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Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

Gerald T. Burke, Subject Librarian

I. General Purpose

The University Libraries' collection supports the undergraduate major and graduate (M.A. and Ph.D.) programs of the Philosophy Department. Specialties in this department include: theory of art and aesthetics, history of philosophy, logic, feminist theory, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, bioethics, cognitive science, ethics and public policy, and religion.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: In addition to works in English, the collection includes many works in German, French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Chinese.

Geographical Areas: The ancient world, China, Japan, India, Western Europe, and the United States.

Chronological Periods: From ancient times to the present.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: Monographs, periodicals, and other serial publications in print, microform, and full-text online collections/databases are collected. The standard editions of the major philosophers are in the collection or are acquired as they become available through reprinting. New editions are acquired as published.

Media of all kinds are collected as applicable and available. At present the Library has the complete Past Masters Collection available both online and in CD-ROM; these comprise the full text of the writings of many key philosophers, including Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Descartes, Spinoza, J.S. Mill, Bentham, and Coleridge. Also, video recordings of contemporary philosophers are used extensively.

Types of Materials Excluded: The Library does not collect basic textbooks and periodical reprints. Dissertations are purchased at faculty request.

Interdisciplinary Factors: There is a great deal of overlap with the collections supporting art, English, classics, religion, history, mathematics, computer science, and Judaic Studies.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

In the areas of epistemology, logic, metaphysics, value theory, and philosophy of the mind the University Libraries’ monograph collection is at the Research Level. Other areas in the philosophy collection are at the Advanced Instructional Support Level.

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

The collection at Union College is valuable for its older titles and editions.

VI. Internal Notes

Philosophy is very well covered by the BNA approval plan. Titles in German and by non-approval plan publishers are selected by the Subject Librarian and some titles are requested by the faculty. A form selection plan with Harrassowitz provides access to important European publications in many languages. Such titles are purchased from discretionary funds.

There are many standing orders for sets of the complete works of philosophers and for important series in German and English.

Titles for the Reference collection are purchased by the Subject Librarian for Reference upon recommendation of the Subject Librarian for Philosophy.

October 2003

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