Karen E Stohr


Associate Professor
Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics


Department of Philosophy
General profile



+1 202-687-7487

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On research leave in Spring 2017


Karen Stohr joined the philosophy department at Georgetown in 2002, where she is an associate professor. In 2011, she also became a senior research scholar in Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics. From 1999-2002, she taught at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Professor Stohr’s primary research area is ethics, with a focus on Aristotelian virtue ethics and Kantian ethics. She also has research and teaching ethics in bioethics, especially in Catholic medical ethics. Her book, On Manners, was published by Routledge in 2012. She has published a number of articles in academic journals on topics such as Aristotelian practical wisdom, Kantian duties of beneficence, and the relationship between morality and manners. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Professor Stohr has given many lectures and interviews about her work on manners and civility, both for fellow academics and for the wider public. She has done several podcasts about her work on manners, including one for the New Book Network, and she has been quoted in magazines ranging from Businessweek to Glamour. In 2013, she was an invited panelist at the Choose Civility symposium, “OMG to AARP: Bridging the Multigenerational Divide.” She has also been a guest on The Diane Rehm Show. In addition, Professor 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. One of her favorite projects at Georgetown is her work with the Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning.

Professor Stohr lives in suburban Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and their golden retriever.


  • Ph.D (1999) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Philosophy
  • M.A. (1994) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Philosophy
  • B.A., summa cum laude (1992) University of Notre Dame, Government and philosophy