Alex King is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo). She works in ethics, metaethics, and aesthetics and runs the aesthetics and philosophy of art blog Aesthetics for Birds.
What is your favorite thing that you’ve written?
The most fun paper to write was my paper on subtlety. I also really enjoy writing posts for the blog. For instance, I had a ton of fun with my posts about high and low art and emoji (which I have the distant goal of turning into papers). I don’t know if these are my favorite things I’ve written all things considered, but they’re definitely the ones I had the best time working on.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a bunch of stuff, but most of it falls into two major projects. One is a short book for Routledge on ‘ought implies can’ that’s meant to be a postgraduate-level introduction to the debate, plus some of my own arguments against it and how we can do without it. The other is a project that examines the parallels between morality and aesthetics in terms of their normative structure, status, and so on. Part of this is forthcoming in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly as “The Amoralist and the Anaesthetic”. I’m working on developing other parts, including a paper defending aesthetic normativity and one on aesthetics and the overridingness debate.
What are you most proud of in your professional life?
Solving my two-body problem, hands down.
What do you like to do outside work?
Well, I find being pre-tenure mostly stressful and busy. So honestly I don’t have tons of time outside of work. I like to do physical things, by which I mean stuff like calligraphy, sewing, or other kinds of manual labor that have tangible products. Recent examples include car maintenance, fixing broken stuff, and ripping up carpet. But the reality is that a lot of what I do outside work is stress out about not working (which, to be clear, I don’t actually like doing). In the end, this means that I try to maintain an exercise regimen (with varying success) but mostly end up watching TV.
What time of day are you most productive and creative?
I’m not really a morning person or a night owl. I do like to start my morning with a cup of tea and reviewing my tasks for that day. But between research, emails, teaching, and the blog, I basically work on and off all day long. I don’t do any extreme Pomodoro stuff, but I work best when I take periodic breaks between roughly 2-hour work sessions.
Name a skill that you have that others may not know about.
I played the bagpipes for several years. Also, existing without coffee.
What’s your poison?
Good tea, a smoky and peaty single malt, or grapefruit juice.
Find out more about Alex here!
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