Prof. Dr. Dr. Norman Sieroka

Again and again philosophy is concerned with contradictions and with a systematic understanding of the concept of contradiction. What these concerns ultimately have in common is the exploration of the limits of what can be thought, said or experienced.

My own research focuses on the concept of time and on the philosophy of the individual sciences. My latter interest is due to the fact that I also have an academic background in physics and mathematics and have been working for a long time in interdisciplinary contexts and think tanks. (Further information and news from my research group can be found here:

Limits, tensions, and contradictions figure prominently within my own fields of research: time as experienced and time as measured are not always in sync or “in-tact”; the time concepts of our most fundamental physical theories (quantum physics and relativity) do not fit together; sometimes theories and models are used together even though they formally contradict each other; and so on. Accordingly, PhD projects in philosophy in the context of the graduate school “Contradiction Studies” could, for instance, address the question of exactly how far or in what sense individual scientific theories might contradict each other; how contradictions might drive conceptual developments; in what sense there can be conflicting (contradictory) experiences of time; whether or in what sense there can be contradictions in perception; and many more. The overarching goal of philosophy would then be to provide a relevant and sound overview of phenomena of contradiction and of their role in and for society and science.

ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht

“The city is a laboratory not only of modernity, but also of contradiction.”

Julia Lossau
decolonial scholarship

“Creating decentralizing and decolonizing scholarship on contradiction, contradictory phenomena, and contradicting processes is a challenging task.”

Kerstin Knopf
Is contradiction eurocentric?

“Is contradiction a eurocentric concept, operational phenomenon, and instrument of power?”

Kerstin Knopf
l’illusion d’une unité

“Foucault speaks of contradiction as l’illusion d’une unité.”

Ingo H. Warnke