Department of Philosophy News

UT to Host Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl

Fifteen teams from thirteen East Tennessee high schools will compete at the sixth annual Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl. The daylong competition is sponsored by UT’s Department of Philosophy and the Humanities Center.

Brittany Maynard died in a philosophically responsible way


John Hardwig, a retired professor of philosophy, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post about Brittany Maynard, who became the face of a movement to allow dying patients to choose when to end their lives. “The evaluation of Maynard’s death and of physician-assisted suicide more generally, must not be exclusively focused on the dying person. 

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Department of Philosophy Hosts High School Ethics Bowl

Fifteen teams from twelve East Tennessee high schools will compete at the fifth annual Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl on Saturday, February 8. The day-long competition is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Knoxville Hotel in Downtown Knoxville. The opening remarks begin at 10:30 a.m., and the closing ceremony is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Graduate Takes His Final Tour … Across the Commencement Stage

He knows that the only two graves on UT’s campus belong to dogs and that the most popular class on campus is the History of Rock n’ Roll. Robert “Taylor” Thomas knows dozens of fun facts about UT. Thomas, who graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences today, has learned many things at UT. But as a UT Ambassador, he has taught many things as well. Thomas has given more than 300 campus tours, setting what is believed to be a nationwide record for campus tours.

Austin-East Wins High School Ethics Bowl for the Second Time

For the second year in a row, Austin-East High School has won the Ethics Bowl. Karns High School came in second, and the Christian Academy of Knoxville was third. The event, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the College of Arts and Sciences, was held Wednesday.

Philosophy Department Hosts Ethics Bowl for Local High Schools

High school students from around the area will get a chance to improve their critical thinking skills and expand their points of view when they compete in the annual Ethics Bowl. The event, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and College of Arts and Sciences, will take place today at the Baker Center.

UT to Host Philosophy Conference November 16-18

The Department of Philosophy will host its annual Tennessee Value and Agency conference Friday, November 16, through Sunday, November 18. The conference will study themes from the writings of moral philosophers John Rawls and Immanuel Kant, and is free and open to the public.

Pregame Showcase: Philosophy Professor Talks about Authority, Citizenship

David Reidy

Professor and philosophy department head David Reidy will address the structure of authority in our American democracy in his presentation, “The Authority of Citizens: Its Nature and Limits,” at Saturday’s Pregame Showcase prior to the Homecoming football game which pits the Vols against Troy University.

In Memoriam: Dwight Van de Vate


Dwight Van de Vate Jr., former professor in the Department of Philosophy, died Saturday, August 25, at the age of 84. Van de Vate came to UT in 1966 and remained a faculty member until his retirement in 1999. His family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 28, at Bridges Funeral Home, 5430 Rutledge Pike, Knoxville. A service will follow.

Knoxville’s Austin East High School Wins Top Prize in UT Ethics Bowl

A team of students from Austin East High School in Knoxville claimed first place in the third annual Ethics Bowl, held in mid-March at UT Knoxville. The tournament-style event pitted teams of high school students against one another as they employ critical thinking to debate complex issues. The event also gave high school students a chance to participate in collegiate-level competition.