Welcome to Philodemic!

The Philodemic Society has been Georgetown University’s premier on-campus
debate society for almost two centuries. Philodemic pursues “eloquence in the defense
of liberty” by considering a wide variety of topics with a diverse range of perspectives.

At Philodemic, you can improve your public speaking skills
by participating in meaningful dialogue about relevant issues.

In addition to hosting weekly debates, the Society fosters close friendships
through its mentorship program and frequent events outside the debate room.

Please join us Thursdays from 8-10 pm in the Philodemic Room, Healy 208!
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The Philodemic: A Georgetown Institution

Steeped in Tradition, Engaging the Future

Founded in 1830, the Philodemic is among the oldest debate societies in the United States and the oldest secular student organization at Georgetown.

The Society employs the Jesuit value of Contemplation in Action by pursuing “eloquence in the defense of liberty” through intellectual discourse. Each Thursday, the Society meets to consider timeless questions as well as contemporary issues that our school, nation, and world are facing. Our Society debates not to compete, but to challenge ourselves. We celebrate our diversity of perspectives welcome all to listen, learn, and engage in the important topics discussed.


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The Society

Philodemic is about more than just our weekly debates. The Philodemic Society is a close-knit community, which distinguishes us from other debating groups on college campuses.

After each debate, Philodemicians journey to Martin’s Tavern to continue the discussion and reflect on the debate. The Society also hosts regular events like Speakers’ Workshops to improve public speaking. Additionally, traditions like the Hamilton Debate, which welcomes alumni back to campus, and the Richard T. Merrick Debate, which honors our most eloquent members, are special parts of the Philodemic experience.



Business attire is requested for debates. However, if the dress code is an impediment to your attendance for any reason, we ask that you join us regardless. For any additional information, please contact philodemic@georgetown.edu.


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Becoming a Philodemician

All are welcome to become members of the Philodemic Society. There is no application to become a Philodemician. Instead, we allow prospective debaters to become fully immersed in the culture of Philodemic right away so they can discern whether or not to pursue membership.

If you choose to become a member, you will have to go through a process that is built to prepare you to be an effective communicator. You can learn more about the process here. No prior debating experience is necessary and in fact, most Philodemicians did not debate prior to joining.

Membership allows you to become a formal part of the “Philo Family.” Once a member, you can participate more freely in debates, volunteer to keynote discussions, and take on leadership roles in the Society.

If you have any questions about membership and mentorship, contact philodemic@georgetown.edu


If you are interested in Philodemic and would like to give us your information, please fill out the form below and one of our officers will reach out to you. Thank you!

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