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 annually since 2013. Graduate students in the University of Iowa Philosophy Department organize and host the program, aiming to introduce students ages 13-18 to philosophy.  University of Iowa philosophy professors present and lead discussion on topics related to each year's theme.

The Iowa Lyceum promotes philosophy and self-reflective, careful thinking through a free week-long summer camp. The program introduces participants to philosophy interactively by integrating activities, discussion, games, and presentations. Philosophy is essential to a well-rounded education and the intellectual habits cultivated by philosophical education are paramount not only to a well-functioning society, but to living a meaningful life.



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)