Book Launch for UNC Asheville Professor Brian Butler, Aug. 24 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center


UNC Asheville Professor of Philosophy Brian Butler will launch his new book, The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC), 69 Broadway in downtown Asheville. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will provide a launch for Butler’s new book, just released by the University of Chicago Press, in which he posits that the supremacy of the judicial branch as ultimate arbiter of the constitution is problematic for a healthy democracy. Butler presents an alternative conception of constitutional law he calls “democratic experimentalism,” and applies it to key Supreme Court cases including Brown v. Board of Education, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. At the BMCM+AC event, Butler will discuss his ideas and their relation to the conceptions of democracy and experimentation developed at Black Mountain College during the middle part of the 20th century.

“The aim in this book is to develop a more democratically-based conception of constitutional law, but one that also has deep roots in empirical fact,” says Bulter. “Black Mountain College was one of the inspirational visions that informs the book.”

Butler, UNC Asheville’s Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities, teaches courses in philosophy and the humanities, and has published numerous articles on the interfaces of law, philosophy, politics, culture and aesthetics. He graduated from The University of Chicago Law School after earning an MFA and then a Ph.D. in philosophy at Claremont Graduate University.

He is co-chair of the board of the BMCM+AC, co-editor of The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, and the founder of the annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference, which will have its ninth renewal Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at UNC Asheville.

For more information on this event, visit