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


Fall 2023 and Spring 2024:

We have the following colloquium speakers for this academic year. All sessions will are at 4:30 PM Eastern Time, on Fridays, unless otherwise stated.
Alastair Norcross (University of Colorado, Boulder) October 6
Anna Stitz (Princeton U.) October 20
April 5-6, 2024: The 12th Annual Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy
This years topic: "Democracy: Defenses, Alternatives, Threats"
Details to follow

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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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: 01/18/2024 10:32PM