Year by year, when the cold winters come, the talk of my philosophy class always comes to ethics cup. Four budding, and academically powerful, philosophy level students make vigorous attempts at ascending to the challenge, by applying their logic, reason and a touch of Mill’s liberalism in order to meet this provocation.
Upon my fascination with the team, I decided it was best I interrupt one of their many, deeply discursive meetings to have some questions asked. I was first interested to know the feelings of my teacher at the club. He is so passionate about running.
CR: What helps motivate your budding students with the Ethics Cup?
DT:Well I do think actually the whole aim of the cup is to promote respectful, civil, rational debate is a good thing.
CR: Do you think that it is necessary in society that we are more discursive?
DT: And I think it’s more difficult with the kind of epistemological shattering of social media. So things like the soiling into rabbit holes and the fake news and the de-integration of experts, these are things something in this tries in its small way to attract.
This response got met with many laughs
I then asked the class if it had helped their academic performance and most were pretty positive it had improved their ability to evaluate arguments- which is a central part of many humanities.
I’d also asked about whether I thought education in philosophy should be more strictly taught in schools.
EB: I do agree on some level I think there’s some stuff that should be put in. It’s the way you think about things. I think there’s a lot to do with rules of argument and what is not a claim and what should.
Last year unfortunately, the team had sadly not made it to the semi finals and so I was interested to know of the change of methods to improve their performance.
OS:Last year we took a very individualistic approach this year. We are working much more collaboratively. We structured the argument around speaking points that we shared because last time it was quite stressful, remembering if your case came up and it was down to you for all of it.
I then asked whether there was a visceral change with the students who had participated in ethics cup in comparison to the students who hadn’t participated.
DT: Well they’re all very successful and they’re all doing really well. Now there’s a question about whether they are self-selected into it because they’re the sorts of people that like doing this sort of thing.
CR: It’s good to have engagement outside the classroom whether you like it or not.
My teacher then put in an extremely insightful point that I felt really supported my already burning passion for more students to engage in super curriculars.
DT: That’s right Crystal I agree because it does strengthen your ability and performance because you’re seeing other parts of the same perspective.
My teacher then spoke of a potential restructuring of the lesson where debate based on case studies would be used after pre reading of philosophers in moral philosophy in order to broaden their understanding, as it has been so beneficial in the students. Overall, I proudly promote this club, and others which reflect such a passion for knowledge and of course, wish Oliver, Emilia, Greta and Kezia the best of luck.