TU Berlin

Institute of History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and LiteratureProf. Dr. Friedrich Steinle

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Prof. Dr. Friedrich Steinle


Secr. H 23
Straße des 17. Juni 135

10623 Berlin
Room: H 2533
Tel.: +49-30-314-73815, 314-24016
Fax: 314-25962
E-Mail: Friedrich.Steinle(at)TU-Berlin.de

Office hours during the winter semester 2021/2022

Tuesday, 1 p.m. - 2.30 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, please contact nina.krampitz[at]tu-berlin.de. Please specify whether you prefer to come to the office personnally or to communicate via video chat.

Zoom link:



Office hours during the lecture free period

(personally or as video chat, only with appointment)

Mon, March 21, 2022, 11.00 - 13.00 h

Wed, April 27, 2022,  13.00 - 15.00 h


Termin für mündliche Prüfungen:

Dates for exams during winter semester 2021/2022:

Thu, February 17, 2022, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Tue, March 22,2022 from 9 a.m.

Thu, April 28, 2022 from 11 a.m.

Please send an e-mail to nina.krampitz[at]tu-berlin.deto make an appointment


Important note: Please register your module examination via QISPOS or at the examination office on time and have the corresponding confirmation (QISPOS: print-out of the examination over-view; Examination office: yellow piece of paper with the signature of the examination office) with you on the examination date. Without this confirmation, the examination cannot take place.


Short Biography

  • Since 2009: professor of History of Science at Technische Universität Berlin
  • 2004-2009: professor of History (focus History of Science and Technology) at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Director of the „Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies: normative and historical foundations” (IZWT)“
  • 2004 Professeur des universités (Histoire et Épistémologie des sciences), Université Lyon I
  • 2001 and 2003-04: Temporary replacement of the Chair of History of Science and Technology, Stuttgart University
  • 2002: Temporary replacement of the Interfaculty Chair of History and Philosophy of Science, Bern University
  • 2000 Habilitation at TU Berlin, ‚venia legendi‘ in History and Philosophy of Science
  • 1998-99 Senior Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science, Cambridge, MA
  • 1997-2004 Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, Berlin; from 2002 on funded by Fritz Thyssen Foundation
  • 1996 Teaching position at the Institute for History of Science, Hamburg University
  • 1994-95 Research Grant at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris
  • 1990-98 Research Fellow, partly funded by DFG, at the Philosophisches Seminar of Göttingen University
  • 1990 PhD in History of Science, Tübingen University
  • Study of physics in Karlsruhe


Award and Academy membership

  • Member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz (since 2011)
  • Member of the German National Academy of Science Leopoldina, Halle (Saale) (since 2005)
  • Research Prize of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Medizin, Naturwissenschaften und Technik (DGGMNT) (2001)


Research fields

  • History and Philosophy of experiment
  • Historical dynamics of scientific concepts
  • History of electricity and electrodynamics
  • History of colour research and colour knowledge in 18th and 19th centuries
  • History of epistemic meta-concepts in science (law of nature, fact, …)
  • New perspectives on the connexion of History and Philosophy of Science


Academic activities

  • Numerous research projects funded by external funds
  • Organisation of numerous conferences, symposia and conference sections
  • Numerous academic talks in many countries
  • Reviewer for academic journals and publishers
  • Reviewer for national and international academic funding organisations
  • Member of the executive board (since 2009) and president (2012-1017) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Medizin, Naturwissenschaften und Technik (DGGMNT)
  • Member of the Scientific Board of the Foundation Eisenbibliothek, Schaffhausen (CH)
  • Member of the „Zentrum für Klassikforschung“ of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar
  • Member of the Committee for Integrated History and Philosophy of Science/ &HPS
  • Area editor of the „Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit“ (Stuttgart/ KWI Essen) (2004-2012)
  • Co-editor (together with Richard Kremer) of the book series in history of Science: Boethius (Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart)


Publication (selective)

Vollständige Veröffentlichungsliste


  • Exploratory Experiments. Ampère, Faraday, and the Origins of Electrodynamics. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Univ. Press. 2016

    • Reviews, among others, in Metascience 26 (2017), 297-302, Isis 108 (2017), 709-711, Physics in Perspective 19 (2017), 307-318, see also my “Reply to Hofmann”, Physics in Perspective 19  (2017), 452-457 (free access: http://rdcu.be/BhXn)

  • Explorative Experimente. Ampère, Faraday und die Ursprünge der Elektrodynamik. (= Reihe Boethius, ed. M. Folkerts, Bd. 50). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2005
  • Newtons Manuskript “de gravitatione...”: Ein Stück Entwicklungsgeschichte seiner Mechanik (=Reihe Boethius, ed. M. Folkerts, Bd.26) Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 1991

Edited volumes

  • Colour Histories. Science, art, and technology in the 17th and 18th centuries. (with Magdalena Bushart): Berlin: De Gruyter 2015
  • Scientific Concepts and Investigative Practice (with Uljana Feest). Berlin studies in knowledge research 3. Berlin: de Gruyter 2012
  • Revisiting Discovery and Justification. Historical and philosophical perspectives on the context distinction. (with Jutta Schickore), Archimedes 14. Dordrecht, Springer 2006
  • Experimental Essays - Versuche zum Experiment (with Michael Heidelberger) (= Bd. 3 der Reihe Interdisziplinäre Studien/ Interdisciplinary Studies des Zentrums für Interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld). Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, 1998


  • "Goethe und die Farbenforschung seiner Zeit". In M. Dönike, J. Müller-Tamm, F. Steinle (Hg): Die Farben der Klassik. Göttingen: Wallstein (Schriften des Zentrums für Klassikforschung, 3), 255-289 (2016).
  • "Concepts, facts, and sedimentation in experimental science", in David Hyder & Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Hg.), Science and the Life-World: Essays on Husserl's 'Crisis of European Sciences'. Stanford: Stanford Univ Press, 199-214 (2010).
  • "From Principles to Regularities: Tracing “Laws of Nature” in Early Modern France and England", in Lorraine Daston & Michael Stolleis (Hg.), Natural Law and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Europe. Jurisprudence, Theology, Moral and Natural Philosophy. Aldershot: Ashgate  p. 215-31. (2008),
  • "Scientific Change and Empirical Concepts", Centaurus 51 (3): 305-13 (2009).
  • "Experiments in History and Philosophy of Science", Perspectives on Science 10 (2002) 408-432 (2003).
  • "Exploratory Experimentation: Goethe, Land, and Color Theory", Physics Today 55, 43-49 (zus. mit Neil Ribe) (July 2002).
  • "'Das Nächste ans Nächste reihen': Goethe, Newton und das Experiment", Philosophia Naturalis 39 (2002) 141-172
  • "Entering New Fields: Exploratory Uses of Experimentation" Philosophy of Science 64, S65-74 (1997).
  • "Was ist Masse? Newtons Begriff der Materiemenge" Philosophia Naturalis 29, 94-117 (1992).





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