Brian Butler, Ph.D.

Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities
238 Whitesides Hall, CPO 2830
828.251.6272

Office Hours

  • Mon: 

    • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Wed: 

    • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Fri: 

    • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
If there is a conflict with the times above please contact by email to schedule an appointment.

Biography

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 2000 The University of Chicago Law School, J.D. (with Honors)
  • 1993 The Claremont Graduate University, Ph.D., MA., Philosophy
  • 1988 The Claremont Graduate University, M.F.A., Fine Arts (Painting)
  • 1982 - 1986 Otis Art Institute, B.F.A., Fine Arts

Courses Taught

  • HUM 124 The Ancient World
  • HUM 414 Individual in the Contemporary World
  • LS 479 Cultivating Citizenship
  • PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 214 Philosophy of Human Rights
  • PHIL 250 Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 260 Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 304 Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 305 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 310 Aesthetics
  • PHIL 352 Rorty and Contemporary Pragmatism
  • PHIL 352 Wittgenstein
  • PHIL 352 Philosophy and Conceptual Art
  • PHIL 352 Democracy
  • PHIL 473 Democtratic Experimentalism

Recent Publications

  • “Blaxploitation in the Age of Obama: Black Dynamite, Django Unchained, Racial Reasoning, and Racial Capitalism,” in Movies in the Age of Obama: The era of Post-Racial and Neo-Racist Cinema, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015: 57-65.
  • Contemporary Pragmatism, “From Social Contract Theory to Sociable Contract Theory,” Vol. 11, No. 2 (2014), 1-17.
  • Dan Rice at Black Mountain College: Painter Among The Poets (Asheville: Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 2014). 1-68.
  • “Metaphysical Philosophers and the “Practical Statesmanship” of Supreme Court Justices in NFIB v. Sebelius,” in The Affordable Care Act Decision: Philosophical and Legal Implications, New York:Routledge Press, 2014: 42-54.
  • “Wittgenstein in Paul Auster’s New York: Language in City of Glass,”Postscript, Vol. 29, Issue 3 (2014): 1-12.
  • “Rorty, the First Amendment and Antirealism: Is Reliance upon Truth Viewpoint-Based Speech Regulation?, reprinted in Thom Brooks, ed., Lawand Legal Theory, Leiden: Brill, 2014, p. 23-42.
  • Pragmatism Today, “Addendum to Law, Pragmatism and Constitutional Interpretation: Information Production and Posner’s Experimentalist Jurisprudence.” Vol. 4, Issue 2, 2013: 209-214.
  • “Pragmatism, Democratic Experimentalism and Law,” in Pragmatism, Law, and Language, New York: Routledge Press, 2013, p. 205-223.
  • “Obama’s Pragmatism in International Affairs: Appropriate or  Appropriation?,” in Shane Ralston, (ed), Philosophical Pragmatism and International Relations, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013, p.159-176.
  • “Aesthetics in American Law,” reprinted in Eve Darian-Smith, Laws and Societies in Global Context: Contemporary Approaches, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 128-144.
  • New Review of Film and Television Studies, “Dark borders: film noir and American citizenship,” book review essay, 2013, p. 1-4.
  • International Encyclopedia of Ethics, "Thomas Jefferson," Oxford:Blackwell Publishing, 2013, p. 2832-2835.
  • Contemporary Pragmatism, Organizing editor and contributor to special issue on “Democratic Experimentalism” – that includes, Barry Allen,Christopher K. Ansell, James Bohman, Amy Cohen, Jamison Colburn, Justin Desautels-Stein, Michael Dorf, Gregory F. Pappas, Shane Ralston, Charles Sabel, William Simon, Lenart Scof, Mark Tushnet, and M. Wilkinson.   Specific sections of mine in the volume follow: “Guest editor’s Introduction,” Volume 9 (2012): 1-4; “Law as a Democratic Means: Deweyan Jurisprudence and Democratic Experimentalism,” Volume 9 (2012): 241-254.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "Tapping Reeve," New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 882-885.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers "Joseph Story," New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 997-1002.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "John Taylor,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 1024-1028.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "James Kent,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 612-616.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "John C. Calhoun,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 164-170.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "Alexander Hamilton Stephens,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 980-983.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "Henry Hughes,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 564-566.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "George Fitzhugh,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 394-397.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "St. George Tucker,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 1052-1055.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "James Wilson,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 1156-1162.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "John Adams,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 6-11.
  • Encyclopedia of Early American Philosophers, "John Jay,” New York: Continuum Press, 2012, p. 576-580.
  • Education and Culture, “Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope and the American Political Tradition,” Volume 28, 2012, p. 87-90.
  • Pragmatism Today, "Law, Pragmatism and Constitutional Interpretation: From Information Exclusion to Information Production," Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012, p. 39-57.
  • Contemporary Pragmatism, "Dews, Dworks, and Poses decide Lochner,” Volume 7, Number 2, 2010, p. 15-44.
  • Contemporary Pragmatism, "Sen's The Theory of Justice: Back to the (Pragmatic) Future," Volume 7, Number 2, 2010, p. 219-229.
  • Soundings, “Cass Sunstein, John Dewey and the Pragmatic Cost-Benefit State,” Volume 93, Number 1-2, 2010, p. 95-116.
  • Etica & Politica, "Democracy and Law: Situating Law within John Dewey’s Democratic Vision,” Volume 12, Number 1, 2010, p. 256-280.
  • Bloom’s Literary Themes: Civil Disobedience, “Where Is the Civil in the Invisible Man’s Disobedience?” New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2010, p. 163-173.
  • Film & Philosophy, "Blackness is Noir: Flory's Philosophical Investigation of the Black Noir Genre in Film," Vol. 14, No. 1, 2010, p. 332-336.
  • The Review Journal of Political Philosophy, "Constructing a Pragmatic Conception of Human Rights: The Contribution of T.H. Green," Volume 7, Number 2, 2009, p. 103-121.
  • Emerson Woelffer: At the Center + at the Edge, Asheville: Black Mountain College, 2008, p. 1-12.
  • Film-Philosophy, "Seeing Ecology and Seeing as Ecology: On Brereton's Hollywood Utopia and the Anderson's Moving Image Theory," Vol. 11, No. 1, June 2007, p. 61-69.
  • Journal of Moral Philosophy, “Rorty, the First Amendment and Antirealism: Is Reliance Upon Truth Viewpoint-Based Speech Regulation?” Volume 1.1, April 2004, p. 69-88.
  • Contemporary Pragmatism, “Law’s Image of Pragmatism-Another Legal Fiction,” Vol. 1, No. 1, June 2004, p. 151-157.
  • Film-Philosophy, “Studying (the Theoretical Analysis of) Contemporary American Film,” Vol. 8, No. 42 (December 2004), unpaginated.
  • Studies in American Culture, “Morality, Economy, and the Nature of the World: Fourier and Thoreau,” Volume 26.2, October 2003, p. 89-108.
  • Legal Studies Forum, “Aesthetics in American Law,” Volume XXVII, No. 1, 2003, p. 201-220.
  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Law and Economics" 2003, unpaginated.
  • Essays in Philosophy, “Legal Pragmatism: Banal or Beneficial as a Jurisprudential Position?" Volume 3, No. 2, June 2002, unpaginated.
  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Legal Pragmatism," 2001, unpaginated.
  • Radical Philosophy Review, "All Rights Are Affirmative," Volume 4, Number 1, 2001, p. 95-101.
  • Florida Philosophical Review, “There are Peoples and There are Peoples: A Critique of Rawls’ Law of Peoples,” Volume 1, Issue 2, Winter 2001, p. 1-24, 
  • International Journal of Politics and Ethics, "Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach: Political Criticism and the Burden of Proof," Volume 1, Number 1, 2001. Reprinted in Politics and Ethics, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2002, p. 73-86.
  • The Legal Studies Forum, "Is All Judicial Decision-Maiking Unavoidably Interpretive?" Volume XXV, Number 3 & 4, 2001, p. 315-329.
  • Humanities in the South (Journal of the Southern Humanities Council), "Thoreau, Maine and Fourier: Three Versions of Autonomy," Number 87, 2001, p. 40-55.
  • The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, "Posner’s Problem with Moral Philosophy," Volume 7, 2000, p. 325-343.

Grants, Awards, etc.

  • Project Director for successful NEH “We The People” Grant for “Black Mountain College: And Artistic and Educational Legacy.” $118,668.00. 2010-2011.
  • Curator and successful applicant for $15,000.00 grant for Emerson Woelffer: At the Center + at the Edge.
  • UNC Asheville Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities (2008-2009)
  • UNC Asheville Outstanding Scholarship and Creative Achievement Award (2003-2004)

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Founding Member and Ex-Chair of the Board of Flood Art Center (www.floodgallery.org)
  • Vice Chair and Board Member of the Black Mountain Museum + Arts Center
  • Member of organizing committee for a three-show series The Women of Black Mountain College.
  • Founder of annual conference Re-Viewing Black Mountain College.
  • Co-editor The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies
  • Tennis Player (USTA Benchmarked 4.5)
  • Coined the University of Chicago Law School Class of 2000 slogan: “Free Markets, Not People” (please note the irony)