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Ethics Bowl

Ethics Bowl Team


Ethics Bowl is a competition involving case analysis that is organized by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE). Teams at universities and colleges across the U.S. receive a set of cases in September.  They must study the cases and consider what possible ethical questions, dilemmas, and debates could arise.  At the Ethics Bowl competition, the team receives a question (which they do not know in advance of the round), and they have two minutes to craft an extemporaneous argument in response.  After a 10-minute presentation, they receive commentary from an opposing team and have to undergo a Q&A with a panel of judges from the academy and the community. The competition proceeds in a series of four rounds, and the team that scores the highest wins the competition.


In the Fall of 2023, two Vanderbilt teams placed at the APPE Upper Midwest regional bowl. One team took first and the other took fourth. Although both of these teams technically qualified for nationals, only one can go due to a rule about schools’ representation at nationals. The first-place team looks forward to competing at the 28th Annual APPE IEB® National Competition on the weekend of February 24, 2024.

  • The first-place team was
      • Sophia Wang (PHIL)
      • Madi Baltagulov (CSET, MCB)
      • Bridget Hall (GERS, PHIL, PSCI)
      • Nicholas Skoufis (CS, Math/Applied with a PHIL minor)
  • The fourth-place team was:
      • Naomi Letson (PHIL)
      • Lishan Li (CS, Math/Applied, PHIL)
      • Ethan Thorpe (LHS)
      • Mica Chua (Phil, PPS)
      • Aadi Bajpai (CS, Math/Applied)

Get Involved

The Ethics Bowl is truly an interdisciplinary endeavor, and although it is organized by the Philosophy Department, students from all majors are welcome to join!  Preparations for each year’s regional competition begin in the fall semester.

If you would like to get involved, please email Philosophy Lecturer Lyn Radke: