The Ethics Bowl program has always been a valuable opportunity for students to get to know ethics and philosophy – and to discuss them in a community of peers who are just as passionate about the subjects as they are.
The 2021 Moral Philosophy Workshop, a 4-day seminar series held from 1/31 to 2/3 during the winter holidays, introduced students to a variety of topics in moral philosophy while preparing them for the coming Shanghai Interscholastic Ethics Bowl. Led by 7 professionals in ethics from Canada, the US, and China, our 6 seminars covered topics including moral relativism, just war, the Eichmann Trial and the use of examples in ethical reasoning, the four mapping techniques for analyzing ethical cases, and ethics in the criminal justice system, etc., many of which closely relate to the ethical cases for the coming Ethics Bowl competition. 130 students from 26 schools across China participated in the workshop.
The workshop opens with an introductory session led by the director of Ethics Bowl China program, Leo Huang, followed by an exciting seminar with Dr. Matt Deaton, formerly the Outreach Director of the (US) National High School Ethics Bowl, on the foundations of ethics and important distinctions in ethical reasoning based on his book, Ethics in a Nutshell.
On the second day, Mr. Yan Li, a renowned IB Philosophy teacher previously at Shanghai Pinghe School, led the first seminar on the topic of just war, exploring various aspects including the justice of war, fair conduct in war, and the responsibility and accountability of warring parties after the war. He was followed by Ms. Emily Muller, an Associate at the University of Manitoba Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, on the Eichmann Trial in WWII and its related metaethical issues. She demonstrated to us the complexity involved in using examples to support ethical arguments.
Mr. Raymond Sokalski and Mr. Nova Martin led a joint seminar on the third day on the four ‘mapping techniques’ analyzing ethical cases, namely, Issues Mapping, Conflict Mapping, Power Mapping, and Change Mapping. Mr. Sokalski is the coach of the champion team of the 2018 Canadian High School Ethics Bowl (the team Mr. Martin is on!) at Kelvin High School.
On the final day, we had Mr. Matthew Wu discussing moral relativism, examining the scholarly debate between its defenders and critics, and Ms. Ava Truthwaite, a senior in the Ethics, Law, and Society Program at the University of Toronto, on ethical issues in the criminal justice system and ways to analyze its related Ethics Bowl cases.
The students also benefited from an online platform developed for the progam, known as the Ethics Bowl Symposium, allowing them to manage course schedules, complete assignments, cross-assess each other’s work, co-edit wiki pages and glossaries, download course materials, and join forum discussions during the workshop.
Workshops on ethics and philosophy will continue throughout the 2021 season. More information can be found on our official website: https://ethicsbowlchina.com.
Participating schools (26):
International Department, The Affiliated High School of SCNU
Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual School
Saint Mary’s School
Shanghai SMIC Private School
Shanghai Hua’er Pudong Experimental School
Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy
Shanghai No.1 Experimental School Affiliated to SISU
Shanghai Pudong Foreign Language School
Guangdong experimental high school
United World College Changshu China
Cambridge School of Weston
Shanghai Shangde Experimental School
Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School
High School Affiliated to Fudan University
Shanghai High School International Division
Shanghai High School
Choate Rosemary Hall
Shanghai United International School, Gubei Secondary Campus
Beijing World Youth Academy
American Heritage School
Nanjing Foreign language School
Shanghai Foreign Language School
No.2 High School of East China Normal University
Shanghai Hua’er Private Middle School