Indiana University Bloomington's Ethics Bowl team achieved first place at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl held November 13, 2021. Congratulations to our Ethics Bowl team members: Josh Bogner, Michael Clark, Carter Hanefeld, Summer Myers, Abby Swift, Ava Truman, and Summer Voorhies! We extend a special thanks to the team’s coach, Elizabeth Williams, a graduate student in the Philosophy department, for their work and dedication to help this year’s team prepare for the competition.
Williams had warm words for their Ethics Bowl students and the work they've done this year. “I have been very impressed with my students’ abilities to respond quickly on their feet, develop nuanced philosophical positions, and work cohesively as a team," they said. "Multiple times throughout the semester they surprised me with interesting philosophical positions and answers that I had not considered.”
The team developed ethical positions on a variety of cases, including Critical Race Theory, Cities' Obligation to the Houseless, and Ransomware Attacks. “To prepare, we considered the reasoning that would loom large in the minds of those who would oppose our views,” said Williams. “We also practiced giving each other constructive philosophical critiques and questions to further the depth of our discussions.”
The Ethics Bowl format encourages philosophical discussion rather than the debate style traditionally practiced in high school civics courses. Teams can develop any position they wish in answer to the question provided about a case. Additionally, the “opposing” team can agree with another team’s view and focus their response on asking the team to build upon their position or address potential objections. “The main point of Ethics Bowl is to have an in-depth, collaborative conversation about moral issues,” explained Williams.
The National APPE Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, on February 26-27, 2022.