Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Philosophy

Written 10/92, Robert Mareck; Revised 1/05, Jane Arnold; Revised 10/19, Lydia Tang, Last updated by Terrie Wilson 08/23

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

The philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics collection supports the campus research and teaching in the philosophy program and fundamentally supports interdisciplinary inquiry among the arts, letters, social and natural sciences.  

B. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases

Probably the first book acquired by the library was a book about philosophy. The discipline is as old as the beginnings of humankind reflection and is encompassed in the medieval forerunners of modern education (trivium and quadrivium). Hence, the collection has representative works about philosophic issues from nearly every era. The classics of Western thought were acquired aggressively both in the original languages and in standard English editions. Partially resulting from MSU Libraries' participation in the cooperative acquisition PL 480 program for Southern Asia, there is a strong representation of Asian philosophy. As a collection that serves the entire campus, it addresses all of the basic branches of philosophical inquiry: logic, aesthetics, metaphysics, theories of knowledge, ethics, and the history of philosophy. Particular collection strengths echo and compliment the activity of MSU philosophy department faculty, including emphasis on the intersection of philosophy with health care, science, environmental ethics, feminist philosophy, and African/African-American philosophical traditions.