Seminar Series – When Bad Things Happen to Good Deeds: Moral Problems with Beneficence by Karen Stohr, PhD, MA
Beneficence by definition involves good intentions. But even well-intentioned helping actions can go astray. This talk will be an exploration of the moral dangers that beneficence poses to both givers and receivers of misguided help.
Karen Stohr joined the philosophy department at Georgetown in 2002, where she is the Ryan Family Professor of Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy. 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 interests in Chinese philosophy and in bioethics, especially 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. A second book, Minding the Gap: Moral Ideals and Moral Improvement, was published by Oxford University Press in September 2019. She has just published another book for Oxford University Press, titled Choosing Freedom: A Kantian Guide to Life.