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Department of Philosophy


Why Philosophy? Athena Teaching Student

Overall, philosophy is an excellent part of any student's general University Education. Courses in philosophy can be taken towards several degrees; and virtually all programs of study at SDSU can be enriched by the inclusion of one or more of our courses. Masters programs are offered for students who wish to go on to do graduate study in Philosophy.

SDSU Ethics Bowl Team

Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition

This year, the Philosophy Department at SDSU will be coaching a team to participate in the 2016-2017 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl California Regional Competition. We are looking for bright, hardworking students who have an interest in ethics, public policy, and debate. The team will meet in the Philosophy Department about once per week for 2-3 hours to analyze applied ethics cases, plan strategy, and participate in mock debate. Students who wish to participate may choose to receive credit through an independent study course in the Philosophy Department.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is a tiered competition. During November and December of 2016, regional ethics bowls will take place at various locations throughout the United States. The SDSU team will participate in the California Regional Bowl. The top scoring thirty-two teams in the regional ethics bowls will qualify to compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl National Competition, which will be held in spring of 2017.

If you would like more information, please stop by AL 440 on August 22 any time between noon and 3:00pm or contact Dr. Brown as soon as possible at

The Regional Competitions work as follows:

Teams of undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States and throughout the world qualify for the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB) through a system of regional bowls. Both the regional and national bowls are sponsored by the Association for Professional and Practical Ethics (APPE).

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, now in its 21st year, combines a competitive tournament with a valuable educational experience for undergraduate students. Students explore practical ethical problems and improve their ethical reasoning through case analysis and debate competition.

During the Ethics Bowl competition, a moderator poses questions to teams of three to five students. Questions may concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.) Questions are posed from the set of ethical cases given to teams prior to the competition. A panel of judges evaluates answers using the following criteria: intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.

This Year's Event

This year the event will take place at California State University, Chico in early December, 2016.

For more information: