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Karen Hoffman

Karen Hoffman

Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tel: 301-696-3433
Office: Chapel


  • Ph.D., Saint Louis University


Karen Hoffman joined the Hood faculty in 2001 and is a professor of philosophy. Prior to coming to Hood, she served as a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Michael’s College, in Burlington, Vt., and at The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn. She earned her doctoral degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Mo., in the fall of 2000. Professor Hoffman's regular course offerings include, Ethics, Professional Ethics, History of Philosophy I and II, Logic, and Great Figures in Western Philosophy. Specializing in ethics, her scholarly interests center on issues in ethical theory and on the work of the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. Her dissertation discussed the nature and scope of moral obligations to forgive, particularly with reference to Kierkegaard and Kant. She has continued her dissertation research in several recent papers on the topic of forgiveness. As both a teacher and a scholar, she views her task to be not unlike the one described in Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript: "You must do something. But, since, with your limited capacities, it will be impossible to make anything easier than it has become, you must, with the same humanitarian enthusiasm as the others have, take it upon yourself to make something more difficult."