These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

I’d love to leave it at that, but my garrulous nature won’t let me.  Besides, it’s too easy. Not to mention a bit dramatic and pretentious.

This site serves at present as a sort of notebook for me to scribble half-baked and often unpolished bits of hither and yon whilst writing a dissertation. Why not use an actual notebook, you ask? Well, for starters, because I have horrible handwriting. I’d end up saving these meanderings in a Bill Gates approved format on a chaotic desktop and forgetting them completely. The mere potential for readership is a good motivator, and during a time of life in which I serve mammon more than lady philosophy I need an outlet for writing a little each day or so on the dissertation and other topics. Finally, making thoughts public and hence subject to criticism allows one to continue learning. So, especially if you take issue with what I say, be kind enough to comment or email so that I can learn from you.

Who the hell am I? Oh, so that’s what you were after. I’ll let the ever so objective third person speak the truth:

mattpeterson -at-

Matthew J. Peterson is ABD for a Ph.D. in Political Science (Political Philosophy and American Government tracks) from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA.  His dissertation will focus on the notion of individual rights and the common good in the ratification debates, especially with regard to the way the founding generation conceived of the relationship between the protection of individual rights and the promotion of the common good as the end or purpose of government.

He received his bachelors degree from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA in 2001. His senior thesis, “In Defense of Beauty,” examined the classical and medieval notion of Beauty as it relates to learning and art.

While finishing his classwork in the doctoral program at Claremont, he worked as Assistant to the Directors of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. During this time he also taught classes on Herodotus’ Histories and the Lincoln-Douglas debates for the Humanities program at Azusa Pacific University, as well as a writing class for the English Department of his own devising entitled “An introduction to Logic and Rhetoric. Matthew also served as an intern and then Assistant Director of the Center for Local Government at the Claremont Institute.

He was co-founder with William Goodwin of Visual Politics, a consulting firm specializing in web-based political research and writing as well as political network mapping and visualizing. Visual Politics made political data, information and knowledge accessible and understandable. In the same spirit, and also with William Goodwin, he received a grant to create the Wikishine prototype, a potential non-profit dedicated to providing ordinary citizens nationwide the ability to find, update and analyze the uniform data they need in regards to their local governments and school districts. They built a dynamic online wiki database of sorts capable of incorporating data from multiple sources and presenting it in a user friendly way with the help of the good folks and innovative technology of MindTouch. They are still looking to develop this project further.

Matthew has worked as a consultant, research associate, and project manager for Evaluations Solutions (now Grant Evaluations, Inc.) since 1998, using survey research as well as other qualitative and quantitative methods to measure the effectiveness of various high school education programs. Since June of 2008 he has served as the Vice President of Grant Evaluation, Inc.

He and his smashing wife Mary and highly intelligent daughter Madeleine Jane currently live in Apalachin, NY. They make their own maple syrup from the clump of old maple trees surrounding their old farmhouse on the top of a windy hill. They enjoy eating the fruits and vegetables of their organic garden. They also enjoy watching Diego, their chocolate lab, chew anything inorganic he happens to find in their field to bio-degradable bits.

View Matthew Peterson's profile on LinkedIn


One Response to “About”

  1. Robert C. Cheeks Says:

    Matt, I’ve bookmarked this site and intend to harvest the field of your rather penetrating ‘notes.’

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