Kate Manne's research is primarily in moral, feminist, and social philosophy. Her first book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny is a systemic exploration of the nature, function, and social dynamics of misogyny, even in allegedly post-patriarchal contexts such as the US, the UK, and Australia. Down Girl was selected as a Book of the Year by Carrie Tirado Bramen for Times Higher Education, Cordelia Fine for The Big Issue, Skye Cleary for The Reading Lists, Chuck Mertz for This is Hell, and was included among the Dozen Most Memorable Books of 2017 by Carlos Lozada for The Washington Post. Her latest book Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women was released in August 2020.
Manne has also published a number of scholarly papers about the foundations of morality, which posit a novel source of some of the most fundamental moral claims on us as agents: the bodily imperatives of other people and creatures—e.g., a subject’s “make it stop!” state of pain, fear, hunger, or social humiliation—together with social norms that help to enable their fulfillment, and prevent their violation. She has defended Bernard Williams-style reasons internalism, arguing that a moral claim does not count as a reason for an agent unless she can be rationally persuaded to recognize it as a reason for her. And many agents appear quite recalcitrant.