Jason Brennan
Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair
Current Post: 
Georgetown University
Moral Theorizing

Jason Brennan (Ph.D., 2007, University of Arizona) is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Starting in Spring 2018, concurrent with his position at Georgetown, he will be Research Professor at the University of Arizona's Freedom Center and Department of Political Economy and Moral Science. He specializes in politics, philosophy, and economics.

He is the author of nine books: When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice (Princeton University Press, 2018); In Defense of Openness: Why Global Freedom Is the Humane Solution to Global Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2018), with Bas van der Vossen; Against Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2016); Markets without Limits, with Peter Jaworski (Routledge Press, 2016); Compulsory Voting: For and Against, with Lisa Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2014); Why Not Capitalism? (Routledge Press, 2014); Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Ethics of Voting (Princeton University Press, 2011); and A Brief History of Liberty (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), with David Schmidtz. He is co-editor, along with David Schmidtz and Bas Van der Vossen, of the Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (Routledge, 2017).

He is currently writing Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Bad Business Ethics of Higher Ed, with Phil Magness, under contract with Oxford University Press; publication expected 2019.

His books have been translated fourteen times, into Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish, German, Italian, Greek, Mongolian, and Swedish. Gegen Demokratie (Ullstein, 2017), the German translation of Against Democracy, was #33 on Der Spiegel's bestseller list.



Books Authored by Jason Brennan

Most political debate is superficial. Just turn on cable news. Philosophy is for people who want to understand the deep... Read more
Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of... Read more
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May you sell your vote? May you sell your kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? May spouses pay each... Read more
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Most economists believe capitalism is a compromise with selfish human nature. As Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the... Read more
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In many democracies, voter turnout is low and getting lower. If the people choose not to govern themselves, should they be... Read more
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In this timely new entry in Oxford's acclaimed series What Everyone Needs to Know®, Brennan offers a nuanced... Read more
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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral... Read more
Through a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, A Brief History of Liberty provides... Read more
Using a fusion of philosophical, social scientific, and historical methods, --  A Brief History of Liberty... Read more

Books Edited by Jason Brennan

Libertarians often bill their theory as an alternative to both the traditional Left and Right.  The Routledge Handbook of... more

Research Papers by Jason Brennan

Title Publication Year Publishedsort ascending
Community, Diversity, and Equality in G. A. Cohen’s Socialist Ideal Analyse & Kritik 2015
Market Architecture: It’s the How, Not the What Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 2015
How Smart is Democracy? You Can't Answer that A Priori Critical Review 2014
Is Market Society Intrinsically Repugnant? Journal of Business Ethics 2014
The Right to Good Faith: How Crony Capitalism Delegitimizes the Administrative State Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 2013
Epistocracy within Public Reason Democracy in the 21st Century 2013
For-Profit Business as Civic Virtue Journal of Business Ethics 2012
Political Liberty: Who Needs It? Social Philosophy and Policy 2012
Conscientious Tax Objection: Why Liberal States Must Accommodate Tax Resistors Public Affairs Quarterly 2012
Classical Liberalism The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy 2012
The Right to a Competent Electorate Philosophical Quarterly 2011
Condorcet’s Jury Theorem and the Optimum Number of Voters Politics 2011
Scepticism about Philosophy Ratio 2010
Tuck on the Rationality of Voting Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2009
Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote Australasian Journal of Philosophy 2009
What if Kant Had Had a Cognitive Theory of the Emotions? Recht und Freiden in der Philosophie Kants 2008
Beyond the Bottom Line: The Theoretical Goals of Moral Theorizing Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2008
Modesty without Illusion Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2007
Free Will in the Block Universe Philosophia 2007
Dominating Nature Environmental Values 2007
Rawls’s Paradox Constitutional Political Economy 2007
Choice and Excellence: A Defense of Millian Individualism Social Theory and Practice 2005
Illiberal Liberals: Why 'High Liberalism' Is Not a Liberal View Review Journal of Political Philosophy 2004


Presentations by Jason Brennan

Title Datesort ascending City Country
Most Americans Shouldn’t Vote September 20, 2016 - 6:30pm Richmond United States
Markets without Limits September 19, 2016 - 4:00pm Durham United States
The Ethics Project July 14, 2016 - 1:00pm Estoril Portugal
Markets without Limits May 5, 2016 - 4:00pm Hanover United States
Markets without Limits April 4, 2016 - 4:00pm Boulder United States
Murderers at the Ballot Box: On Lying to Bad Voters April 4, 2016 - 2:00pm Boulder United States
The Economic and Moral Case for Open Borders March 23, 2016 - 6:30pm Richmond United States
The Economic and Moral Case for Open Borders February 18, 2016 - 4:00pm Charlottesville United States
The Ethics and Economics of Open Borders February 18, 2016 - 4:00pm Chapel Hill United States
Libertarianism and Social Justice January 18, 2016 - 1:00pm Wellesley United States
Markets without Symbolic Limits March 18, 2014 - 4:00pm Toronto Canada
Signaling Equality? Against Semiotic Arguments for Democracy July 4, 2013 - 3:00pm Canberra Australia
When Citizens Should Not Vote August 23, 2010 - 2:00pm Acton Australia
The Social Contract as an Institutional Framework for Entrepeneurship April 19, 2007 - 4:00pm Oxford United Kingdom
What If Kant Had Had a Cognitive Theory of the Emotions? September 5, 2005 - 3:00pm Saõ Paulo Brazil


Videos by Jason Brennan


In Defense of Open Borders

Jason Brennan debates a researcher from the Heritage Institute on immigration policy. Brennan defends open borders from a moral and economic perspective.

Why Utopia is Capitalist

Brennan presents Why Not Capitalism? at the College of New Jersey. He argues that even if people were angels, market society would be superior to socialism.

Libertarianism Beyond the Cartoon

Jason Brennan explains how the cartoon view of libertarianism is inaccurate, and how libertarians have sophisticated responses to many of their critics.

Markets without Symbolic Limits

Jason Brennan argues that semiotic objections to markets in organs (and other taboo goods) fail.