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 engaged in a job search for 2024-25 academic year adjunct faculty. For further details, see here.


Remembering Don Scherer

We are sad to report the passing of a longtime faculty member of the department, Don Scherer.

Professor Scherer joined the philosophy faculty in 1967, having previously taught at Hobart College. In 1999-2000, he visited at Santa Clara University, where he consulted with environmental studies faculty on how to incorporate ethics within the scope of their research, whatever their disciplinary base. Emeritus since 2003, he continued to teach courses in environmental philosophy, with particular interests in the social aspects of ecological restoration, the ethics of energy use, and the relationships between sustainability, the specialization of labor and negative externalities. The vice-president of Green Energy Ohio, Professor Scherer consulted on environmental developing concerns, including approaches to greening industry, park uses, urban restoration, private-public partnerships and wind and solar energy development.
He was one of the faculty members who built the Philosophy Department at BGSU from relatively humble origins to its current status as one of the foremost departments in the nation in its niche of applied philosophy.
He is survived by his loving wife Char, and a multitude of children and grandchildren.

Department Events

13th    Annual    Bowling    Green    Workshop    in    Applied    Ethics    and    Public    Policy 

Democracy:    Defenses,    Alternatives,    Threats

April 5  and April 6, 2024    

Location: Pallister Room in Jerome Library, BGSU Campus

Friday, April 5: Beginning at 9:30 AM Saturday, April 6: Beginning at 10:30 AM

Keynote addresses, which will begin at 5:00 PM each day, will be given by:

Julia Maskivker (Rollins College)

Loren Lomasky (University of Virginia)

For more information, please contact Jeff Carroll ( or Michael Weber (

See full workshop schedule here

Justin Donhauser Recognized with 2023 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy

The department is delighted to announce that our late collegue Dr. Justin Donhauser is the recipient of the 2023 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy by the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE).

ISEE established this award to promote work in public philosophy and honor contributions to the field by Dr. Andrew Light, who was recognized for his distinctive work in public environmental philosophy at ISEE’s 2017 annual summer meeting. With this award, ISEE strives to recognize public philosophers working in environmental ethics and philosophy, broadly construed, and who bring unique insights or methods that broaden the reach, interaction, and engagement of philosophy with the wider public. This may be exemplified in published work or engagement in environmental issues of public importance.

This year’s Andrew Light Award winner is Dr. Justin Donhauser of Bowling Green State University (USA). The award recognizes Dr. Donhauser posthumously for outstanding achievements in public philosophy over the course of a highly engaged, but sadly truncated career.

See here for further details.

Dr. Donhauser was also recently promoted to ther position of Teaching Professor in the Department.


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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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: 03/18/2024 03:50PM