The Dialectic: Philosophy Summer Camp


2022 Topic: Why don’t they get it? How to engage disagreement. 

We are constantly bombarded by disagreement - with our friends, with our parents, on social media, on the news - it seems to be around every corner. Moreover, these are not inconsequential disagreements, they are about things that we care about - things that matter to us. We try to explain to people why we believe what we believe but they just don’t seem to get it. Why don’t they get it? 

This year's summer camp is going to have this issue as its focus. Some of the topics we will be addressing are: 

  • What is good argumentation? What does good reasoning look like?
  • What do values have to do with disagreement? How do we respect people’s values when we disagree? Should we respect people’s values?
  • What is good evidence? What do we do when we have different evidence than someone else?
  • Is my point of view uniquely accessible to me? How can I share it with others?
  • What could reasonable political dialogue look like?
  • How can I engage with disagreement?

For one week, you’re a college student. Rigorously examining evidence, beliefs, values, and reasoning. You come to ASU’s Tempe Campus in the morning and leave in the evening. You are working with ASU’s rigorously trained philosophy graduate students to figure out the answer to this question: Why don’t they get it? And, maybe even more importantly, a secondary question: How should I engage? In the meantime, you’re hanging out with your peers that want to look at life a little more carefully. You are part of an intellectual community. You’re running around campus, eating in dining halls, peeking into the life of a college student. 


Dates: Monday, June 6- Friday, June 10, 2022
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Coor Hall, ASU Tempe Campus

Eligibility and Tuition

The Dialectic is open to any student that was in high school (9th-12th grade) during the 2021-2022 school year or is just graduating 8th grade.

Tuition for The Dialectic is $325.

Tuition covers the cost of the camp including instruction, lunches, materials, and facilities. 

Payment in full is due upon registration. While registering, please review the Refund/Cancellation policy on the payment confirmation page before finalizing submission.

For students with financial need, SHPRS awards a small number of need-based scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on need and application answers. If you accept a scholarship, you are making a commitment to arrive on time and to participate fully in the camp. To request a scholarship please contact Angela Barnes BEFORE you fill out the registration.

Meet the instructors

Angela Barnes is a Philosophy PhD student studying technology and wellbeing. She is researching how the dependencies that we have on our smartphones (among other things) change the way that we interact with the world around us, and moreover, what that means for our own flourishing. Previously, she worked with a philosophy summer camp while she was getting her BA at Ohio State. Chatting about values and life’s biggest questions are Angela’s favorite hobbies, and she is looking forward to working with curious high school students again this summer!


Aubrial Harrington is from the Verde Valley in Northern Arizona. She earned her BA from Northern Arizona University in Politics, Philosophy and Law with minors in economics and classical studies, and is now pursuing a PhD in Philosophy focusing on social and political philosophy, critical theory, philosophy of economics, and Latinx philosophy. She loves to teach and talk about philosophy and has enjoyed participating in middle school and high school philosophy mentoring programs.


Triston Hanna is a PhD student focusing on emotion and its role in our political and social lives. He is intrigued by the reasons that we do things, and specifically the role played by emotion in bringing us to act and think in certain ways. In his undergrad at NAU he studied philosophy and microbiology, and brings to philosophy a more scientific and empirical perspective and methodology. When not doing philosophy he enjoys bouldering, hiking with his partner, and traveling.

Register now

Registration deadline is extended to May 30, 2022.

Spots are limited.

Questions? Contact Angela Barnes.

Why philosophy?

Philosophy is the practice of critical thinking. Looking headlong into hard problems and reasoning through them. 

For those of us that search for the “WHY?” around every corner, philosophy is intrinsically appealing. We get to engage the questions and the topics that we care about the most, with other people that care about those same things. 

For others, philosophy is a pathway to being a better thinker - to think and solve problems more creatively. Philosophy is a set of skills, skills that will serve you in college, in a job, and in life. Students that study philosophy in college test higher than students of all other majors on the GRE (graduate school application test) and become invaluable employees. Learning to think clearly and to communicate effectively is the most transferable skill on the market. Whether you want to be a lawyer, programmer, or business owner - philosophy can help you do it at the top of your game.