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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Chair Matthew Altman


Matthew Altman earned his BA from Albion College in 1994 (with a double major in philosophy and English) and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 2001. He joined the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at CWU in 2003. Dr. Altman directed the Douglas Honors College from 2007-2013, and he is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Department.

Dr. Altman’s research is primarily on German philosophy, especially the theoretical and practical philosophies of Kant and Fichte. In addition to numerous articles, he has published four books: two single-authored books (A Companion to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” [2008] and Kant and Applied Ethics [2011]), one coauthored book (The Fractured Self in Freud and German Philosophy [2013]), and one edited volume (The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism [2014]). A second edited volume, The Palgrave Kant Handbook, is forthcoming in 2017. Dr. Altman is also series editor for The Palgrave Handbooks in German Idealism.

In addition, Dr. Altman teaches several courses in applied ethics and the philosophy of law, and he has published articles on such topics as capital punishment, same-sex marriage, mandatory ultrasound laws, the use of torture on terrorist suspects, and the Syrian civil war. Currently his research is focused on the problem of other minds in early German Idealism, Fichte’s Vocation of Man, and the theory of punishment.

Dr. Altman was named the University Distinguished Professor of Research in 2015 and has received several other awards for teaching, research, and service. In fall 2015, he was elected to a six-year term on the Board of Commissioners for Public Hospital District 1.







Kant, Applied Ethics, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy
















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