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John Stuart Mill Cup - 6th June 2019

Author: Dr Ben Sachs, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews

Hello OPEN Scotland members!  My name is Ben Sachs; I work in philosophy at St. Andrews.  I want to call your attention to the 2019 John Stuart Mill Cup, an event we’re hosting on 6 June.  

It’s a tournament in which teams of secondary school students go head-to-head in discussing ethical topics before a panel of judges. The judges reward insightfulness, thoughtfulness and civility – as opposed to the ability to win an argument, as would happen in a debating tournament. The students who participate in this tournament learn something about good citizenship while also being able to pick up, and show off, skills related to the analysis of philosophical and ethical issues. 

The 2018 event was a smashing success, with 11 teams from schools across Britain participating, and the 2019 event is shaping up to be even better.  

If you like the sound of this, you can help me by spreading the word among secondary school teachers and head teachers that you know – especially those who teach philosophy/ethics/religion/debating.  Please direct them to the John Stuart Mill Cup website

If you, or they, have any questions, please email me at  If you’re interested in volunteering as a judge during the event, email me about that too – I’d be immensely grateful.

Thanks and hope to see you and your students at the tournament!

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