Dept. II

Ideals & Practices of Rationality

Director Lorraine Daston

T +49 30 22667 131
F +49 30 22667 293


Director (Since Jul 1995)

PhD, Professor, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

Moral and Natural Orders, History of Scientific Data, Cognitive Practices of Science


Photo by Dagmar Stratenschulte (2017).

Services & Administration

Researchers 2018–19

Visiting Scholar (12 Sep 2018-12 Dec 2018)

PhD, Milton H. Wilson Professor in the Humanities, Professor of History, Northwestern University

A History of Artificial Beings

Visiting Scholar (16 Jan 2019-15 Feb 2019)

Professor of History at the Department of History, Tel Aviv University

A Scholarly Way of Life in the Making, 1480–1630 

Postdoctoral Fellow (1 Oct 2018-30 Jun 2019)


The Physician's Album Amicorum: Humanist Cultures of Knowledge Networking

Visiting Scholar (2 Jan 2017-31 Dec 2019)


The Status of Practical Geometry and its Relations to Theoretical and Applied Geometrical Knowledge in Sixteenth-century Treatises of Practical Geometry

Visiting Scholar (1 Aug 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD. Professor of History, University of Paris 1

Mesmerism and Politics on the Eve of the French Revolution

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Dec 2018-1 Jan 2019)

PhD Candidate, Queens College, History Faculty, University of Oxford

Gottfried Leibniz in His World: The Making of a Savant (1672–1679). Scientist, Projector and Courtier: Gottfried Leibniz’s Poetic of Ambiguity as an Instrument of Advancement

Visiting Scholar (Dec 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professeur émérite d'Histoire moderne, Université Paris Diderot Paris 7

Mineralogy, Art and Architecture in the Eyes of XVIIIth–Early XIXth Century Travelers

Visiting Scholar (1 Nov 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professor Emerita of History, University of California at Davis, USA

Medieval Science on the Road to Maturity

Research Scholar (Since Jan 2002)


Research IT

Visiting Scholar (1 Aug 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD. Professor and Director of Research, CNRS, France

Mathematical Commentaries in the Ancient World

Visiting Scholar (1 Jun 2019-31 Aug 2019)

PhD, Associate Professor of American Studies, Washington University

The Science of Children

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Jun 2019-30 Jun 2019)

PhD, Assistant Professor, California Institute of Technology

Empire of Routine: The Unexpected Administrative Revolution of the Eighteenth Century Qing State

Research Scholar (1 Jan 2019-28 Feb 2019)


The Environment of Note-Taking: Mining, ca. 1700-1900

Research Group Leader (1 Mar 2019-30 Jun 2019)


Thinking in Tables: Translating Medical Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century Europe

Research Scholar (Since Sep 2012)


Science and Technology in Italian Postwar Cultural Journals

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

Rewriting the World in Southwest India

Visiting Scholar (Jan 2019-31 Jan 2019)

PhD, University of Sydney, Australia, Lecturer, School for the History and Philosophy of Science

The Known and the Lived: Melitta Schiller–Stauffenberg, 1903–1945

Postdoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2016-30 Jun 2019)


From Electrotype to the Electric Image: Global Vision, c. 1830–1920

Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-28 Feb 2019)

Metaphor & Metaphysic: Henri Bergson & the Language of Epistemology in Fin-de-Siècle France

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Oct 2018)

PhD, Columbia University, Professor of Philosophy

Deweyan pragmatism in the 21st Century

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Oct 2018)

Columbia University, Roberta and William Campbell Professor of Humanities

Kant on the Unity of Self-Consciousness in the Unity of Perception Kant's Theory of Moral Agency

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Nov 2018-31 Dec 2018)

How Did Computers Transform Historians’ Work?

MPG Minerva Research Group Leader (1 Mar 2019-30 Jun 2019)

Dr. Phil.

Reading and Writing Medicine in Early Modern England

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professor, Louisiana State University

Herodotus and the Modern Sciences

Visiting Scholar (1 Nov 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professor, Department of English, New York University

Poetry Bound: On the Notational, the Parenthetical, the Composed

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-30 Nov 2018)

The Birth of the Individual Authorship in Medieval Judaism (10th-12th centuries) in the Baghdadian and Andalusian Islamicate milieux.

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

The Shaping of Generality in 19th-Century Enumerative Geometry

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Jan 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Berliner Zentrum für Wissensgeschichte

Charting the Weather: a History of Graphical Representations in late 18th–Century Meteorology

Visiting Scholar (1 Aug 2018-1 Jun 2020)

PhD, Dr. phil., Professor of Greek Philology, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

Commentaries on Mathematical Texts in a Comparative Perspective

Senior Research Scholar (Since Jun 2005)

PD Dr.

The Science of Statistics and the Politics of Censustaking; Early Childhood Development Studies in Nineteenth–Century America

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD Candidate, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

The Scientific Rationality of Early Statistics, 1833–1877

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Apr 2019-30 Jun 2019)

PhD candidate, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Visual History of Developmental Psychology

Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-30 Apr 2019)

Philology as a Way of Knowing

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Harvard University, Department of the History of Science

A New History of Medieval Science: Knowledge and its Objects in Latin Europe and the Islamicate World

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Oct 2018)

PhD, Alexander P. Misheff Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Paul E. Geier Director, Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy

Architecture in Two Dimensions. From Drawing to Photography

Visiting Scholar (Jun 2019-30 Jun 2019)

PhD, Distinguished Professor of History, University of California, Los Angeles

Organized Wisdom and Revenge of the Humdrum

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Program in History of Science, Princeton University

The Dark Glass: Alchemy in Image, Text and Practice

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-30 Nov 2018)

Princeton University, PhD candidate in History of Science

The Rise of the New Mandarins: The Story of the Geistkreis from Vienna to the New-World, 1920-1980

Visiting Scholar (1 Jul 2018-31 Dec 2018)


Nature’s Imprint: Botanical Illustration between Northern Europe and the New World (1550–1750)

Visiting Scholar (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professor, Brown University

Generations of Reasons: A Family History

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (Dec 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD Candidate, Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University

Doctors of l’Ésprit Nouveau: Human Energetics and the Formation of the French Avantgarde

Visiting Scholar (1 Jan 2019-30 Jun 2019)

PhD, Professor of History, University of Oregon

Data: A Quantitative History

Visiting Scholar (1 Mar 2019-14 Apr 2019)

PhD, Professor, École normale supérieure de Paris

Editing "Le mecaniche" and Reevaluating the Practical Knowledge of Renaissance Engineers

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (15 Sep 2016-31 Aug 2018)

MA, Berliner Zentrum für Wissensgeschichte

Making Things Alive. Animation as Cultural and Epistemic Practic

Visiting Scholar (Oct 2018-31 Oct 2018)

MD, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center

Stigma and Cure: Challenge of Proof in HIV Cure Research

Visiting Scholar (Nov 2018-30 Nov 2018)

PhD, Hans Rausing Professor of History of Science, Director, Uppsala University

Experiment, Gestural Knowledge, and Scientific Change in the Age of Precision

Visiting Scholar (1 Nov 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD, Professor, Gallatin School, New York University

Phusis and Greek Tragedy, 5th-Century BCE

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Oct 2018-31 Mar 2019)

PhD candidate, School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sidney

Deposing the Demon: Jan Baptista van Helmont and the Authority of Magic in Early Modern Medicine

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (Dec 2018-31 Dec 2018)

PhD candidate, Institute of Physics, University of Amsterdam

The Epistemic Virtues of Humanities and Science in Nineteenth–Century Germany: A Comparative Approach

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow (1 Sep 2018-31 Dec 2018)

Evolution in Times of Revolution: Darwinism, Nature, and Society in the Soviet Union

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (15 Jan 2019-30 Nov 2019)


Breathing Between Laboratory and Clinic, 1885-1968

Visiting Scholar (11 Feb 2019-9 Apr 2019)

PhD, Senior Lecturer, University College London

The Oeconomy of Muscle

Visiting Scholar (Feb 2019-28 Feb 2019)

PhD, Philosophy, Princeton University

Futility and Transcendence: A Study of Kant’s Critical Philosophy

Visiting Scholar (1 May 2019-30 Jun 2019)

Staff Research Associate, Department of History, UCLA

Gardens of Steam: Projecting Industrial Culture into the Berlin Landscape