Karen Stohr, MA, PhD

Senior Research Scholar

Dr. Stohr holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown in addition to her role at the KIE.

Her primary research interests are in Aristotelian virtue ethics and Kantian ethics, with publications on topics such as moral emotion and imagination, the virtue of practical wisdom, and the duty of beneficence. She recently published a book on the relationship between morality and manners (On Manners, Routledge, 2011) and is beginning a new book project on moral ideals and human imperfection. She was interviewed about her book for the podcast series, New Books in Philosophy, was a featured guest on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, and has been quoted in magazines ranging from Businessweek to Glamour. In addition, Dr. Stohr is a frequent guest speaker on topics in bioethics, including embryonic stem cell research, end of life care, the principle of double effect, the Henrietta Lacks case, and respect for persons with disabilities. She has served on the ethics committee at Providence Hospital in Washington D.C.

The courses Professor Stohr teaches at Georgetown include introductory ethics, bioethics, and undergraduate and graduate seminars in ethical theory. She often speaks to undergraduate student groups about topics in ethics and bioethics, and in spring 2014, she was part of the faculty team that developed and taught Georgetown’s first bioethics MOOC. She is also involved with several initiatives at Georgetown focusing on the institution’s Catholic and Jesuit identity.

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.

Learn more about the book »



  • Stohr, Karen. On Manners. New York: Routledge, 2011.


  • Stohr, Karen. "Kantian Beneficence and the Problem of Obligatory Aid." Journal of Moral Philosophy 7.4 (2010).
  • Stohr, Karen. "Minding Others’ Business." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90.1 (2009): 116-139.
  • Karen Stohr. "Practical Wisdom and Moral Imagination in ’Sense and Sensibility’." Philosophy and Literature 30.2 (2006): 378-394.
  • Karen Stohr. "Contemporary Virtue Ethics." Philosophy Compass 1.1 (2006).
  • Karen Stohr. "Moral Cacophony: When Continence is a Virtue." Journal of Ethics 7.4 (2003): 339-363.
  • Karen Stohr. "Virtue Ethics and Kant’s Cold-Hearted Benefactor." Journal of Value Inquiry 32.2-3 (2002): 187-204.
  • Karen Stohr and Christopher Wellman. "Recent Work in Virtue Ethics." American Philosophical Quarterly 39.1 (2002): 49-72.


  • Karen Stohr . "Manners, Morals, and Practical Wisdom." Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics. Ed. Timothy Chappell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006: 189-211


  • Stohr, Karen. "Review of "The Heart of Judgment" by Leslie Paul Thiele." Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2007).
  • Karen Stohr. "Review of Linda Zagzebski’s "Divine Motivation Theory" Philosophical Quarterly (2006).
  • Karen Stohr. "Review of Jonathan Jacobs, Choosing Character: Responsibility for Virtue and Vice"." Ethics 113.3 (2003): 702-705.


  • Stohr, Karen. “Affective Transformation and the Kantian Moral Outlook: Commentary on Susan Stark,” forthcoming in Sex, Love, and Friendship: Studies of the Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love 1993 – 2003, ed. Patricia Marino, Value Inquiry Book Series (Amsterdam: Rodopoi).
  • Stohr, Karen and John Prendergast. "Similar Strategies, Devastating Results: Hunger and Unemployment in the U.S. and Africa", (Washington D.C.: Center of Concern, 1991).

Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 3700 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC, 20057, USA