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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Philosophy

Last Updated: December 2018

Programs Supported

The Philosophy collection is designed to support an undergraduate program leading to a BA in Philosophy.  The curriculum provides an appropriate pre-professional preparation for law, psychology, religious studies, medicine, theology and psychology and is also is a preparation for students who will continue with higher degrees in Philosophy.  The philosophy major is made up of three parts: three lower-division courses consisting of a year-long sequence in the history of philosophy and a logic course; seven upper-division courses that offer deeper exposure to different areas in philosophy; and one upper-level seminar that provide an opportunity to engage the works of a philosopher or a tradition in great depth.  The Department also offers a minor in Philosophy that is compatible with many other majors, including majors in various occupations:  nursing, psychology, business, engineering, journalism, and administration of justice.

The Master of Arts in Philosophy requires a core of advanced seminars in ethics/aesthetics, epistemology, logical theory, metaphysics, emphasis on a single philosopher and additional coursework at the upper division or graduate level, either in Philosophy or other areas.  The MA can be pursued through any of three plans: the traditional master’s thesis, the Reading Intensive plan, or the Applied Philosophy Project. 

Existing Resources

The University Library collection serves as the University’s main resource for this subject.  Films on CDs and videotapes are collected by the Library and housed in the Instructional Resources Center.  Theses are included in the Online Catalog, and some of the videotapes may be viewed in the IRC. For online streaming films, check the SJSU Streaming Videos Collections:

A small collection of works on philosophy is also available in the San Jose Public Library collection in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.


Materials in philosophy are also applicable in other disciplines such as Political Science, History, Humanities, etc. and are coordinated with these fields.  Some areas of the collection also duplicates materials found in the San Jose Public Library in the following areas:  Philosophy (General, History), Logic, Speculative Philosophy, Ethics, and Religions.

Collection Strengths

The collection has many of the basic works for the undergraduate level.   Areas of strength include Philosophy of Science, Feminist Philosophy, and Business Ethics.

Evaluation of Collection – Future Plans


A.  Current Status:  The collection of resources is supported by the print and electronic resources located through the Philosophy Research            Guide:

B.   Future Evaluation Plans

Areas that need more development are those dealing with major philosophical concepts such as metaphysics, philosophical movements, as well as those on philosophy in cultures in addition to Europe and North America, and the works of important philosophers.  Philosopher coverage is uneven with some major philosophers well covered and others not.  Due to the interests of new instructors, the collection needs to expand and develop its coverage of Chinese philosophy, Mexican Philosophy, and African-American Philosophy.  

Future objectives for evaluation of the Philosophy collections include:
1.    replacement of essential materials that are missing
2.    the weeding of materials damaged beyond repair and replacement of essential titles

We currently subscribe to Philosophers Index and Religion and Philosophy Collection.  It is our goal to add the PhilPapers database. Increased funding for developing the depth of book and periodical collections is desirable to improve the coverage of materials available for research and study.