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Tenth Annual Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) for Undergraduates

2015 Theme: "Philosophy and Social Justice"

The Institute will take place at Penn State from June 13–June 22, 2015.

Philosophy is often criticized for originating in an “armchair” or an “ivory tower.” Yet part of the aim of philosophy has always been to address questions that arise out of collective human practices. This year’s theme will look at the relationship between social engagement and philosophical reflection. We will look particularly at how, beginning from attention to actual social relations, we can enhance the discipline of philosophy. Our speakers come from a variety of philosophical subfields, including metaphysics, philosophy of language, and political philosophy, but each does work that begins in social and political critique. Through readings, writing assignments, visiting lecturers, and professional mentoring, students will learn how theorizing from their own political perspectives and social locations can contribute to the ongoing development of philosophy.

Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the APA, PIKSI is expanding. PIKSI held at Penn State will become PIKSI ROCK. In addition, MIT and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, will offer PIKSI BOSTON.


What is the Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute?

This institute is designed to encourage undergraduate students from under-represented groups to consider future study in the field of philosophy. PIKSI will emphasize the on-going project of greater inclusiveness that is transforming the discipline, inviting students to be participants in the conversation.

PIKSI-ROCK and PIKSI-BOSTON will be operating separately, although undergraduate applicants will use one online application form, on which they will indicate which PIKSI they want to apply to. The online application form can be found at PIKSI-BOSTON, where students can also find further information about PIKSI-BOSTON.

PIKSI-ROCK will take place at the Rock Ethics Institute on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. It will be 10 days long for undergraduates and 12 days for graduate assistants. PIKSI-ROCK will accept 16 students each summer for the next three years.

If you know promising undergraduate women or men from underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQA persons, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities, please call this program to their attention. In addition, please consider serving as their “sponsor.” Faculty sponsors mentor students, helping them to prepare their applications, and, when possible and appropriate, work with the students after the Summer Institute to help further the gains the students have made.

Transportation to and from the institute, room and board, and a small stipend will be provided for participants. While we expect that most students will come from four-year colleges, promising students from two-year institutions are also welcome.

PIKSI 2015 Co-Sponsors

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
American Philosophical Association
Rock Ethics Institute, Penn State
College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State
Department of Philosophy, Penn State
Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT
Dean's Office, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
Michigan State University
Stony Brook University
University of Oregon
University of Washington
Iris Marion Young Diversity Scholars Fund
Ann Arbor Philosphers' PIKSI Funding Initiative
Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory (FEAST)

PIKSI has also been supported by the generous gifts of the following individuals to the Iris Marion Young Diversity Scholars Fund:

An anonymous gift that established the fund
Joan Callahan
Stephanie Shields and Lew Jillings 
Nancy Tuana
and other anonymous contributors

Past Sponsors and Events

For more information on PIKSI collaboration between MIT and the University of Massachusetts-Boston, please visit the PIKSI-BOSTON page.


A FEAST project made possible by the generous support of the Rock Ethics Institute, College of the Liberal Arts, and APA Board of Officers