Georgetown prof gives different take on voting in Ethics Center talk

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Jason Brennan.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—It's OK to stay home on election day.

That's the opinion of a Georgetown University professor, who will visit the area this month to deliver a different message on voting as part of the Western Michigan University Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's Fall 2016 Lecture Series.

Dr. Jason Brennan, associate professor of philosophy, will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in 204 Bernhard Center. His presentation, titled "Most People Shouldn't Vote," is free and open to the public.

Jason Brennan

Brennan earned his doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Arizona and is the author seven books, including "Against Democracy" and "The Ethics of Voting." He notes there are lots of ways to contribute to the common good and to do one's part as a citizen. However, to be a good citizen doesn't require that you vote.

On the contrary, Brennan argues most Americans should not vote. Brennan asserts most Americans are ignorant, misinformed and irrational about politics. By voting, they aren't doing society a favor. Bad choices at the polls, he stresses, can result in unjust laws, needless wars and calamitous economic policies.

In addition to being a professor of philosophy, Brennan has served as the Flanagan Family Chair of Strategy, Economics, Ethics and Public Policy in the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Brennan's research focuses on democratic theory, the ethics of voting, competence and power, freedom and the moral foundations of commercial society. Before joining the Georgetown faculty, he was assistant professor of philosophy, research, at Brown University.

Brennan's presentation is co-sponsored by the WMU Department of Philosophy.

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