Philosophy Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Davidson Library Philosophy collection is to provide support for the graduate and undergraduate programs in the Philosophy Department. The collection also supports the research work of the faculty and graduate students in the department.



The Library's collection reflects the range of philosophical topics and traditions of interests to the Philosophy Department. Particular emphasis is placed on analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, and philosophy of language as these areas are covered extensively in the department. In general, materials collected fall under the following subjects, but not limited to:


  • aesthetics
  • ancient philosophy
  • environmental aesthetics
  • epistemology
  • ethics
  • logic
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of mind,
  • metaphysics
  • political philosophy
  • social philosophy.

The collection consists primarily of philosophical works in English. Translations of relevant works are collected selectively. Reference materials and other bibliographic resources are collected mainly in English.

Chronological limits
While there are no applicable limits, the emphasis is on eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth philosophy. Materials on Ancient Greek philosophy in particular, Socrates, Plato, Socratic schools and Hellenistic philosophy are also acquired.

Date of publication
Emphasis is on current imprints. New and revised editions are selectively purchased. Retrospective acquisitions are made as needed to enhance the collection as well as to replace lost or damaged materials.

Geographical areas
There is no restriction of geographical areas if the work is relevant to the program of the Department. Ancient Greece and the geographical areas of European, United States, and Canada have special priority.

Place of publication
The majority of publications comes from the United States, Great Britain, and Western Europe.


Materials are collected in all formats with emphasis on research and academic oriented monographs and journals. North American university press titles are received on approval and other materials are selected individually. Reference materials are evaluated and selected. Textbooks are not generally acquired. Subscription to journals are initiated and maintained in consultation with faculty.

Materials in electronic format are purchased, particularly journals. CD-ROM materials are purchased selectively, especially when other electronic formats are not available. Audio-visual materials are also purchased upon requests.


Collaboration occurs frequently with other subject specialists in the Humanities, particularly in the areas of Classics and Religious Studies given the interdisciplinary nature of philosophy and its traditions


Author: colmenar [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Gerardo Colmenar)
Policy Last Updated: October 2004