Philosophy & Ethics Seminar

Program for Entering High School Seniors and College Freshmen

July 3 – 9, 2022
Pittsburgh, PA
Fee: $645

Application & Payment Information

Click here for the online application, which includes a short essay on why you would like to attend the seminar.

  • Applications submitted by May 1, 2022 will be given priority.
  • Notification of acceptances will be mailed out on a rolling basis beginning May 7, 2022.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $25 is due at the time of application.
  • For those accepted, full payment is due by June 11, 2022. The deposit will apply toward the total cost.
  • Payments should be made online by clicking on the “Payment” tab above.

For more information, contact the program staff at

An Introduction to University Life

What is a university education and what can you expect from it? Is college just a way to prepare for a profession? Can it be something more?
Philosophy & Ethics offers entering high school seniors and college freshmen a unique opportunity to experience a college-level class in the humanities. For five days, the students read and discuss a classical philosophical text. The classes are held in seminar-style and are led by an experienced college professor.
The seminar centers on a classic philosophical text which is accessible to the student but also demands serious effort. The readings are meant to raise deeper life questions, the kinds of questions that any student—whether a humanities major or not—should reflect on during his college years.

The 2022 Seminar

The text for the seminar is Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. The topic of this book is the fulfilled human life and includes discussions of happiness, virtue, and friendship. For over two thousand years, and even to our times, it has remained the starting point for all discussions of ethics.
The seminar will be taught by Dr. David M. Gallagher, former professor of Ethics at The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) and a Consulting Scholar at the James Madison Program of Princeton University.

Present-Day Issues

In addition to the morning classes on the Nicomachean Ethics, Professor Gallagher will also lead a one-hour seminar each afternoon focusing on the subject of relativism. After an initial lecture, the remainder of the class time will be devoted to discussion and debate as a way to help the students learn how to recognize and critique relativistic claims which are commonly made in the media, in public policy, and in the university. As a result, students will be much better intellectually prepared to begin their college career.
Some time each day will be dedicated to reviewing the assigned readings in preparation for class.