Philosophy Major

The major consists of nine courses.

Required Courses
PHIL 2111Ancient Philosophy1
PHIL 2112Modern Philosophy1
PHIL 2223Logic1
Select six additional elective courses in philosophy:6
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 from the advanced level (3000–3999)

Philosophy Minor

The minor consists of five courses.

Required Courses
PHIL 2111Ancient Philosophy1
PHIL 2112Modern Philosophy1
Select one course from the intermediate level (2000–2969).1
Select one course from the advanced level (3000–3999).1
Select one additional elective from any level.1

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • 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 writing 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 writing 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. One semester may count toward the minor 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 PHIL 2111 Ancient Philosophy, PHIL 2112 Modern Philosophy, and PHIL 2223 Logic 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 PHIL 2111 Ancient Philosophy or PHIL 2112 Modern Philosophy for a single-semester course that covers both ancient and modern philosophy; credit for PHIL 2223 Logic is typically not given for a course on critical thinking or informal logic.
  • Courses cross-listed with philosophy may double-count to another department or program.

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue