The History of the Iowa Lyceum


Iowa Philosophy Lyceum Logo - Updated June, 2020 to include the University of Iowa colors
The Iowa Lyceum has been operating every year, since 2013. The graduate students in the University of Iowa Philosophy Department organize and execute the program with an eye towards the goal of introducing critical reasoning and philosophy to high school students, ages 13+.  The University of Iowa's Ph.D. certified philosophy professors present on topics within their area of expertise.

The Iowa Lyceum promotes philosophy and critical thinking by offering a free week-long summer camp. The program introduces participants to philosophy interactively by integrating activities, discussion, games, and lecture, presenting philosophical concepts often neglected in standard K-12 education.We believe philosophy is essential to a well-rounded education and that the intellectual habits cultivated by philosophical education are paramount to a civil society, so why wait until college?!



Participants discussing during the 2013 Iowa Lyceum
Photo of a discussion from the 2013 Iowa Lyceum - Led by Kris Phillips

    Why Study Philosophy?

    Philosophy has a number of practical benefits that have been well documented. For example, it has been well established that college philosophy students fare significantly better than many other students on graduate admission exams. For sources, see:
    In addition, philosophy majors are not sacrificing financial stability for their "love of wisdom". See:
    Beyond scores and income, the value of one's ability to think clearly and think for oneself is priceless. This value is measured in the ability to live one's life according to reasoned choices in all walks of life, making one's philosophical education too important to wait. Below you will find a number of articles from experts in a diverse array of fields explaining the practical benefits of studying philosophy:


    The Value of Philosophy (Russell)