USN captures Ethics Bowl Championship

Congratulations to Caroline Keiper '25, Zinnia Nichols-Loller '25, Ellie Rothman '25, Ellie Klein '25, Eliza Nichols '25, Amelie Soslow '25, Jaya Gupta '25, and Kati Tong '25.
 
By Jeff Edmonds, Assistant Head of High School for Academics
 
On Saturday, February 3, University School of Nashville sent eight juniors to compete in the 2024 Tennessee Ethics Bowl at The Webb School in Knoxville, sponsored by the Philosophy Department at the University of Tennessee. USN’s team, the Epicureans, went undefeated through its six matches, outscored opponents on 17 of 20 judge’s ballots, and ultimately defeated Knoxville Farragut to take home the championship.
 
Over the course of the day, students wrestled with wide-ranging and complex ethical matters, including nuclear disarmament, violence towards Koroks in Legend of Zelda, nutrition in school cafeterias, copyright in the age of AI, the limits of honesty in marriages, and what the producers of Netflix’s "Dahmer" owed to his victims — just to name a few.
 
Winning a round takes thinking together about real moral questions with nuance, openness, and curiosity. In each of these cases, the team worked collaboratively to outline ethical stakes, take a clear position, and defend it or adapt it in real-time in response to questions from other teams and trained philosophers. 
 
Faithful to the spirit of student independence at USN, this team was self-coached and student-run. They researched, debated, and constructed all their arguments together. As official coach, Assistant Head of High School for Academics Jeff Edmonds' major contributions to the team’s success included taking photos of the trophy and making hotel reservations. He also passed out Pop Tarts at critical moments, when intensely active brains sent glucose levels low.
 
While always appreciative of the higher delights of the mind, the team was also happy to be delivered back to USN for the Homecoming Dance, affirming the value, indeed, of all forms of pleasure — as their namesake Epicurus would have it.
 
Next up for the team is a virtual divisional matchup on Wednesday, February 7. The winner of that match will then be invited to compete in the national championships in Chapel Hill, NC at the University of North Carolina.
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USN Mission: 
University School of Nashville models the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of Metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student’s intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence.