Philosophy to host 4th annual Ethics Bowl in January

The Department of Philosophy and the student led philosophy group; the “Lyceum” will be home to the 4th annual Regional Ethics Bowl on January 27th, 2018.

High schools from around the area will be invited to participate in our Regional Ethics Bowl here at SIUE. Teams will compete to develop arguments in response to ethical dilemmas presented to them. The winning team will be qualified to go onto the National Ethics Bowl.

Each high school team will have five team members compete at a time. Each team will be given a topic and time to confer and form a statement. The opposing team will also be given time to discuss a topic and respond. In addition to pitting schools in a competitive, educational environment, the students will also have the opportunity to learn teamwork skills. Teams will attempt to gather points in four categories: Reasonable disagreement, research, presentation style, and moral theories.

It may seem like a formal debate, but it is different in one important aspect; Collaboration is a vital gear in the function of an ethics bowl. Teams are not forced to take a pro or con argument and may even agree with each other. The competitive aspect enters when forming the arguments to support your case, and this is also where the philosophical aspect of the bowl really shines. The competition is not to debate but to argue better than your opponent.

“Our faculty is serving as judges, around half of the philosophy department faculty will be on hand for the event on campus,” said Judith Crane, chair and professor of philosophy.

Lyceum Vice President, Ash Bloom, says there will be seven schools participating this year, with all of them bring at least two teams. This will be the largest turn out to date for the annual event here on campus, featuring around 40 participants competing for the top spot. Not only will high school seniors be participating in a competition, but they will also be gaining exposure to what life is like for a philosophy student at the university level.

“It’s good exposure to thinking differently and critically for students, it can show you how people reason things differently and this event will allow them to see that in practice,” said Bloom.



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