Professors Cummiskey and Stark; Visiting Professor Cohen; Associate Professors Ashwell, Dacey (chair), and Schofield; Visiting Assistant Professor Schilling

The philosophy department encourages all Bates students to take a philosophy course and to consider a philosophy major, minor, or General Education concentration (four courses in philosophy). Students new to philosophy are encouraged to start off with 200-level courses that focus on particular problems of philosophical interest. Topics addressed in these courses include the nature of morality, the justification of law, the place of mind in a physical world, the nature of perception, the justification of our beliefs, the possibility of knowledge, the social construction of race and gender, the understanding of the self, the understanding of space and time, the possible existence of god, the nature and possibility of truth, the purpose and proper understanding of language, and the nature of emotions as well as the point and value of philosophical inquiry itself. Although critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are developed in all philosophy classes, PHIL 195 (Introduction to Logic) provides a more focused study of proper reason that is beneficial to majors and nonmajors alike.

More information on the benefits and opportunities open to philosophy majors is outlined at “Why study philosophy?” on the department website (

This PDF summarizes the requirements for the Philosophy Major, Minor, and affiliated GECs.