Almost 3,000 years ago, a new way of life was born. It grew and changed but remained centered on the life and character of communities devoted to becoming human. A cross between a contemporary research institute, consulting firm, spiritual community, book club, and social revolution, this way of life took shape as the philosophical school.
An ancient innovation made new, the Lyceum revives the revolutionary birthplace of our greatest ideas and most enduring institutions.
Initiatives for the Public Good
The Marginalia Review of Books: The Marginalia Review provides universal access to thinkers and artists and creates new knowledge through connecting the separated silos of the university, arts, and culture into a single space of insight and learning, curated by expert editors guided by our vision of democratizing depth in an age drowning in the shallows. As a growing magazine, we reach hundreds of thousands of readers and are in the process of expanding our programs and partnerships.
Becoming Human Podcast: Launching in the fall of 2019, Becoming Human explores what it means to be human through conversations about big ideas in philosophy, religion, science, and culture.
Public & Private Courses: Courses and workshops focused on building an accessible community around learning in relationship.
Connecting everyone from poets to programmers around life’s most pressing questions.
In the Beginning
Founded in 2013, the Lyceum began in a community committed to public lectures and discussions.
The Lyceum is a philosophical community based on the conviction that the most transformative experiences of learning occur in personal relationships, face-to-face contact, and small groups of people who gather to learn together, it is aimed at making philosophical education accessible to professionals in one-on-one and small group settings. At the same time, it seeks to build institutions, networks, and new forms of knowledge to connect separated spaces of our society.
Why the Lyceum?
Gathering Up the Pieces and Healing the Divide
We live in the most complex society in history. Enduring questions about the meaning of human life, the nature of society, and the pursuit of happiness are increasing in importance as the institutions and people devoted to answering them become ever more separate. Insights fragment as the need for unity and coherence increases, specialization intensifies as we face problems whose only solution lies in communities of cooperation and shared understanding.
The dimensions of culture we might expect to find addressing these problems—religion, the university, politics, business, and the arts—often deepen the gaps instead of closing them. Each tends to increase the narrowness, partisanship, and fragmentation in our culture even as each possesses unique resources for addressing our common questions and serving the common good. They all provide pieces of the big picture we need to live well, but the pieces are scattered across the seemingly unbridgeable divides that scar our society: science vs. religion, capitalism vs. socialism, facts vs. values.
If only these separated spheres were connected. If scientific knowledge, religious insight, political practicality, entrepreneurial innovation and artistic vision were brought into conversation with each other for the public good, what would be possible? The Lyceum gathers the pieces we need to become ourselves into a shared space, curated and cultivated by an image of the human that is both ancient and new, still arriving from a future we can only build together.
A Cosmic Community
Philosophy is for everyone.
At the core of the Lyceum is the belief that philosophy is a way of life and that education is the process of becoming human, a process which requires the articulation and pursuit of the ideal, the fruit of which is the capacity for self-guided education, and the ability, desire, and discipline to help others achieve the same.
The results of such an education, pursued with discipline and rigor, are remarkable: high-level writing, speaking, and analytical skills matched with broad-ranging historical and conceptual knowledge serve as the capacity base of a person who is flexible, innovative, and demonstrably capable of independent learning. The capacity to learn new skills and adapt to shifting demands is essential in the global economy but is best achieved as a by-product of voluntarily undertaken learning.
Build Community. Build a World.
The Lyceum offers an economically viable source of continuing education whose basic model can be copied and adapted in widely different contexts, which supports and utilizes the new technological resources for training while simultaneously emphasizing the distinctive and irreplaceable value of personal mentoring, face-to-face contact, and small-group learning. It supplements traditional learning by providing a community for the life-long pursuit of wisdom.