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Dr. Steven Hoeltzel
Contact Info

Office: Cleveland 216


B.A. Michigan State University
Ph.D. University of Iowa


Professor Hoeltzel specializes in Kant and post-Kantian idealism; thematically, his work centers on questions concerning the nature of purposive intelligence and the basis and status of associated rational, ethical, and existential optima. His research interests thus extend into existentialism and phenomenology as well as contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophy of mind. His current work concerns the metaphilosophical presuppositions and ontological implications of transcendental models of reason and cognition.


Professor Hoeltzel regularly teaches courses on Kant, nineteenth century philosophy, existentialism, and phenomenology. Occasionally he offers more specialized courses on related topics such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault. In any given semester he also teaches either an introduction to philosophy or a course in ethical reasoning. Professor Hoeltzel is a recent recipient of the Carl Harter Distinguished Teacher Award, a prize awarded annually by the College of Arts and Letters in recognition of especially outstanding teaching.

Select Publications:

Transcendental Inquiry, co-edited with Halla Kim (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

“Fichte, Transcendental Ontology, and the Ethics of Belief,” in Transcendental Inquiry, ed. Halla Kim and Steven Hoeltzel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 55-82.

“Transcendental Idealism and Theistic Commitment in Fichte,” in The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism, ed. Matthew C. Altman (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 364-85.

“Non-Epistemic Justification and Practical Postulation in Fichte,” in Fichte and Transcendental Philosophy, ed. Daniel Breazeale and Tom Rockmore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 293-313.

Kant, Fichte, and the Legacy of Transcendental Idealism, co-edited with Halla Kim (Lexington Books, 2014).

“The Unity of Reason in Kant and Fichte,” in Kant, Fichte, and the Legacy of Transcendental Idealism, ed. Halla Kim and Steven Hoeltzel (Lexington Books, 2014), 129-52.

“Critical Epistemology and Idealist Metaphysics in Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre (1794-1800),” in Fichte, German Idealism, and Early Romanticism (Fichte-Studien Supplementa, Band 24), ed. Daniel Breazeale and Tom Rockmore (Rodopi, 2010), 87-106.

“Finite and Absolute Reason in (and beyond) Fichte’s System of Ethics.” Philosophy Today 52, no. 3-4 (2008): 257-67.