Iowa Lyceum brings philosophy to local high school students

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Students seated in classroom during Iowa Lyceum
High school students participated in the third annual Iowa Lyceum in June. For more photos, visit the Iowa Lyceum's Facebook page.


This summer, a group of local philosophers held the third annual Iowa Lyceum, a week-long program designed to introduce local high school students to philosophy in a friendly environment.

The Lyceum is run primarily by faculty members, graduate students, and alumni of the Department of Philosophy, part of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

This year’s event focused on topics related to science and technology. Presentation topics included:

  • The morality of a legal case surrounding Google's obligation to block certain search results
  • Juvenile imprisonment as it relates to findings in contemporary neuroscience
  • The compatibility (or incompatibility) of science and religion
  • The relationship between science and technology
  • Moral issues surrounding cloning

Iowa Lyceum co-founder Greg Stoutenburg, who is a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy, said the team was also encouraged to see more racial and gender diversity represented in the program’s third year. The program strives to welcome students from all backgrounds, and provide an accessible starting place for young people to learn about philosophy and critical thinking.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.