The Philosophy Department is a central engine of humanistic inquiry and pedagogy at Villanova. Its dedicated research and teaching faculty, its longstanding PhD program, and its key role in the core curriculum (through the required PHI 1000 Knowledge Reality Self course), position it at the center of the University’s mission to promote education and research in accordance with Augustinian values.

The department supports twenty full time faculty members with research interests spanning the breadth of contemporary philosophy. The department has particular strengths in contemporary continental philosophy, social and political philosophy, and the history of philosophy.


Departments/programs/subject areas supported

The department offers an undergraduate major and minor, as well as a PhD in Philosophy.

The 2018-19 Undergraduate Handbook describes the major requirements as follows: "In addition to taking PHI 1000 (Knowledge, Reality, Self), Philosophy majors take nine additional courses including three courses in the history of philosophy, one each in Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy, and Modern Philosophy (through 19th century) as well as a capstone course (PHI 5000 or 6000)."

Frequently taught undergraduate courses include Logic and Critical Thinking, Ethics for Healthcare Professions, Environmental Ethics, Computing Ethics, Engineering Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Love, Philosophy of Women, Catholic Social Thought, Race Class and Gender, Metaphysics, Augustine and Antiquity, Philosophy of Film, Existentialism, History of Ancient Philosophy, History of Early Modern Philosophy, Kant and 19th Century Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind.

The doctoral program emphasizes intensive research, including the completion and defense of an original dissertation, in addition to teacher training and professional development. 40-some PhD students are active in the program at the present time.

The following broad areas of research are represented within the Department: ancient philosophy, Augustine, medieval philosophy, early modern philosophy, Spinoza, German idealism, Kant, Hegel, contemporary continental philosophy, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, ethics, bioethics, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, cognitive science, critical theory, feminist and queer theory, Asian philosophy.

The Department includes the Ethics Program, which has its own faculty and postdoctoral researchers, and is responsible for the core ETH 2050 course. See the Ethics Collection Development Statement for more details.

In addition to the Ethics Program, research and teaching in the Philosophy Department also closely complements the work of the Augustinian Institute, the Humanities Department, the Theology Department, and the Center for Peace and Justice Education.


Resources Collected

  • Scholarly monographs in electronic and print format (academic presses preferred)
  • Academic journals (peer reviewed preferred)
  • Major indexes to philosophy journals
  • Encyclopedias, companions, and handbooks (electronic format strongly preferred)
  • Critical editions of primary source texts in all areas of philosophy (print format preferred)
  • Original language editions and English translations of major works in areas of specialization
  • Major works in interdisciplinary and cognate fields, including political theory, sociology, feminist and queer theory, linguistics, psychology and cognitive science.

Resources and materials collected selectively or by request:

  • Audiovisual materials (by request only)
  • Academic journals in print format (only if electronic format is unavailable)
  • Foreign language monographs and journals (selectively)
  • Microform (by request only)
  • Conference proceedings (selectively)
  • Festschriften (selectively)
  • Pamphlets (by request only)

Resources not collected:

  • Non-Villanova theses and dissertations
  • Ephemera
  • Preprints
  • Manuscripts
  • Non-scholarly or popular press books

Collaborations within the library

The library’s collections for Philosophy support a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including Classical Studies, Humanities, Theology and Religious Studies, Nursing, English, Psychology, Political Science, and others.


External collaborations

Decisions about the selection and deselection of materials are made in frequent consultation with members of the Philosophy Department, the Ethics Program, the Augustinian Institute, and the Center for Peace and Justice Education, and other academic units on campus.


Subject Librarian

Nikolaus Fogle



Created: 6/5/2018

Last updated: 2/4/2019