Philosophy and Critical Thinking (PACT) Summer Camp

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Check back in January for information about how to express interest in attending and apply for a scholarship.

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2023 Camp Theme: Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence

Questions we will explore through guest lectures from our world-class faculty, interactive discussions, media, and debates:

  • Can a computer system be “intelligent” or “conscious”?
  • How and why can “artificial intelligence” improve on human decision-making?
  • How and why can the use of algorithms or machine learning improve the fairness of decision-making? How and why can it enshrine bias or other forms of injustice?
  • Who is responsible when a self-driving car or a social media algorithm produces bad outcomes?
  • Does the potential for super-intelligent autonomous AI systems pose an existential threat to humanity?

These are just some of the questions we'll discuss in our time together at PACT! See you there.

About the Camp

The Ohio State Philosophy and Critical Thinking (PACT) Summer Camp is a perfect introduction to the exciting world of philosophical thought. This weeklong summer learning program for high school students is organized and led by the Department of Philosophy at The Ohio State University. It's designed to introduce students to philosophy through learning experiences that are rigorous, engaging, and fun. Over the course of our time together, campers will form a community of inquiry where they can reflect on the issues they care about most, practice critical thinking skills, share some laughs, and (along the way) tackle some of the biggest questions in philosophy today. For the 2023 PACT Summer Camp, we are offering 2 week-long in-person sessions.

Sessions

Session I: June 12-16, 9:00am-4:00pm (plus additional after-camp programming until 6:30pm)

Session II: June 19-23, 9:00am-4:00pm (plus additional after-camp programming until 6:30pm)

Please note that both one-week long sessions present identical content. You will be asked to indicate your preferred session (if either) on your application. 

Apply Now!


Past Participant Responses

When participants were asked at the close of past camps to describe their experience, there were three major themes: fun, unique learning experience, and challenging (insofar as it pushed the development of critical thinking skills).

“I experienced major growth in my… critical thinking skills. I feel that I am now more open to both sides of an argument than ever before.”

“Usually I’m a really straight-forward person, stubborn in my beliefs. This camp made me open to the fact that… only when we look at an issue from multiple sides can we be knowledgeable about it.”

"A powerful learning experience that wasn't stressful, just fun."

"Great experience to learn new things about not only philosophy, but college, other people, and yourself."

"An open, non-judgmental, friendly camp."

"Philosophy camp is a great experience to learn about many things in different aspects. Great to keep your mind going!"

Most past participants have said that the camp made them less nervous or more excited about their college experience. Others reported the camp making them consider philosophy as a major, or attending Ohio State University.  

Additionally, participants have reported developing a diverse set of skills. Those most often reported were the ability to evaluate an issue from multiple perspectives, the ability to critically think, improved debate skills, and an understanding of the mechanics of an argument. Additionally, participants indicated they gained the ability to better articulate their ideas, confidence in developing and defending their own views, and greater tolerance for varied/opposing viewpoints.
 

The PACT Summer Camp is co-sponsored by the OSU Center for Ethics and Human Values and the OSU Chapter of Minorities and Philosophy.