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Department ofPhilosophy

Ethics Bowl

A team of students from Santa Clara University made history in February 2018 by winning the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl National Championship! This is the first time in the history of the competition that a team from California has ever won the championship. We are very proud of our students: Miles Elliott, Connor Holttum, Jeff Kampfe, and Daisy Koch. The team is coached by Erin Bradfield (Lecturer of Philosophy) with assistance from Erick Ramirez (Assistant Professor of Philosophy) and Brian Green (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics).

The Ethics Bowl is an applied ethics competition that is grounded on real-world moral dilemmas and has both a regional and national competition. Teams advance to the national competition by performing well in their respective regional contests. The Ethics Bowl requires that teams prepare eight to ten-minute responses to fifteen cases. Because questions are not revealed until the actual competition, the Ethics Bowl requires that students learn to respond, in real-time, to complex and nuanced questioning from both their opponents and the judges.

Santa Clara University fielded its first Ethics Bowl team in 2012. Patrick Coutermarsh (class of 2013) organized the team with the help of a Hackworth Grant from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Professor Ramirez took over as coach in 2013. In those brief years, teams from Santa Clara qualified twice for the National competition finishing in 9th place and 4th place. In 2017, Professor Bradfield took over as coach.  In 2018, Santa Clara won the National championship.

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The Santa Clara University Ethics Bowl team is coached by Erin Bradfield (Lecturer of Philosophy), Erick Ramirez (Assistant Professor of Philosophy), with the help of Brian Green Assistant Director of Technology Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.