Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE

College of Arts and Sciences
CAS Masthead


The Department of Philosophy


Ethics Bowl Logo 2016


Regional Ethics Bowl at SIUE


2019 Regional Ethics Bowl

EB 2019 First Place

1st Place: Collinsville Team A of Collinsville, IL

2nd Place: Triad Team A of Troy, IL

3rd Place: Westview Team A of Martin, TN

2018 Regional Ethics Bowl

2018 Results:

1st place: Collinsville High School, IL

1st place


2nd place: Edwardsville High School, IL

2nd Place


3rd place: Marion High School, TN (Team B, picture contains both team A & B)

3rd place



General Information about the Ethics Bowl

We here in the Philosophy Department, in conjunction with the Lyceum run a regional ethics bowl yearly at Southern Illinois University. All high schools are welcome to participate.

An ethics bowl is designed to create and further awareness of ethics in its participants. Participants will be expected to:

  • Organize and present a case on a given topic
  • Analyze the morally relevant features of the case
  • Anticipate and respond to any questions or commentary

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.

There are four sections that are scored for each team in an ethics bowl:

Reasonable Disagreement
The ethical case studies are designed to address controversial issues about which intelligent, thoughtful people can reasonably disagree. The scores of the teams, therefore, should be based on the quality of their arguments, not on whether or not they adopted one position rather than another. The team that makes the strongest argument should win the most points. Moral decisions are made case by case based on applying critical thought to difficult situations. When evaluating teams, judges should not let agreement/disagreement with the team’s conclusion influence their assessment.

Successful presentations should include a clear and detailed understanding of the facts given in the case. Since cases often involve details that are not general knowledge, research will often be necessary. Students should be prepared to identify sources of facts gained through independent research. While research is helpful, even necessary as a learning tool, judges should focus predominantly on the quality of arguments presented.

Presentation Style
The focus of the ethics bowl is on the arguments the students provide. This means that judges must evaluate a team only on aspects of its presentation that relate directly to the four criteria identified on the judge's score-sheet. Judges may not consider in their scoring other aspects of the team's presentation (e.g. the voice quality of presenters, whether they maintain eye contact with the judges, etc.)

Moral Theories
Moral theories and other moral perspectives (such as professional codes) can be useful for drawing out what is ethically significant in a case. However, the mere mention of a moral theory or other moral perspective does not, by itself, strengthen the presentation.

For sources please click here.


The Thinker

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff socialoff