University of Hawaii at Manoa Library




The Department of Philosophy provides students with a thorough knowledge of the history and problems of western philosophy as well as specialized work in one of three areas of study: western philosophy, Asian philosophy, or comparative philosophy. The department offers the BA, MA (non-thesis and thesis options), and PhD degrees. Since the 1930's the department has focused on comparative east-west philosophy, and remains today one of the leading institutions in the country in the area.

The department's teaching and research interests include Buddhist philosophy, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian philosophy, logic, American philosophy, aesthetics, social and political philosophy. The department responds to requests for courses and conferences from the professional schools within the university, the State of Hawaii, and the community at large.

The department supports two respected international journals, The Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Philosophy East and West, and it sponsors the East-West Philosopher's Conference.


The interdisciplinary areas of ancient philosophy, bio-ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, and mathematical logic are the selection responsibility of the Philosophy selector. Most jurisprudence and philosophy of law materials are acquired in cooperation with the social science selectors and the Law library.

Vernacular materials in Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian philosophy are acquired by the respective Asia collection selectors. English language material in those areas is referred to the Asia collection for selection.

The Charles A. Moore Philosophy Library serves as a reference library for the Philosophy Department faculty and students, and duplicates textbooks required for the curriculum.


Language: Primarily in English; some French, German, Greek and Latin are also included. Russian and other east European materials are collected selectively. Materials are acquired in the Asian languages of Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, and Hindi. Some Arabic and Persian texts have been added as gifts.

Chronological: No limitations.

Geographic: Emphasis is on western philosophy and Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese philosophies. Material on Islamic and Jewish philosophy is collected. Resources in Russian and east European philosophies are not extensively acquired, and few African and Latin American philosophy materials are collected.

Date of Publication: No limitations.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: Books and serials account for most materials collected. All formats may be collected, including electronic, print, and microform. Microfilm may be acquired if print is not available. Dissertations are acquired at faculty request.

Electronic Format: Electronic resources include indexes, databases, reference tools, e-books, and so forth. Networked electronic access is preferred for full text journal literature and for indexing and abstracting.

Treatment: Primary and critical works pertaining to the western philosophical tradition and the Asian fields of Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, and Japanese philosophy are acquired. Materials relevant to comparative philosophy are acquired. All significant secondary sources are actively sought. Works relating to Islamic and Jewish philosophy, and contemporary American and the continental European approach to historical and textual study are acquired. Pictorial treatments are not emphasized. Popular treatments and textbooks are generally excluded.

Compiled by: Ross Christensen

Date: June 2008

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