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Matthias Fritsch, PhD

Professor, Philosophy

Office: S-M 301-00 
M Annex,
2135 Mackay
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2509

My research interests are social and political philosophy (in particular, democratic theory and marxism) as well as 19th and 20th Century European philosophy (especially German critical theory and deconstruction). My primary research project at this time (for which I have been awarded federal Canadian funding, SSHRC) seeks to show the relevance of phenomenology and deconstruction to  intergenerational justice, in particular the vexed question of obligations to distant future people. In this context, I explore a notion of indirect reciprocity - roughly, the present owes to the future because of gifts from the past - that promises to do justice to the intergenerational connections of social life. I also argue that the idea of taking turns with future people and with the earth is promising both ontologically and normatively. A second book project develops a concept of deconstructive normativity in relation to metaethics, biopolitics, and environmental philosophy. I am also co-editing (with Phil Lynes and David Wood) a book called Eco-Deconstruction: Derrida and Environmental Philosophy.


Humboldt Scholar, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main (2010-2011)

Ph.D., Villanova University, Department of Philosophy (1994-1999)
Doctoral Research, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Philosophy (1997-1998)
M.A., New York University, Department of Philosophy (1993-1994)
B.A., Universität zu Köln, Departments of Philosophy and of English (1990-1993)


Most significant research contributions

Taking Turns with Earth. Phenomenological and Deconstructive Approaches to Intergenerational Justice (Stanford UP, forthcoming 2018)

Eco-Deconstruction. Derrida and Environmental Philosophy. Co-edited with Phil Lynes and David Wood (Fordham UP, in press Feb. 2018)

The Promise of Memory: History and Politics in Marx, Benjamin, and Derrida, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2005

Reason and Emancipation. Essays in Honour of Kai Nielsen (co-editor), Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2007.

Martin Heidegger, Phenomenology of Religious Life (co-translator), Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2004.

Articles in, among others, Continental Philosophy Review, Dialogue, Constellations, Human Studies, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Rethinking History, European Journal of Political Theory. Go to to find some of these.

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