Philosophy Department

Welcome to the Philosophy Department!
Philosophy is the active pursuit of knowledge or wisdom. It emphasizes logic and rigorous, critical thinking—valuable skills that are useful in many contexts. Philosophy is considered excellent preparation for graduate and professional careers in fields such as law, health sciences and public service.   

BGSU has an international reputation for its focus on applied philosophy, which includes ethics, meta-ethics, ethical analysis of public policy, and political philosophy. The department has an active group of scholars, and hosts regular colloquia and annual workshops on applied ethics and public policy.

At the undergraduate level, the department offers a major and a minor in philosophy. At the graduate level, the department offers a specialized masters’ degree and a PhD in applied philosophy. See the Graduate Program home page for more details.

Home of the Philosophy Politics, Economics and Law Program
The department is also home to an innovative, multidisciplinary undergraduate major and minor in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL). See the PPEL home page for more details.   

Employment Opportunities
The department is currently taking applications for adjunct teaching positions starting in Fall 2022. See here for more details.


BGSU Ethics Bowl Team Competes at National Tournament

The BGSU Ethics Bowl team competed at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl finals in February 2022.

Only 36 colleges in the country make it to Nationals, and qualification is through regional competitions held throughout the country each Fall. BGSU competed in the Central States regional competition at Marian University, Indianapolis, in November 2021 and won all of their matches, finishing 3-0, thereby qualifying for the national tournament. The National tournament was to be held in Cincinnati in February 2022, however it was changed to a virtual tournament, due partly to covid-19 related reasons.

BGSU's opponents at Nationals included Stanford University, Occidental College, the University of California at San Diego, and Seattle University. All four of the matches were very close, and BGSU ended up with three losses and one win, over Seattle University, which wasn't enough to enable them to advance to the "Elite Eight" stage. They performed very strongly though and impressed both the judges and the coaches with the strength and clarity of their arguments, as well as the way they worked together as a team. Overall, they finished 27th in the country. The team's achievement is especially significant due to the fact that only one of the six team members had ever participated in Ethic Bowl previously, and they finished ahead of several schools who have regularly qualified for nationals.  

The team members are, as pictured, from left to right, Zachary Harper, Joseph Castellano, Joseph McQuillin, Nick Weaver, Hannah Mehno, and Ellie Davis. They are coached by Dr. Christian Coons and Dr. Ian Young.

Department Events


Fall 2021 and Spring 2022:

We have the following lineup for colloquium speakers for this academic year. All sessions will are at 5PM Eastern Time, on Fridays.
Olivia Bailey (UC Berkeley) (in-person October 22)
Joseph Heath (U. of Toronto) (remotely November 19)
Lara Buchak (Princeton U.)(remotely December 3)
Peter Railton (U. of Michigan LSA) (in-person February 4)
Michael O’Rourke (Michigan State U.) (via Zoom, March 25)
April 1-2, 2022: The 11th Annual Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy
This years topic: Democracy and Political Epistemology
For more information, see the program here


New Faculty Member: Dr. Jeff Carroll

The department is delighted to introduce our newest full-time faculty member, Dr. Jeff Carroll, who joined us in the Fall semester 2021. Dr. Carroll works on issues in social and political philosophy, PPE, and the philosophy of law. More specifically, he is interested in justice, democratic theory, and political obligation. His ongoing research involves how to theorize about justice and how to measure the quality of institutional decision-making. 


What Can I Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy can prepare you for all sorts of fascinating careers.  Meet three of our recent BGSU philosophy graduates -Robert Mominee, Hannah Nicol, and Daniel Gordon- and see what amazing things they've gone on to do with their degree.

Explore Our Programs

Philosophy, Politics, Economics, & Law

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Explore Our Programs

Philosophy, Politics, Economics, & Law

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Studying Philosophy at BGSU

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Philosophy are expected to be able to:

  • Read and understand sophisticated philosophical texts;
  • Critically evaluate philosophical arguments;
  • Construct and defend philosophical arguments in well-organized, clear, and concise prose;
  • Demonstrate mastery of basic philosophical concepts and methods, both orally and in writing;
  • Apply critical-thinking and argument-evaluation skills to the philosophical issues and arguments that present themselves in everyday life;
  • Engage in rational, civil discourse about complex and emotionally laden topics in a manner that is respectful of others.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Philosophy program is currently undergoing Program/Cluster Review.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Philosophy program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Philosophy program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 06/26/2023 12:39PM