Location: Bowdoin / Philosophy / Curriculum & Requirements

Philosophy

Department Requirements

Requirements for the Major in Philosophy (for the class of 2016 and beyond)

The major consists of nine courses, which must include three required core courses: Ancient Philosophy (Philosophy 2111), Modern Philosophy (Philosophy 2112), and Logic (Philosophy 2223).  Of the remaining six courses, there must be at least one course with a primary focus on epistemology and metaphysics (courses numbered 1040-1049, 1400-1499, 2400-2499, or 3400-3499); and there must be at least one course with a primary focus on value theory (courses numbered 1030-1039, 1300-1399, 2300-2399, 3300-3399).  At least two classes must be from the group numbered in the 3000s.  Students must earn grades of C- or better in courses to be counted toward the major.

Requirements for the Minor in Philosophy (for the class of 2016 and beyond)

The minor consists of five courses, which must include Philosophy 2111 and 2112, one other course from the group numbered in the 2000s, and one course from the group numbered in the 3000s.  The fifth course may be from any level. Students must earn grades of C- or better in courses to be counted toward the minor.

Independent Study and Honors

Intermediate and advanced students are encouraged to pursue independent studies in topics of interest that are not covered by current course offerings. Students doing independent study for credit work closely with a member of the department during the course of a semester and produce a significant piece of writing at the end.

Philosophy majors with a departmental grade point average of 3.3 or better at the end of the junior year are eligible to undertake an Honors project in philosophy. Honors students write a project proposal in September, and then carry out a two-semester independent study culminating in an Honors thesis. Recent Honors projects include: “Words and Objects: Carnap and Quine on Metaontology”; “The Case Against Second-Order Logic as a Model of Logical Consequence”; “Selection Against Gender: Sex Selection, Reproductive Technology, and the Question of Moral Permissibility”; “The Meta-ethics of Simon Blackburn: Taking Morality Seriously on Naturalistic Grounds”; “An Examination of Michael Ruse’s Darwinian Approach to Philosophy.”