Philosophisches Seminar der Universität HamburgPhilosophisches Seminar der Universität Hamburg

    Ulrich Krohs
     Prof. Dr.

Ulrich Krohs is now Professor of Philosophy - in particular philosophy of science and of nature - at the University of Münster, and has a new homepage.
Further links are provided below.

Ulrich Krohs teaches philosophy at the University of Hamburg. He has studied biochemistry as well as philosophy, and started his career as a biochemist. Changing the field, he has received his 'Habilitation' in philosophy (second thesis; post-doctoral research and teaching qualification). His current research interests are mainly located at the interface of both fields: philosophy and history of science; philosophy of nature and of technology; model theory; biomedical ethics; philosophy of cognition; epistemology. In addition, his teaching covered until now a range of topics from Ancient Greek philosophy, Kant, philosophy of language, and logics, to workshop-like seminars on philosophical writing and coaching for MA and PhD candidates.

Philosophie der Biologie. Eine Einführung.
U. Krohs & G. Toepfer (eds.), Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 2005.

Eine Theorie biologischer Theorien,
Berlin: Springer, 2004.
Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds:
Comparative Philosophical Perspectives
U. Krohs & P. Kroes (eds.),
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009.

seit WS 2012/13:
Philosophisches Seminar
Universität Münster
Domplatz 23
D-48143 Münster

Raum 101
Fon: +49 251 83-24464
Fax: +49 251 83-29321





curriculum vitae

Universitary education
  • 1982 - 1989 Biochemistry at the "Eberhard-Karls-Universität" Tübingen, holding a stipend awarded by the "Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes"
  • 1989 - 1994 Philosophy at the "Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule" Aachen
  • 1994 - 1995 Philosophy at the University of Hamburg
Degrees and titles
  • Diploma: Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, 1989
  • PhD: Dr. rer. nat., University of Aachen, 1994
  • Habilitation (venia legendi): Philosophy, University of Hamburg, 2004
  • Professor, University of Hamburg, 2011
Other qualification
  • Certificate of Higher Education, University of Hamburg, 2007
  • 1987 AFRC Unit of Nitrogen Fixation, University of Sussex, Brighton
  • 1988 - 1989 Institut für Chemische Pflanzenphysiologie, University of Tübingen
  • 1989 - 1993 Institute for Biological Information Transduction (IBI-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich
  • 1994 - 2003 Philosophy Department, University of Hamburg: Research projects on Plato, on the philosophy of modal logic, and on the philosophy of bio-sciences. From 1996 on Lecturer ("Lehrbeauftragter") of philosophy
  • 2001 - 2002 Co-operation with the Institute for medical care management and health sciences, University of Bayreuth, project on the ethics of internet-based medical advice
  • 2004 - 2007 Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria: Senior Research Fellow
  • 2005 - 2006 (Winter term) Institute of Philosophy, University of Vienna: External lecturer
  • since 2004 "Privatdozent" of Philosophy at the University of Hamburg (on leave summer 2004 - summer 2006)
  • academic year 2008/09: Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh: Visiting Fellow
  • Sept 2009: Researcher at the FESt: Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft e. V., Heidelberg
  • 2009-2011: Visiting professor (Vertretungsprofessur) of philosophy of science, University of Bielefeld
  • 2011-2012: Visiting professor (Dozent I) of philosophy and history of science, University of Bern
  • since Sept 2012: professor of philosophy, particularly philosophy of science and of nature, University of Münster

  • since 2005: Editorial board member of Biological Theory (MIT Press, now Springer)
  • since May 2007: Coopted member of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg (moving to Klosterneuburg), Austria




Krohs, U. (2012): Convenience experimentation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43, 52-57.

- (2011): Functions and fixed types: Biological functions in the post-adaptationist era. Applied Ontology 6, 125-139.

- (2010): Epistemic consequences of two different strategies for decomposing biological networks, in: Suárez M., Dorato, M. & Rèdei, M. (eds.): EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer, Berlin, 153-162.

- (2010): Dys-, mal- et non-: l’autre face de la fonctionnalité, in: Gayon, J., Ricqlés, A. de, & Mossio, M. (eds.): Les Fonctions: Des Organismes aux Artefacts. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 337-351.

- (2009): Functions as based on a concept of general design. Synthese 166, 69-89.

- (2009): Structure and coherence of two-model-descriptions of technical artefacts. Techne: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13, 150-161.

- (2009): The cost of modularity, in: Krohs U. & Kroes P. (eds.): Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., 259-276.

Krohs, U. & Kroes, P. (2009): Philosophical perspectives on organismic and artifactual functions, in: Krohs U. & Kroes P. (eds.): Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., 3-12.

Krohs, U. (2009): Libertarismus und wissenschaftlich aufgeklärter Determinismus. Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik 20, 41-43.

- (2008): How digital computer simulations explain real-world processes. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22, 277-292.

- (2008): Co-Designing social systems by designing technical artifacts, in: Vermaas, P. E., Kroes, P., Light, A. & Moore, S. A. (eds.): Philosophy and Design. From Engineering to Architecture. Springer, Dordrecht, 233-245.

- (2008): Welche Fragen beantwortet der ‚intell igent-design’-Kreationismus? in: Langthaler, R. (ed.): Evolutionstheorie – Schöpfungsglaube. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg, 61-80.

Krohs, U. & Callebaut, W. (2007): Data without models merging with models without data, in: Boogerd, F. C., Bruggeman, F. J., Hofmeyr, J.-H. S. & Westerhoff, H. V. (eds.): Systems Biology: Philosophical Foundations. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 181-213.

Krohs, U. (2007): Wo im Krankheitsbegriff steckt die Norm? Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik 18, 114-115.

- (2007): Der Funktionsbegriff in der Biologie, in: Bartels, A. & Stöckler, M. (eds.): Wissenschaftstheorie. Ein Studienbuch. Mentis, Paderborn, 287-306.

- (2007): The influence of measuring technology on model building in molecular biology (abstract), in: Boon M. & Waelbers K. (eds.), Proceedings of the First Biennial Conference SPSP 2007. University of Twente, Enschede 2007, ISBN 978-90-812194-1-9, 75.

- (2006): Philosophies of particular biological research programs. Biological Theory 1, 182-187.

- (2006): The changeful fate of a groundbreaking insight: the Darwinian fitness principle caught in different webs of belief. Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur/ Yearbook for European Culture of Science 2 (2006), 107-124.

– (2005): Biologisches Design, in: Krohs, U. & Toepfer, G. (eds.): Philosophie der Biologie. Eine Einführung. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main, 52-69.

– (2005): Wissenschaftstheoretische Rekonstruktionen, in: Krohs, U. & Toepfer, G. (eds.): Philosophie der Biologie. Eine Einführung. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main, 299-316.

– (2005): The conceptual basis of a biological dispute about the temporal order of evolutionary events, in: Stadler, F. & Stöltzner, M. (eds.): Time and History/Zeit und Geschichte. Kirchberg, 152-154.

Krohs, U. & Toepfer, G. (eds.) (2005): Philosophie der Biologie. Eine Einführung. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/M.

Krohs, U. (2004): Eine Theorie biologischer Theorien: Status und Gehalt von Funktionsaussagen und informationstheoretischen Modellen. Springer, Berlin.

- (2004): Wer verantwortet Online-Rat durch medizinische Expertensysteme?, in: Jähn, K.H. und Nagel, E. (Hrsg.): e-Health. Springer, Berlin, 326-330.

- (2004): Angewandte Ethik e-Health, in: Jähn, K.H. und Nagel, E. (Hrsg.): e-Health. Springer, Berlin, 331-336.

- (2003): Is natural design a kind of design? (abstract), in: Álvarez, E., Bosch, R. & Villamil, L. (Hrsg.), Volume of Abstracts, 12th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (Oviedo, August 7-13, 2003). Departamento de Filosofia, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, ISBN 84-600-9913-X, 369-370.

- (2002): How to act right in telemedicine - An outline of applied ethics (abstract). Eur.J.Med.Res. 7 (Suppl. I), 41.

- (1998): Platons Dialektik im Sophistes vor dem Hintergrund des Parmenides. Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 52, 237-256.

in preparation:
- (forthcoming 2012) Systems biology: Philosophical and foundational issues, in: Dubitzky W., Wolkenhauer O., Cho K.-H., Yokota H. (eds.): Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, ca. 8 Vol. Springer, New York.

Encyclopedia entries:

- (2010): Funktion, in: Sandkühler, H. J. (ed.): Enzyklopädie Philosophie, 2nd, extended ed., Meiner, Hamburg, 755-758.

- (2009): Funktion und Zweck, in: Jordan, S. & Nimtz, C. (eds.): Lexikon Philosophie. Hundert Grundbegriffe. Reclam, Ditzingen, 99-101.

in preparation:
- (forthcoming 2012) Emergence, in: Dubitzky W., Wolkenhauer O., Cho K.-H., Yokota H. (eds.): Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, ca. 8 Vol. Springer, New York.


- (1995): Damped oscillations in photosensory transduction of Halobacterium salinarium induced by repellent light stimuli. J. Bacteriol. 177, 3067-3070.

- (1994): Sensitivity of Halobacterium salinarium to attractant light stimuli does not change periodically. FEBS Lett. 351, 133-136.

- (1994): Das Verhalten von Halobacterium salinarium nach stufenförmigen Lichtreizen. Experimente zur zellulären Signalverarbeitung. Berlin (Köster) 1994, zugl. Dissertation RWTH Aachen.

- (1993): Sensitivity of halobacteria to attractant light stimuli does not change periodically (meeting abstract). Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler 374, 726.

Krohs, U. & Metzner, H. (1990): Overall kinetics of photosystem II: pH dependence and deuterium isotope effect. Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg. 23, 141-151.



  • May 2nd, 2011: Biologisches Verstehen; Vorstellungsvortrag im Berufungsverfahren Professur für Wissenschaftstheorie und Naturphilosophie, Universität Münster.

  • June 2011: Scaling Up: Engineering similarity with and without the help of mathematics, Workshop 'Progress by Design: Mathematization From the Enlightenment To the PC', June 24-25, ZiF - Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld.

  • June 2011: Holism in systems biology: Demanded by the system or due to the epistemic approach?, BiCoDa Conference 'Research in its Technological Setting', June 29 - July 2, ZiF - Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld.

  • August 2011: Convenience experimentation, ESF Systems Biology Workshop, August 18-20, 2011, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

  • September 3rd, 2011: 'Erklärung' in Natur, Kultur und Technik; ProScientia Sommerakademie, Schloss Seggau, Österreich.

  • January 2010: Is the extended human organism still an organism? Workshop 'Plastic Human Boundaries - Nature and Environment of the Human Organism', January 21-23, 2010, FESt, Heidelberg.

  • February 10th, 2010: Picturing biological functions. Lecture series 'Celebrating Life Images: In Honor of Charles Darwin', University of Tartu, Science Centre, Tartu, Estonia.

  • April 2010: Convenience experimentation and the quest for scientific hypotheses, Workshop Data-driven research in the life sciences, April 15-16, 2010, egenis, University of Exeter.

  • June 2010: Der Organismus-Status des (medizin)technisch manipulierten Menschen, Workshop 'Jenseits des Menschen', June 11-12, ZiF - Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld.

  • June 21st, 2010: Die Entstehung einer wissenschaftlichen Anwendung, Kolloquium des Graduiertenkollegs 'Auf dem Weg in die Wissensgesellschaft: Wissenschaft in Anwendungs- und Beratungskontexten,' University of Bielefeld.

  • October 2010: Semantic explanation in the biological sciences, Workshop 'Types of explanation in the special sciences – the case of biology and history,' September 30–October 3, Universität Köln.

  • October 22nd, 2010: Maßstabsvergrüßerung: Auf dem Weg zu einer Wissenschaftstheorie der Technikwissenschaften, (22. Oktober 2010); Vorstellungsvortrag im Berufungsverfahren W3-Professur mit Leitungsfunktion für Wissenschaftstheorie und Technikphilosophie, Universität Stuttgart.

  • March 2009: Data driven modeling in systems biology: Explanatory goals and epistemic shortcomings, Models and Simulations 3, March 6-8, 2009, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

  • June 30th, 2009: Denkräume und Grenzen der Evolutionstheorie, Ringvorlesung '150 Jahre Darwin(ismus): On the Origin of Species (1859) - eine kritische Reflexion', Summer semester 2009, Universität Hamburg.

  • July 2009: Non-explanatory biological mechanisms, 2009 Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), July 12-16, Brisbane, Australia.

  • July 22nd, 2009: Was sind und was sollen Mechanismen?, Abteilung Philosophie, Universität Bielefeld.

  • September 2009: Datengeleitete biologische Forschung: Verbindung des Praktischen mit dem Nutzlosen?, GAP.7: Gesellschaft für analytische Philosophie, September 14-17, Bremen.

  • October 2009: Functions, Mechanisms, and Types, EPSA09: Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association, October 21-24, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • October 28th, 2009: Evolution mit und ohne Darwin, Ringvorlesung 'In Darwins Schatten', Summer semester 2009, Universität Bielefeld.

  • November 6th, 2009: Die Entstehung der Arten: Über die Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Revolution, Evangelische Akademie Loccum.

  • December 16th, 2009: Epigenetics: between adaptation and adaptivity, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück.

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