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.   

The department offers an undergraduate major and a minor in Philosophy; a major and a minor in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL); and a specialized masters’ degree and a PhD in applied philosophy.   

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.


BG Philosophy Goes to New Zealand

In January 2019, Dr Ian Young, Teaching Professor in the BGSU Philosophy Department, took a group of 14 BGSU students to his home country of New Zealand on an environmental ethics and environmental art-themed trip.
The university's new Winter Session allowed the time needed to make a trip to somewhere as distant as New Zealand worthwhile.  They spent almost three weeks traveling around the South Island, exploring the ways in which environmental issues are handled there, and participated in a restoration project in the Mahu Whenua area, in cooperation with faculty from the University of Otago, Dr Young's alma mater.
This trip was the culmination of a long-held dream of Dr. Young's to take BGSU students there. He is in the midst of planning next year's trip in January 2020.

Department Events

Fall 2019:

The 10th Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy
"Assailing the Anthropocenethe ethics of disruptive innovations for surviving our climate-changed world"
Rescheduled to a future date
Keynote speakers: Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard) and Andrew Light (George Mason) Invited speakers: Anne Barnhill (Johns Hopkins) and Zachary Piso (Dayton) For further information about the workshop and the Call For Abstracts, see the Workshops and Conferences page Or the workshop poster


New Faculty Member: Dr. Hrishikesh Joshi

The department is delighted to introduce our newest full-time faculty member, Dr. Hrishikesh Joshi, who joined us in the Fall semester 2019. Dr Joshi received his PhD from Princeton University, then recently completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He describes his area of research interest as focusing on normative issues at the intersection of philosophy, politics and economics. He is also interested in meta-ethics and ethical theory.


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.