Recognizing the importance of greater access to philosophy for all adults, youth, and children, as well as the scarcity of funds available for philosophy programs, in 2016 PLATO began funding a wide range of innovative philosophy programs with the aim of broadening philosophy’s reach around the United States. Many of the programs funded by PLATO take place in public and other non-traditional settings.
The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) is not a federal agency. Accordingly, no grants awarded by the PLATO Philosophy Fund shall be subject to Facilities and Administrative Cost as defined in subsection B.4 of Appendix A to 2 Code of Federal Regulations part 220, or as otherwise defined by any college or university. Moreover, the PLATO Philosophy Fund does not award funding for fringe benefits or grant administration costs. Grantee organizations should support these costs through other funding sources. Please address any questions to Development Committee chair Jana Mohr Lone at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications are due in January each year, with funding decisions announced in the spring.
Applications are Closed
Information about 2020 funding applications will be available in Fall 2019.
Learn how you can apply for a PLATO Philosophy Fund Grant!
Applications are due January 31, 2019.
Questions? Email us at: email@example.com
- You must be a PLATO member to apply for funding. You can join here.
- Download application
- When completing the application, you have 2 options…
- Print and fill out by hand (download the PDF) -OR-
- Download and fill out on your computer using the Microsoft Word version
- Then scan (if necessary) and/or upload your answers by clicking on the Application Submission.
Click here to view the online form »
Previously Funded Programs
We are excited to highlight the 2019 PLATO funded programs. Thank you to our sponsors and donors for making this funding possible.
- Buffalo State Lyceum Philosophy Workshop is a free weeklong philosophy workshop for middle and/or high school students to introduce them to philosophical reasoning and topics that are relevant to their lives.
- Merlin CCC (Helena, MT) Philosophy in the Community Program offers philosophy-based community activities, including nature walks with guest speakers, symposia, forums for children and adults, and “Philosophy Think & Drinks.”
- SoCal Philosophy Academy Summer Institute is an annual philosophy summer day camp for Ventura and Los Angeles County high school students, with an emphasis on minority students and those historically underrepresented in higher education, on the California Lutheran University campus. The academy introduces students to philosophical analysis and problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, and teaches them how to construct/reconstruct and evaluate philosophical arguments.
- California State University Bakersfield P4C on Campus is a program in which college students lead philosophy conversations at the university library for a visiting group of approximately 160 elementary school children.
- Volunteer State Lyceum (Tennessee) involves a five-day summer camp on the theme of “Games and Philosophy,” in which students will play board games in the morning and discuss philosophical themes related to those games in the afternoon.
- UNT Denton Environmental Philosophy with Children Summer Camp (Texas) is a five-day student-led summer camp program with the central theme of “place,” in which a group of philosophers, artists, and local educators collaborate together to provide various philosophical and artistic activities that encourage children to engage in thinking about the nature of place.
- Longmont Thinks! Community Philosophy Program (Colorado) involves a public information program, community philosophy discussions, and philosophical activities designed to encourage the citizens of Longmont, Colorado, and surrounding towns to make the practice of philosophy part of their everyday lives.
- P4C at Arthur Christopher Community Center (Charleston, SC) is a program of philosophy for children sessions for children ages 5-12, primarily from low-income African American families, who attend summer programs at the Arthur Christopher Community Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
Thanks to the contributions of our sponsors, PLATO continues to deepen its impact and expand its scope by funding innovative programs. In 2018, PLATO provided funding for:
- The SoCal Philosophy Academy is an annual philosophy summer day camp for Ventura and Los Angeles County high school students, with an emphasis on minority students and those historically underrepresented in higher education, on the California Lutheran University campus. The academy introduces students to philosophical analysis, argumentation, and problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, and teaches them how to construct/reconstruct and evaluate philosophical arguments.
- Ball State Philosophy High School Outreach Program and Pre-College Philosophy Conference provides Indiana high school students – who have little exposure to philosophy – the opportunity to study philosophy with college students and faculty from Ball State University. The project involves an outreach program, a philosophy club at Muncie Central High School, and a precollege philosophy conference at Ball State.
- Young Philosophers of South Jersey: Student Ethics Workshop invites high school students to a free one-day interactive event focused on contemporary ethical issues, where students learn from Rowan University philosophy professors and upper-level students in the Philosophy Honor Society. The event features interactive instruction, group work, oral presentations, and debate, culminating in an Undergraduate Student Ethics Conference.
- Philosophy in the Community – a community philosophy organization in Helena, Montana – offers philosophy-based community activities including nature walks with guest speakers, symposia, forums for children and adults, and “Philosophy Think & Drinks.”
- Good Kids, Mad Cities is a program of weekly philosophy classes with incarcerated youth through the Central Juvenile Hall (Los Angeles). The project emphasizes critical thought and encourages students to critique their political reality and find ways of changing the world. Ongoing reading groups in philosophy will be created for young people who are released.
- Philosophy in the Park, a free introductory series on philosophy at Moccasin Lake Nature Park (Clearwater, FL), offers sessions on topics such as the value of philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and aesthetics. It is open to the community and the use of primary sources.
- Corrupt the Youth Summer Philosophy Institute (University of Texas, Austin) is a four-week long summer philosophy institute for high school students, specifically aimed at students from groups underrepresented in philosophy. Its goal is to bridge the ‘opportunity gap’ between low-income minority students and their wealthier peers. The program, which offers students the opportunity to address the issues they will face in their lives, has been expanded to Los Angeles in collaboration with USC, UCLA, and the LGBTQ Youth Center of Greater LA.
- The Iowa Lyceum, a free five-day philosophy summer camp organized by philosophers devoted to advancing precollege philosophy, gives local high school students a chance to engage in philosophy. The small workshop encourages dialogue and active participation and introduces students to logic, critical reasoning, close textual reading, and argumentation. The model has been expanded to Utah and southern California.
Thanks to the contributions of our sponsors, PLATO continues to deepen its impact and expand its scope by funding innovative programs. In 2017, PLATO provided funding for:
- Philosophy in the Community – Helena, MT. Sponsoring philosophy-based community activities such as symposiums, workshops, and forums
- UCSC Philosophy Outreach – Santa Cruz, CA. Philosophy discussions facilitated by volunteers from UCSC’s Center for Public Philosophy in both public elementary schools and inmates in the Santa Cruz Jail
- Beautiful Minds – Washington DC. An after-school club led by high school students to discuss philosophical questions and think critically about subjects important to them
- Young Philosophers of New York, NY. After-school philosophy workshops for older elementary and middle school students in diverse neighborhoods
- Annual Philosophy Summer Camp – Lexington, KY. Free, week-long philosophy summer camp run for 30 young students (half from underrepresented neighborhoods)
- Linguistic Inquiry with Bilingual Children – New York, NY. Integrating philosophy into the Language Arts curriculum of mainstream elementary dual language classrooms
Sponsorships also make possible PLATO’s ongoing programs, including support for:
- Seminars for teachers interested in bringing philosophy to their students
- The High School Ethics Bowl
- A resource-rich website, including The Philosopher’s Toolkit, which contains a wide variety of lesson plans
- A national network of university-based centers bringing philosophy to young students
- Two journals: Questions, featuring student philosophical writing, art and photographs; and Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice, an academic journal
- Our national biennial conference