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
See here for future job openings in the Philosophy Department. None advertised at present.


BG Philosophy Goes to New Zealand

In January 2020, Dr Ian Young, Teaching Professor in the BGSU Philosophy Department, took a group of 6 BGSU students to his home country of New Zealand on an environmental ethics themed trip.
The university's 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 hopes to offer the trip in the future once international travel to New Zealand is again possible.

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.) (in-person March 25)


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.