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Accordion List

 

The Department of Philosophy offers a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. as well as two joint programs: a M.D.-Ph.D.program and a J.D.-Ph.D program. In addition to the undergraduate major in philosophy, the Department also participates in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE); Visual Studies; Cognitive Science; and Logic, Information and Computation majors. The department offers graduate courses in the major periods of the history of philosophy as well as in the major fields of and approaches to contemporary philosophy. It supervises advanced research in a number of areas, including metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, and historical as well as contemporary philosophy. 

The department's strengths in ancient philosophy are complemented by Penn's strong program in Classics, its strengths in the history of modern philosophy by Penn's general strength in intellectual history. The University as a whole has strong commitment to cognitive science. The department overlaps and is strengthened by associated faculty, particular those in the programs of Business Ethics, Medical Ethics, and Law. 

Aided by the Mezvinsky endowment, the Philosophy fund purchases interdisciplinary political, policy, economic, legal, and psychological works that are not part of the traditional philosophical mainstream but greatly inform contemporary philosophical work such as that done by scholars in the PPE program. 

Collection decisions prioritize philosophy and philosophical themes not traditionally seen as canonical, including material historically excluded because of the race, gender, or place of residence of authors. This material is collected at a higher level than other categories. 

1. Chronological 

All periods: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary. 

2. Formats 

Books, monographic series, and journals account for most of the material acquired. Streaming video is acquired or licensed for pedagogical and research purposes, usually by request. Microfilm is acceptable when necessary. Ebooks are preferred over print books except when the ebook version is much more expensive or the nature of a title suggests that print use will be preferable. Although not yet requested, data sets relevant to social norms, behavioral ethics, or other themes perhaps captured in data are appropriate purchases for the Philosophy fund. Digitization takes place selectively except for the extensive South Asian Manuscript collection that reflects Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist thought. 

3. Geographical 

All regions. See separate collection policy statements for African, East Asia, South Asia, and Middle Eastern studies, for collection policies for works in non-European languages. 

4. Language 

Mainly Greek, Latin, French, German, and English. Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, and Russian are collected selectively. 

5. Publication dates 

No restrictions, but emphasis is on current material. Older material is purchased selectively to fill gaps in the collection. 

6. Open Access  

Products that lead to open access publications and resources receive priority. Proprietary resources in which we would not normally invest receive greater consideration if they support a competitive market with freely accessible resources. Philosophy as a discipline was an early supporter of Open Access, and standard research tools such as PhilPapers and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy are available openly with the support of Penn and likeminded institutions. 

In addition to the Library's major approval plan (GOBI) for both university and trade publications in the U. S., there are smaller approval plans for German (Harrassowitz), French (Amalivre), and Italian (Casalini) language material. These are supplemented by slip plans from the same vendors. Philosophy journals are scanned for book reviews, publication announcements and "books received" lists. 

None. However, philosophical material may be directed to other bibliographers. For instance, works about medical ethics might come to the attention of the Biomedical Studies librarian and works about aesthetics might be directed to the Fine Arts librarian. 

The American Philosophical Society Library is strong in the history of modern philosophy, especially that of the 18th century. Other strong philosophy collections in the Mid-Atlantic region to which Penn faculty and students have access include those of Princeton and Columbia Universities. Borrow Direct and document delivery more broadly are crucial for providing access to specialty, niche, or uncommon journals and books to which Penn doesn't provide access.