Karen Stohr, PhD, MA

Senior Research Scholar,
Associate Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Stohr is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics.Karen has significant research interests in social conventions and the role they play in ethics. Her book, On Manners (Routledge, 2011), is a defense of the moral importance of manners, and she has given numerous lectures about manners and civility in a variety of forums. Lately, she has been writing about how social conventions structure our interactions and shape our moral relationships with each other in specific practical contexts (“Pretending Not to Notice: Respect, Attention, and Disability,” forthcoming in Disability in Practice: Attitudes, Policies and Relationships, Oxford University Press; “The Etiquette of Eating,” forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics). Her current book project, Minding the Gap, focuses on the task of individual and community moral improvement and the role of social practices in facilitating it.Karen is also working on several projects about beneficence and friendship in the context of serious illness and death—how we aid and accompany our friends and family members through challenging and potentially traumatic health care situations. Her paper, “Aristotelian Friendship and Ignatian Companionship” (forthcoming in Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches) explores the moral demands of friendship in such circumstances and argues that the Ignatian spiritual tradition has important insights into how we can best meet those demands.Karen routinely teaches introductory ethics and bioethics courses to undergraduates, in which she emphasizes the value of ethical reflection for everyday decision-making. For the past six years, she has been deeply involved with the Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning. In those courses, she collaborates with mental health professionals on topics relevant to both the course material and the immediate well-being of students. Engelhard topics in her courses have included the following: the use of Adderall as a study aid; the challenge of preventing sexual assault on college campuses; alcohol abuse; inclusion and exclusion in campus social life.Dr. Stohr holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Did you know?

Dr. Stohr's work on the relationship between morality and manners speaks to a broad audience, in ethics, philosophy, and beyond. Her book On Manners (Routledge, 2011) was the topic of a recent lecture at Georgetown University.

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