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Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl

Due to weather forecasts and out of a concern for the safety of participants the 2016 THSEB, originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan 23rd. has been postponed.  It has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13th.  If you have any questions, please contact the event organizer Alex Feldt at

Congratulations 2015 Tennessee High School
Ethics Bowl Winners

  • Farragut High School, First Place
  • L&N STEM Academy, Second Place
  • Fulton High School, Third Place

How do you know the right thing to do in a sticky situation? Most people will face an ethical dilemma at some point in their lives, but few people will seriously reflect on how they make the decisions that they make. In an effort to get young people thinking early and often about such decisions, the Philosophy Department and the Humanities Center at the University of Tennessee are reaching out to local area high schools to participate in the Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl (THSEB).  The goal of the program is to encourage students to develop the qualities of mind that enable them to be not only successful individuals, but also the type of civic leaders our democracy needs. The THSEB is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the UT Humanities Center with support from Home Federal Bank.

The THSEB is a discussion, not a debate.  Teams are not required to pick opposing sides, nor is the goal to "win" the argument by belittling the other team or its position. The focus is on reasoning, rather than rhetoric, and has many benefits for student learning, including honing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are proven to boost ACT and SAT scores and that are explicitly targeted by the TNCore standards.  Additionally, the event encourages the consideration of other perspectives, beyond one's own, when making ethical judgments.

Registration for the  seventh annual competition, which will be held on January 23, 2016, at the Holiday Inn World's Fair Park is now closed.  To receive updates about registration for future competitions, e-mail us at the address below.

For more information, please contact the primary THSEB Coordinator, Alex Feldt, at


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Contact Information

Philosophy Department
801 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0480

Phone: (865) 974-3255
Fax: (865) 974-3509