IV. Special Programs, Organizations and Awards


The Department and the Philosophy Club sponsor the Great Debates, a series of debates by BGSU faculty members and outside authorities on controversial topics of the day.  Recent debates have included such topics as “Is It Wrong to Eat Animals?” and “Are People Just Biochemical Machines?”

The Department, along with the BGeX program, sponsors a team (or teams) to compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.  This is an annual competition in which teams from colleges across the country debate against each other over a number of real cases involving ethical issues.  Teams compete in regional “bowls” in the fall and then winning teams move on to the national finals the following spring.

The Department also sponsors a colloquium series in which noted philosophers present papers on topics of philosophical interest.


The Philosophy Club is an organization of students interested in Philosophy.  It co-sponsors the Great Debate series, and holds activities throughout the academic year.  A number of Philosophy students are also members of the Law Society, a group of students who intend to apply to law school at the end of their undergraduate studies at BGSU.


The department also recognizes up to three outstanding junior or senior majors each spring with the Ramona Cormier Book Award, the Robert Goodwin Book Award, and the Tom Tuttle Book Award.  For these awards, a GPA of 3.5 or higher is required.  Each award carries a $200 award.  Students are recognized at a College of Arts & Sciences ceremony in the spring.

The Jonathan S. Heskett Memorial Book Award is given annually to the graduate or undergraduate philosophy student pursuing a degree in environmental policy with a concentration in environmental ethics or philosophy.  Candidates for this award must submit a one-page paper demonstrating their perspective on the meaning of life to the department chair.  The deadline for application is the end of February.  A monetary award accompanies this honor.

The James W. Child Scholarship was established by his family and friends’ help deserving rising junior or senior Philosophy majors with at least a 3.25 GPA pursue their love of philosophy. The award is based on financial need and a short essay, double-spaced, on a topic in a field that Dr. Child specialized in. Essay guideline details are established by the award committee on an annual basis.  Contact the Philosophy Department secretary for application details.