Brown University ~ Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Faculty

Picture of David Estlund
David Estlund
Lombardo Family Professor of Humanities
206 Corliss Brackett
Office Hours: On leave Fall 2014

David Estlund has been teaching moral and political philosophy at Brown since 1991. He previously taught at University of California, Irvine, and has spent fellowship years at the Program in Ethics at Harvard and at Australian National University. His research interests center around liberalism, justice, and especially democracy. He is editor of the collection, Democracy (Blackwell, 2002) and the author of Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework (Princeton, 2008). He is at work on a book to be called Utopophobia, on questions of realism and idealization in political philosophy.

Estlund has recently offered seminars on consent, borders, equality, political justification, political legitimacy, and the philosophy of John Rawls.

Online Papers


"Replies to Commentators", replying to four pieces about my book, Democratic Authority, in Ethics, Vol. 121, No. 2, January 2011, pp. 354-389. (PDF)

"Replies to Commentators", replying to three pieces about my book, Democratic Authority, in Representation, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2010. (PDF)

"I Will If You Will: Leveraged Enhancements and Distributive Justice", Partiality and Impartiality - Moralty, Special Relationships and the Wider World, Cottingham, Feltham and Stratton-Lake, eds. Oxford University Press, 2010. (PDF)

"The Truth in Political Liberalism", Truth and Democratic Politics, Norris and Elkins, eds., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010. (PDF)

"On Christiano's Constituting Equality" The Journal of Political Philosophy, 17:2, 2009, pp. 228-240. (PDF)

"Reply to three commentators", for symposium on my book, Democratic Authority, in Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 58, January 2009, pp. 73-88. (PDF)

"On Following Orders in an Unjust War, " The Journal of Political Philosophy, 2007. (PDF)

"Democratic Theory,” for Oxford Handbook for Contemporary Philosophy, Smith and Jackson, editors, Oxford University Press, 2006. (PDF)

"Political Authority and The Tyranny of Non-Consent,” Philosophical Issues , 15, 2005, pp. 351-67. (PDF)

"The Persuasiveness of Democratic Majorities,” with Robert Goodin, in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, May 2004, vol. 3, iss. 2, pp. 131-142(12) (PDF)

"The Democracy/Contractualism Analogy,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 31, no. 4 (Fall 2003), pp. 387-412. (PDF)

"The Audacious Humility of John Rawls,” Dissent, April 2003. (PDF)

"Why Not Epistocracy?” in Desire, Identity and Existence: Essays in honor of T. M. Penner, Academic Printing and Publishing, 2003. (PDF)

"Deliberation Down and Dirty: Must Political Expression Be Civil,” in The Boundaries of Freedom of Expression and Order in American Democracy. Kent State University Press, 2001. (PDF)

"Deliberation and Wide Civility: Response to the Discussants,” in The Boundaries of Freedom of Expression and Order in American Democracy. Kent State University Press, 2001. (PDF)

"Political Quality,” Social Philosophy and Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Winter 2000, pp. 127-60. (PDF)

"The Insularity of the Reasonable: Why Political Liberalism Must Admit the Truth,” ETHICS, vol. 108, January 1998, pp. 252-275 (PDF)

"Liberalism, Equality and Fraternity in Cohen’s Critique of Rawls,” The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 6, number 8, March 1998, pp. 99-112. (PDF)

"Shaping and Sex: Commentary on Parts I and II," Sex, Preference, and Family, Estlund and Nussbaum, eds., Oxford University Press, 1997. (PDF)

"Beyond Fairness and Deliberation: The Epistemic Dimension of Democratic Authority," in Deliberative Democracy, James Bohman and William Rehg, eds., MIT Press, 1997. (PDF)

"The Survival of Egalitarian Justice in John Rawls' Political Liberalism", The Journal of Political Philosophy, March 1996, pp. 68-78. (PDF)

"Opinion Leaders, Independence, and Condorcet's Jury Theorem," Theory and Decision January 1994, pp. 131-162. (PDF)

""Making Truth Safe For Democracy", The Idea of Democracy, Copp, Hampton, Roemer, eds. Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 71-100. (PDF)

"Who's Afraid of Deliberative Democracy? The Strategic/Deliberative Dichotomy in Recent Constitutional Jurisprudence," Texas Law Review, June 1993, pp. 1437-1477. (PDF)

"Mutual Benevolence and the Theory of Happiness," The Journal of Philosophy, April 1990, pp. 187-204. (PDF)

"Democracy Without Preference," The Philosophical Review, July 1990, pp. 397-423. (PDF)

"The Persistent Puzzle of the Minority Democrat," American Philosophical Quarterly, April 1989, pp.143-151. (PDF)

"Democracy and the Common Interest: Condorcet and Rousseau Revisited," American Political Science Review, December 1989, pp. 1317-1322. (PDF)


Reflective Democracy, by Robert E. Goodin, Ethics, April 2005

Review of Cambridge Companion to Rawls, Ethics, April 2004. (PDF)

Review of Making Democracy: What Constitutions Do, by Cass Sunstein, Ethics, July 2003. (PDF)

Waldron on Law and Disagreement,” Philosophical Studies vol. 99, no. 1, May 2000, pp. 111-128. (PDF)

Review of Justificatory Liberalism, by Gerald Gaus, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 59, no. 3, September 1999. (PDF)

Review of Private Consciences and Public Reasons, by Kent Greenawalt, Ethics, January 1997. (PDF)

Review of Democracy and Decision, by G. Brennan and L. Lomasky, Economics and Philosophy vol. 12, number 1, April 1996, pp. 113-119. (PDF)

Review of Legislative Intent and Other Essays, by G. MacCallum, Philosophical Review 1996, pp. 605-607. (PDF)

Review of The Dialogue of Justice: Toward a Self-Reflective Society, by James Fishkin, Ethics, October 1994, pp. 186-188. (PDF)

Review of The Normative Grounds of Social Criticism: Kant, Rawls, Habermas, by K. Baynes, Political Theory, November 1992, pp. 694-697. (PDF)

Review of The First Amendment, Democracy, and Romance, by S. Shiffrin, Ethics, July 1992, pp. 871-874. (PDF)

Review of The Good Polity, Hamlin and Pettit, eds., Ethics, October 1990, pp. 189-191. (PDF)