SUU hosts free philosophy summer camp for middle school, high school students

Students taking notes during a lecture, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah University will host the fourth annual Utah Lyceum from June 11-15.

Every summer since 2015, SUU has planned, organized and hosted the Utah Lyceum – an outreach program providing local middle school and high school students the opportunity to explore philosophy.

This free summer camp is led by SUU professors Kris Phillips and Kirk Fitzpatrick. Students will also receive lunch each day and copies of the books of focus in addition to free professional instruction.

According to a news release from SUU, the subjects covered in this year’s Utah Lyceum will include logic, informal fallacies, John Perry’s “A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality” and Plato’s “Five Dialogues.” 

“Philosophical instruction is too valuable to wait until college, where it is often at best a course students take to satisfy a degree requirement,” Phillips said in the news release.

Students share their research with peers, professors and members of the community during a poster session, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

Throughout the camp, participants will learn the basics of formal reasoning as well as how to identify and evaluate arguments. Phillips and Fitzpatrick help participants research and develop a project to present at the end of camp to family and friends. 

Students who complete the Lyceum are often more likely to continue studying philosophy. Roughly 30% of the Lyceum participants go on to enroll in a university-level philosophy class. Some students have also chosen to become philosophy majors.

“I decided to study philosophy at SUU because of the Lyceum,” said SUU senior Kaleigh Bronson, who attended the camp in 2015. “I really enjoyed the readings and discussions we had. It’s an amazing opportunity that has had a lasting impact on me and my academic career.”

SUU offers both a major and a minor in philosophy. Philosophy classes focus on logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and the history of philosophy. Students who study philosophy often enter fields of teaching, civil service, politics and public service. For more information about the philosophy program at SUU, click here. 

For more information about the Utah Lyceum or to enroll, click here or email utahlyceum@gmail.com.

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