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EKU Forming Student Team to Compete in Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl

Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Philosophy and Religion is forming a team of EKU students to compete in the 16th annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in 2011-2012.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, sponsored by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, is a two-tiered team competition that combines the fun of a tournament with an innovative approach to ethics education for undergraduate students. Teams qualifying in the Regional Ethics Bowls move on to compete for the National Championship in Cincinnati, Ohio at the annual APPE meeting.

The Ethics Bowl is played in rounds where two teams from different schools compete against each other. Each team responds orally to an individual case embodying moral issues and then defends their response against comments and criticisms from the opposing team and from a panel of judges. Teams are given the set of cases from which the questions will be taken prior to the Ethics Bowl in order to prepare. Past cases have concerned incarcerated mothers raising their children in prison, medical researchers using their own children as experimental subjects, and subjecting teen “sexting” to the same legal sanctions as child pornography.

In order to prepare the team to compete in the Ethics Bowls, the Department of Philosophy and Religion is offering a 3-credit-hour course in the Fall of 2011 for those students interested in participating in the Ethics Bowl. The course is entitled Ethics Bowl 16 (PHI 388 CRN 14414) and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. There are no prerequisites for the course, and students from all majors and departments at EKU are encouraged to participate. The course will cover the normative ethical theories and concepts and argumentative skills and logical techniques required to compete successfully in the Ethics Bowl. A significant amount of time will be devoted to practice responding to cases from past Ethics Bowls and to preparing responses to the cases for the upcoming Ethics Bowl, once those cases are released.

“The format, rules, and procedures of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl model acknowledged best methods of reasoning in practical and professional ethics,” said Dr. Laura Newhart,” chair of EKU’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. “Providing EKU students with the opportunity to train for and compete in the Ethics Bowl will contribute to our Quality Enhancement theme of developing informed critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively. The Philosophy and Religion Department also sees it as an opportunity to raise students’ awareness of the value of philosophy for contemporary everyday life.”

For more information on EKU’s participation, contact Laura Newhart at

Published on June 14, 2011

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