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Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
L & L Building Room 337
(509) 963-1818

Matthew Altman


Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Faculty Information

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 teaches several courses in the history of philosophy, applied ethics, the philosophy of law, and the philosophy of art. He also teaches in the William O. Douglas Honors College and the Primate Behavior MA program.

Dr. Altman’s research is broadly divided into two areas: (1) the history of philosophy and (2) practical philosophy. He has published six books: three as single author (A Companion to Kant’sCritique of Pure Reason” [2008], Kant and Applied Ethics [2011], and A Theory of Legal Punishment [2021]); one as co-author (The Fractured Self in Freud and German Philosophy [2013]); and two as editor (The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism [2014] and The Palgrave Kant Handbook [2017]). He is in the process of editing The Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment (forthcoming in 2022). He has also published numerous articles and chapters in edited collections on such topics as capital punishment, physician-assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, mandatory ultrasound laws, the use of torture on terrorist suspects, and the Syrian civil war. He is series editor of both Palgrave Handbooks in German Idealism and Palgrave Handbooks in the Philosophy of Law.

Dr. Altman was named University Distinguished Professor of Service in 2019, Research in 2015, and Teaching (Non-Tenure-Track) in 2009. He was elected and currently serves on the Board of Commissioners for Public Hospital District 1.


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Applied Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Kant, Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy.














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