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Ethics Bowl

Invented in 1993, by Emeritus Professor Robert Ladenson, CSEP has been involved in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition since the beginning and invites interested students to join us! 

QED: The Ethical Debaters is a student organization that seeks to discuss ethical and philosphical issues relating to modern society, and compete in ethics bowl competitions around the Chicago area and country. You can see the latest events the organization is sponsoring by visiting their Facebook page.

The team meets every Monday from 12:50-1:30 in the study rooms on the first floor of Galvin Library. Feel free to stop by, or email us a for more information. Only undergraduate students are allowed to compete in the offical competition, but we welcome everyone to our meetings who is interested in lively debate and discussion. 

CSEP is also working with colleagues to begin a high school ethics bowl in Chicago. We will be helping to host a regional competition at the University of Chicago on January 23, 2016 in partnership with Winning Words.  All Chicago-area high school schools are welcome to be a part of this competition, and the winning teams will have the chance to compete in the National HIgh School Ethics Bowl Competition at UNC Chapel Hill. If you are interested in learning more, please email Kelly Laas at

About the Competition

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl combines the excitement and fun of a competitive tournament with a valuable educational experience for undergraduate students. Recognized widely by educators, the Ethics Bowl has received special commendation for excellence and innovation from the American Philosophical Association, and received the 2006 American Philosophical Association/Philosophy Documentation Center's 2006 prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The format, rules, and procedures of the Ethics Bowl all have been developed to model widely acknowledged best methods of reasoning in practical and professional ethics.

In the Ethics Bowl, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.) Each team receives a set of ethical issues in advance of the competition, and questions posed to teams at the competition are taken from that set. A panel of judges evaluates answers; rating criteria are intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness. 

For more information about the rules, recent cases, or upcoming Ethics Bowl competitions, please visit the home page of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl or contact the chair of the Ethics Bowl Organizing Committee, Dr Richard Greene, email, (801) 626-6694.


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