Most material comes from the United States and Western Europe, with lesser amounts from Eastern Germany and Poland. Some material is acquired in the English language from Russia, and from Japan.
Proceedings of conferences and symposia are acquired from wherever they emanate.
Rare material is acquired from as far back as the Seventeenth Century (Descartes, Galileo, Locke), with some emphasis on the Eighteenth Century. The course of study extends from about 500 B.C. to the present day, with very little coverage of the Mediaeval period.
Most materials acquired by the Department lie directly in these or other areas of Western Philosophy. However, philosophy has a strongly interdisciplinary component (e.g. philosophy of mind is closely related to psychology; philosophy of science is related to science and to history of science). As a result of these relationships with other fields, some of the acquisitions by the Department will fall outside of the heading 'philosophy' as narrowly conceived. The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.
The fields in which the PhD program of the Department proposes to continue to supervise theses are:
- Social, Political and Legal Philosophy (A)
- Theoretical and Applied Ethics (A)
- History of Western Philosophy (A)
- Metaphysics and Epistemology (A)
- Philosophy of Science, Language and Logic (A)
In addition, the following areas are collected at an intensive level to support faculty research:
- Logic: Including Philosophical Logic, Symbolic Logic, History of Logical Theory, Logic and Set Theory, Mathematical Logic. (A)
- The philosophy of Bertrand Russell, in support of the Bertrand Russell Archives and the Bertrand Russell Research Centre. (A)
- Greek Philosophy. (A)
- Medical Ethics (A)
- Phenomenology and Hermeneutics. (A)
- Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes through Kant. (A)
The following areas are collected at a comprehensive level:
- Theory of Knowledge. (B)
- Eighteenth Century philosophy, in conjunction with the Eighteenth Century Association. (B)
- Philosophy of Religion. (B)
- Modern European Philosophy: Including Existentialism. (B)
- American Philosophy. (B)
The following areas are collected at a beginning research level:
- Mediaeval Philosophy: Including Renaissance Philosophy and Early Christian Philosophy. (C)
Arts and Social Sciences