Philosophy 

Sarah O’Brien Conly, Department Chair
Jean M. Harrison, Department Coordinator

Professors: Scott R. Sehon, Matthew Stuart
Associate Professor: Sarah O’Brien Conly
Assistant Professor: Kristi Olson†
Fellow: Jonathan Vertanen

Requirements for the Major in Philosophy

The major consists of nine courses.
Required courses:

  • Philosophy 2111
  • Philosophy 2112
  • Philosophy 2223
  • six additional elective courses in philosophy
    • one course with a primary focus on epistemology and metaphysics (Philosophy 1040–1049, 1400–1499, 2400–2499, 3400–3499)
    • one course with a primary focus on value theory (Philosophy 1030–1039, 1300–1399, 2300–2399, 3300–3399)
    • At least two courses must be from the advanced level (3000–3999).

Requirements for the Minor in Philosophy

The minor consists of five courses.
Required courses:

  • Philosophy 2111
  • Philosophy 2112
  • one course from the intermediate level (2000–2969)
  • one course from the advanced level (3000–3999)
  • one additional elective from any level

Additional Information

  • Unless an exception is made by the department, a course that counts toward the major or minor must be taken for a letter grade (not Credit/D/Fail), and the student must earn a grade of C- or better.
  • Topics in first-year seminars change from time to time but are restricted in scope and make no pretense to being an introduction to the whole field of philosophy. They are topics in which contemporary debate is lively, and as yet unsettled, and to which contributions are often being made by more than one field of learning.
  • First-year seminars count toward the major and minor.
  • Introductory courses are open to all students regardless of year and count toward the major. They do not presuppose any background in philosophy and are good first courses.
  • Two semesters of independent study or honors project may count toward the major with departmental approval. Although courses numbered in the 3000s are advanced seminars primarily intended for majors in philosophy, adequately prepared students from other fields are also welcome. Besides stated prerequisites, at least one 2000-level course in philosophy is a helpful preparation.
  • Of the nine courses required of the major, at least five must be taken at Bowdoin; of the five required for a minor, at least three must be taken at Bowdoin. Students who wish to complete the major or minor are encouraged to take Philosophy 2111, 2112, and 2223 at Bowdoin. In some circumstances, an appropriate non-Bowdoin course may meet one of these requirements; this is determined by the department after review of the syllabus. No credit is given for either 2111 or 2112 for a single-semester course that covers both ancient and modern philosophy; credit for 2223 is typically not given for a course on critical thinking or informal logic.

(Department/Program website)