Sybille Krämer Former Senior Fellow

Sybille Krämer
October 2012 - March 2013


Sybille Krämer (born 1951) is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin. Having studied philosophy, history and social sciences in Hamburg and Marburg, she received a PhD in philosophy at Philipps-Universität Marburg, where she worked as assistant professor between 1982 and 1989. In 1988, she completed her habilitation titled "Berechenbare Vernunft. Kalkül und Rationalismus im 17. Jahrhundert". Krämer has been visiting professor at the Vienna University of Technology (1993), at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (2005/2006/2007), at the Universities of Zurich (2006), Luzern (2008 / 2010) and Graz (2011). Krämer also held several fellow- and memberships, most notably, she was a founding member of the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2000. From 2000 to 2006, she was a member of the Wissenschaftsrat. Since 2006, she is a permanent fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin, since 2007 she is member of the Scientific Panel of the European Research Council, and since 2008, she holds the chair of the graduate school “Notational Iconicity” at Freie Universität Berlin.

Dated from 2013

Fields of research

Philosophical rationalism; theory of mind and cognition; philosophy of language, writing, diagrammatics and the image; fundamental questions of cultural philosophy; performance and media theory; symbolic machines, computers and the cultural technique of formalization.

IKKM Research Project

Epistemology of Planarity

The use of inskribed surfaces is a cultural technique of high significance for the development of both, our epistemic and aesthetic potenzial. The goal of my research is to explain the handling of spatial relations as means of cognitive activity and insight. Between 'reality' and the 'imaginary' there is the intermediary world of graphical artifacts like writing, notations, diagrams, graphs and maps. The non-visual und non-spatial is visualized and embodied by graphical systems of depicting. What are the epistemological functions of these diagramatical inscriptions, situated between the discursive and the pictorial? The guiding hypothesis is that the modalities of epistemic graphism provide a link between the perceptible and the rational, insofar as it not only bridges the gap between these two realms but also gives rise to the very possibility of differentiating between the 'aisthetic' and the 'noetic'. Starting from a reflection on exemplary forms of diagrammatical reasoning in philosophy, first steps in the direction of an 'epistemology of planarity' will be scetched.



Medium, Bote, Übertragung. Kleine Metaphysik der Medialität, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp 2008.
Berechenbare Vernunft. Kalkül und Rationalismus im 17. Jahrhundert, Berlin, New York: de Gruyter 1991.
Symbolische Maschinen. Die Idee der Formalisierung in geschichtlichem Abriß, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1988.
Technik, Gesellschaft und Natur. Versuch über ihren Zusammenhang, Frankfurt am Main, New York: Campus 1982.

Edited Books

mit Sibylle Schmidt and Ramon Voges: Politik der Zeugenschaft. Zur Kritik einer Wissenspraxis, Bielefeld: transcript 2011.
mit Gernot Grube and Werner Kogge: Schrift: Kulturtechnik zwischen Auge, Hand und Maschine, München: Fink 2005.
Performativität und Medialität, München: Fink 2004.
mit Horst Bredekamp: Bild Schrift Zahl, (book series Kulturtechnik) München: Fink (2003), second edition, 2008.


Vom Nutzen der Schriftbildlichkeit. Editorial. In: Sprache und Literatur, 107, 42. Jahrgang, 1-5, 2011.
Notationen, Schemata, Diagramme: Über ‚Räumlichkeit‘ als Darstellungsprinzip. Sechs kommentierte Thesen, in: Gabriele Brandstetter, Franck Hofmann and Kirsten Maar (eds.): Notationen und choreographisches Denken, Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach Verlag 2010, p. 27- 45.
Operative Bildlichkeit. Von der ‘Grammatologie’ zu einer ‘Diagrammatologie’? Reflexionen über erkennendes Sehen, in: Martina Hessler and Dieter Mersch (eds.): Logik des Bildlichen. Zur Kritik der ikonischen Vernunft, Bielefeld: transcript 2009, p. 94-123.
Karte, Kartenlesen, Kartographie. Kulturtechnisch inspirierte Überlegungen, in: Philine Helas et al. (eds.): Bild/Geschichte, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag 2007, p. 73-82.
Technik als Kulturtechnik. Kleines Plädoyer für eine kulturanthropologische Erweiterung des Technikkonzeptes, in: Klaus Kornwachs (ed.): Technik – System – Verantwortung, Münster/London: Litt 2003, p. 157-164.