The Department of Philosophy offers a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. as well as two joint programs: a M.D.-Ph.D.program and a J.D.-Ph.D program. In addition to the undergraduate major in philosophy, the Department also participates in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE); Visual Studies; Cognitive Science; and Logic, Information and Computation majors. The department offers graduate courses in the major periods of the history of philosophy as well as in the major fields of and approaches to contemporary philosophy. It supervises advanced research in a number of areas, including metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, and historical as well as contemporary philosophy.
The department's strengths in ancient philosophy are complemented by Penn's strong program in Classics, its strengths in the history of modern philosophy by Penn's general strength in intellectual history. The University as a whole has strong commitment to cognitive science. The department overlaps and is strengthened by associated faculty, particular those in the programs of Business Ethics, Medical Ethics, and Law.
Aided by the Mezvinsky endowment, the Philosophy fund purchases interdisciplinary political, policy, economic, legal, and psychological works that are not part of the traditional philosophical mainstream but greatly inform contemporary philosophical work such as that done by scholars in the PPE program.
Collection decisions prioritize philosophy and philosophical themes not traditionally seen as canonical, including material historically excluded because of the race, gender, or place of residence of authors. This material is collected at a higher level than other categories.