Alexandra King

Associate Professor

Education

  • Ph.D. in Philosophy, Brown University 
  • B.A. in Philosophy with Honors, Minor in Mathematics, University of Chicago

Biography

My research is generally concerned with moral and aesthetic oughts, reasons, and normativity.

I have written extensively about the 'ought implies can' principle, according to which we (roughly) can do anything we are morally obligated to do. I have argued against this in a few articles and in my monograph, What We Ought and What We Can (Routledge, 2019).

Currently, I am thinking through what aesthetic normativity looks like: the shape it takes, its parallels and interactions with other varieties of normativity (like the moral and epistemic), and whether it can be said to exist at all.

Within aesthetics, I am also interested in an assortment of issues, including subtlety, high and low art, aesthetic/artistic agency, and applied arts.

I also own, run, and regularly write for the aesthetics and philosophy of art blog Aesthetics for Birds, which aims to make concepts and arguments in academic aesthetics accessible to a wide, public audience.

 

Publications

Below is a list of selected publications. For a full list, please see my website.

BOOK:

What We Ought and What We Can, Routledge, 2019

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

"The Culpable Inability Problem for Synchronic and Diachronic 'Ought Implies Can'", Journal of Moral Philosophy, 2019
"The Amoralist and the Anaesthetic", Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 2018
"'Ought Implies Can': Not So Pragmatic After All", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2018
"The Virtue of Subtlety and the Vice of a Heavy Hand", The British Journal of Aesthetics, 2017
"Actions That We Ought, But Can't", Ratio, 2014