich. He is currently a member of the Governance Board of the Think-and-Do Tank "rethink" at ETH Zurich, a Participating Researcher in the DFG Research Training Group "Contradiction Studies" and a member of the coordination team of the Bremen "Humans on Mars" Initiative. He is also a member of the Data Science Center and the Research Platform "Worlds of Contradiction" (both at the University of Bremen) and a member of the research data working group (AG Forschungsdaten) of the U Bremen Research Alliance.