450 Philosophy Topics & Questions for Your Essay

When you start studying philosophy, you may think it’s boring and has nothing to do with the real world. It couldn’t be further from the truth! The study of philosophy deals with the most exciting and mysterious aspects of reality. It is closely connected with science, psychology, art, and politics. Philosophy is an integral part of universal knowledge, as well as our everyday lives. Everyone who had ever asked the question “who am I?” engaged in philosophy.

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  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics

💭 What Is Philosophy?

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  • What is metaphilosophy?
  • Compare 2 schools of thought
  • Ancient vs. modern philosophy
  • Philosophical concepts of space
  • Applied aesthetics in fashion design
  • The concepts of the philosophy of self
  • Ancient traditions of political philosophy
  • How philosophical traditions vary by region
  • Modern problems of the philosophy of religion
  • Contemporary issues of environmental philosophy

As you can see, philosophy studies a lot of things, and can be divided into the following branches:

  • Metaphysics studies reality: what it is, what its properties are, where does it come from, and so on. It is also concerned with the problems of personal identity, free will, and religion.
  • Epistemology , which is the study of knowledge and thinking. For example, it asks such philosophical questions as “what is knowledge?” “can knowledge ever be sufficient?” “how can a certain belief be justified?” “how does perception work?” and so on.
  • Logic , which studies arguments and reasoning. It includes such types of thinking as induction, abduction, and deduction.
  • Ethics , which is concerned with the concepts of right and wrong behavior. It studies ethical principles, their origin, and ways by which they can be improved. Ethics also covers controversial subjects, such as abortion, animal rights, and capital punishment.
  • Aesthetics , which is the study of beauty. It includes the study of artworks, perception of beauty, aesthetic experience, and other related concepts.

Socrates quote.

All these different types of philosophies are equally valid and exciting! Choose any of them and have a philosophical discussion about life, justice, happiness, time, or beauty.

  • What is action theory?
  • Definition of anarchism
  • Philosophy of business ethics
  • What is the soul made of?
  • Why you should study logic
  • Are beauty standards objective?
  • Is religion relevant in the modern world?
  • Can happiness be scientifically measured?
  • Does higher intelligence make you less happy?
  • Does personality consist of memories?

✍️ Philosophy Topics

Here you will find a list of philosophy topics for essays, discussions, or presentations. It can be used by high school as well as university students.

Ancient Greece can be regarded as a cradle of Western philosophy. Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, and many others were the first who started questioning the world around us. Initially, Ancient Greek philosophy was interested in the essence of the universe, but then it also became oriented at the problems of consciousness, politics, and existence.

Ancient Greek philosophy periods.

  • Materialism and naturalism of the pre-Socratic period. Pre-Socratic philosophers believed that only matter was real, rejecting the ideas of spirituality. You can compare and contrast it with Platonic idealism .
  • Democritus and pre-Socratic atomism. The concept that all matter is made of small particles dates back to ancient times. You can compare the idea of atomism with what we know today.
  • Pre-Socratic view on knowledge and perception . This topic refers to the idea that we get all information by perceiving images of everything that surrounds us.
  • Diogenes and the Sophists. Sophists believed that the universe is ruled by intelligence. They also popularized ethics and politics as philosophical aspects.
  • What are the key elements of Socrates’ philosophy? Socrates was an enigmatic figure with a unique philosophical outlook. His ideas influenced everything from politics to pop culture.
  • Heraclitus of Ephesus and his school. Philosophers of the Ephesian school believed that everything in the world is connected by a logical structure called Logos. This idea parallels several other concepts, such as the Tao.
  • Plato’s Republic: what is democracy? In the Republic, Plato describes his views on an ideal society . It includes the concepts of what later became communism and totalitarianism.
  • The Eleatic school’s doctrines. It’s a fascinating philosophy paper topic that includes the concept of one omnipotent God as opposed to many gods, as well as new standards of logical reasoning .
  • Philosophy of Empedocles. Empedocles was a pre-Socratic philosopher who introduced the idea of cosmogony and fundamental forces. You can write an excellent essay about how Empedocles’ views are reflected in science.
  • Plato’s ethics. Here you can discuss Plato’s ideas about virtues, happiness, harmony, and other concepts.
  • Plato and idealism. Plato’s central doctrine included the notion of perfect “ideas,” which manifest itself in our material world as all objects. You can write an excellent paper on this subject!
  • Plato: allegory of the cave. In this essay, you may talk about Plato’s concept of reality, definitions of microcosm and microcosm, and the “unifying idea.”
  • Aristotle : logic and dialectic. Aristotle was the first philosopher who formulated the rules of logical reasoning. They were crucial in the development of exact sciences.
  • Aristotle’s Metaphysics and its legacy . You can write an essay about Aristotle’s major work and how it influenced philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas .

Aristotle was the teacher of Alexander the Great.

  • Hellenistic philosophy and Stoicism . The ideas of Stoics originated in Greece but were especially popular in Rome. One of the most prominent stoics, Marcus Aurelius, was also a Roman emperor.
  • Stoicism and Buddhism: a comparison. This exciting philosophy essay topic allows you to compare the common concepts in these very similar philosophies : from self-discipline to eternal recurrence.
  • What are the key characteristics of Skepticism? Ancient skepticism was rooted in the desire to find truth by continually questioning it. See what other ideas made the Skeptics so influential.
  • The concepts of the soul in Ancient Greece. You can include Plato’s Aristotle’s , and the Stoic theory of the soul into this essay.
  • Psychology in Aristotle’s De Anima. Aristotle’s writings often include ideas concerning psychology. In De Anima, he attempts to describe the human mind in connection to psychology, as well as biology.
  • What were Plato’s ideas about aesthetics ? This stunning philosophy paper topic covers Plato’s concept of beauty, art, and inspiration in his dialogues Hippias Major, Republic, and Phaedrus .
  • How did other philosophers influence Plato’s ideas?
  • The Lyceum: Aristotle’s school and its impact.
  • Mathematics and philosophy of Pythagoreanism.
  • What were the concepts of principal substances in Greek philosophy ?
  • Heraclitus: universal flux and the unity of opposites.
  • Cosmological ideas in Ancient Greece: Plato, Aristotle , Heraclitus, Empedocles.
  • Seneca’s views on anger arguments by Aristotle .
  • Explanation of natural phenomena: mythology vs. philosophy .

Explanation of natural phenomena.

  • Xenophanes and monotheism .
  • Melissus of Samos: the concept of “what-is.”
  • Zeno of Elea: the impact of paradoxes on philosophy and science.
  • The philosophy of Democritus: anthropology .
  • Diogenes: the founder of cynicism.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s thoughts on knowledge: a comparison .
  • Philosophy of Protagoras: ethics, language, argument.
  • Plato’s concept of reality.
  • Ancient Greek types of love: eros, agape, and philia .
  • Moral Philosophical Views: From Plato to Nussbaum .
  • Theophrastus: ideas on psychology, logic, and metaphysics .
  • What is “the Socratic method?”
  • What is Plato’s theory of recollection?
  • What was Plutarch’s idea of God and daemons?
  • Anaximander’s philosophy: substantial opposites and the origins of things.
  • What was the concept of “logos” in different philosophies ?
  • Diairesis: the Platonic method.
  • Aristotle’s concept of catharsis.
  • The ever-changing nature of reality in ancient philosophy .
  • The concept of pneuma in works of Aristotle and Stoics.
  • What was Homer’s influence on Greek philosophy?
  • The study of ontology in Plato, Aristotle, and Avicenna.
  • Natural philosophy as the prototype of natural science.
  • Moral intention concept in philosophy .
  • Apeiron and other concepts in Anaximander’s cosmological theory.
  • What were Hesiod’s theogony and cosmogony?
  • What is the concept of “becoming” in atomism?
  • What are the definitions of monad and dyad in Pythagoreanism?
  • Eudemonia in works of Socrates, Plato , Aristotle, and Stoics.

Socrates quote.

  • What is the definition of arete in Plato ?
  • What are the forms of the good in Plato’s Republic ?
  • Aristotle’s virtue ethics .
  • Aristotle’s idea of hyle vs. Plato’s eidos.
  • Hylozoism in pre-Socratic philosophies .
  • What is tabula rasa ?
  • Metempsychosis as the concept of reincarnation.
  • Ousia: the feminine principle in Ancient Greek philosophies .
  • What are physis and nomos in pre-Socratic philosophies ?
  • What are Aristotle’s “four causes”?
  • The concept of predication in Ancient Greek philosophy .
  • What is the Euthyphro dilemma ?
  • What Plato meant by “philosopher-king”?
  • The lost city of Atlantis .
  • What was the problem of universals in Ancient Greek philosophy?
  • Golden mean as a virtue and an attribute of beauty.
  • Pyrrhonism and its philosophy.
  • The concepts of episteme and doxa.
  • The problem of the criterion in Pyrrhonism.
  • Acatalepsy vs. katalepsis in Stoicism.
  • What are the main features of Homeric worldview?
  • Aporia in rhetorics.
  • What is Platonic realism ?
  • Ionian school and its philosophies.
  • Trivium: the three arts of discourse .
  • Pathos in Aristotle and other philosophers.
  • Aristotle’s views on euthanasia .
  • Isocrates: rhetoric and influence.
  • What is the place of hedone in Aristotle’s ethics ?
  • Tetrapharmakos and other Ancient Greek views on happiness .
  • Epicureanism vs. Stoicism.
  • The philosophy of Epicureanism .
  • Logic and ethics in works of Antisthenes.

Medieval philosophy was mostly focused on studying nature and religion. The most popular school of thought at that time was Scholasticism. It refers to a particular way of teaching and education. The Classical ideas mostly lost their influence, though some philosophers tried to incorporate the ideas of Ancient Greeks into their doctrines.

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  • Roger Bacon’s re-interpretation of Aristotle . In this philosophy essay, you can write about Bacon’s views on soul-body dualism , matter, universals, and knowledge

Roger Bacons re-interpretation of Aristotle.

  • Robert Grosseteste as the founder of the modern scientific tradition. This philosopher was one of the most remarkable figures in Medieval England. His ideas in theology and natural sciences helped to make Oxford the center of intellectual life.
  • Aquinas’ five proofs of God’s existence vs. Aristotle’s four causes: a comparison. Aquinas’ Five Ways are exciting from a logical point of view. You can discuss each of them and find parallels with Aristotle’s causes of being.
  • Augustine of Hippo’s idea of illumination vs. Plato’s conception of recollection: a comparison. Similarly, you can compare the theory of illumination with Plato’s “prior knowledge.”
  • Aquinas : logic and debate. Aquinas famously came up with a very effective model of debate. It is based on Ancient Greek ideas and is based on including both thesis and antithesis.
  • Avicenna: metaphysics . Avicenna’s study of metaphysics was aimed at understanding the connections between all things in the world. It includes his “cause chains” and the concept of intelligence .
  • Augustine’s philosophy of language. Write an essay about the connections between Augustine’s thoughts and Stoic theories of grammar. Mention his original ideas, too.
  • John Duns Scotus’ natural theology . Here you can discuss Scotus’ elaborate arguments for the existence of God as the first cause of everything.
  • Rucelinus as the founder of nominalism. Nominalism is based on the rejection of everything abstract, as well as the absence of universals.
  • What makes the Ockham’s razor principle so widely applicable? William of Ockham was a nominalist, too, and preferred simple explanations to miracles. His “razor” method is still considered very effective.
  • What did Averroes contribute to philosophy and law?
  • Aquinas : knowledge and perception.

Thomas Aquinas quote.

  • The medieval conception of motion: Aristotle vs. Avicenna.
  • Avicenna’s views on natural science and atomism.
  • Cosmological argument as a philosophical concept .
  • Augustine’s ethics: eudaimonism in the context of Christianity.
  • Augustine’s understanding of memory .
  • What was St. Anselm’s conception of divine attributes?
  • What were the ways of integrating sacred doctrine with secular learning in medieval philosophy?
  • In what ways does faith relate to reason in medieval philosophies?
  • Medieval theology as philosophy of religion .
  • Scholasticism: principal characteristics.
  • How did Averroes re-interpret Aristotle’s idea of time ?
  • The Scholastics attitude towards Aristotle .
  • Religious concepts in Eastern philosophy .
  • What characterized the problem of universals in medieval philosophy?
  • Peter Abelard: dialectics and conceptualism.
  • Guillaume de Champeaux: the founder of moderate realism.
  • What was Peter Lombard’s concept of marriage ?
  • What was Albert the Great’s interpretation of Aristotelian metaphysics?
  • Christian teaching of St Augustine .
  • The discourse of the Apologetics : Islam, Hinduism, Judaism.
  • Philosophical apologetics : main categories of arguments.
  • What characterized the idea of a human soul in Aquinas and Augustine ?
  • The doctrines of John Wycliffe.
  • Plato’s role in medieval concept of soul-body dualism.
  • Theological approaches comparison: Thomas of Aquinas and Saint Augustine .
  • What was the philosophy of the Dominican order ?
  • The problem of free will : theological point of view.
  • What are the concepts of sin and divine providence?
  • What was Bonaventure’s conception of creation?
  • John Duns Scotus’ contribution to Aristotelian study of matter.
  • East and West teachings’ concepts differences .
  • What characterized Albert of Saxony’s logic and metaphysics ?
  • Nicholas of Autrecourt’s concepts of experience and perception.
  • Insolubilia, or the “liar paradox”, in medieval philosophy.
  • Richard Kilvington’s theology: influences and legacy.
  • What was the problem of theodicy in medieval philosophy?
  • William of Ockham: the notion of mental language.

Occam’s razor principle.

  • The concept and discourse of the divine freedom .

The fundamental concept of the Renaissance philosophy is humanism. It appeared as an alternative to strict religious doctrines of the Medieval period. The main inspiration for the Renaissance philosophy came from Ancient Greek and Roman sources, that’s why it is called Renaissance: a “rebirth” of classical philosophy.

  • The concept of “renaissance man”. “Renaissance man” is defined as someone who embraced all available knowledge and used their full potential. See what outstanding Renaissance personalities fit this description!
  • Roger Bacon’s contribution to philosophy and sciences. This philosophy paper topic includes Bacon’s ideas about logic, semiotics , optics, and other subjects. Bacon is a prime example of a “renaissance man” who excelled in many areas.
  • Why is Petrarch called the “father of humanism “? Discuss Petrarch’s attitude towards ancient authors, and how his writings gave rise to a humanist philosophy that defined Renaissance .
  • Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun as a utopia . This book was inspired by Plato’s Republic and Atlantis, and it describes a perfect world united by a theocratic monarchy.
  • Plato’s influence in the Renaissance era vs. Aristotelianism in the Middle Age. It’s an interesting philosophical topic that can show you why during the Renaissance humanism became so popular.
  • Humanists vs. Calvinists: a comparison. Here you can write about the Calvinist concept of predestination and Humanist idea of freedom.
  • François Rabelais as a humanist. Discuss Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel books and point out humanist ideas in them!
  • The Renaissance critique of scholasticism. With the rise of humanism , scholasticism lost its popularity. It was now considered formalistic and too rigid. Find out why!
  • In what ways does Calvinism parallel capitalism? The way Calvinist influenced capitalism and the American Dream can be an excellent topic for an essay or a research paper.
  • How did Machiavelli bring humanism into politics? Niccolo Machiavelli revolutionized the concept of politics. He promoted the idea of ambition and innovation as opposed to virtue.

Niccolo Machiavelli quote.

  • The critique of Pelagianism by Jerome and Augustine .
  • Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam’s “Christian humanism.”
  • Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’s role in Protestant reformation .
  • Thomas More’s Utopia .
  • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s “manifesto of the Renaissance”.
  • How did Martin Luther’s theology change Europe ?
  • John Calvin and his philosophy .
  • Mona Lisa and Renaissance humanism .
  • Who were the heretics?
  • Nominalism: impact on doubting faith.
  • What philosophical, intellectual, and political conditions led to the Reformation ?
  • Skepticism during the Renaissance period.
  • How did Paul of Venice expand on Averroes’ ideas?
  • The question of the immortality of the soul in Renaissance-era philosophy.
  • What characterized Nicoletto Vernia’s gnoseology and logic?
  • Pietro Pomponazzi’s discussion of the supernatural .
  • Jacopo Zabarella’s new method of scientific inquiry .
  • What was Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Pyrrhonic skepticism ?
  • What were Lorenzo Valla’s methods of textual analysis and criticism?
  • How did Rudolph Agricola revolutionize rhetorical studies?
  • Why is Juan Luis Vives considered “the father of modern psychology ?”
  • Political influence of William Shakespeare .
  • The evolution of psychology during the Renaissance period : spiritual and biological aspects.
  • What characterized Platonism and Neoplatonism in the Renaissance era?
  • How did Marsilio Ficino merge ideas of both Plato and Aristotle ?
  • The history of European alchemy .
  • John Dee’s philosophy, alchemy, and divination.
  • Magic and science in Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino.
  • What were Nicholas of Cusa’s political and philosophical contributions?
  • What was the influence of Kabbalah in Renaissance-era Italy?
  • What were the key differences between medieval and Renaissance notions of probability?
  • What characterized Bessarion’s Neoplatonic views on science?
  • The concept of Platonic love in Ficino, Bembo, and Leone Ebreo.
  • Michel de Montaigne’s skepticism and its legacy.
  • René Descartes’ philosophy and influence .

Rene Descartes quote.

  • Francisco Sanches: empirical skepticism .
  • Pierre Gassendi and atomism of the Renaissance era.
  • Bernardino Telesio’s critique of metaphysics and the importance of empiricism .
  • The legacy of Giordano Bruno .
  • Franciscus Patricius’ theory of the universe .

Classical German philosophy is synonymous with Idealism. The most influential philosopher of that period, Immanuel Kant, paved the way for the exploration of human will, consciousness, and ego. Later the ideas of idealists inspired psychoanalysis.

  • How did Johann Gottlieb Fichte transform Kant’s critical idealism into absolute idealism? It includes the elimination of the “thing-in-itself” concept and proclaiming the self as the ultimate reality .
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling’s absolute idealism . According to von Schelling, everything we see are the works of imagination, and nature itself is spiritual. These ideas influenced German Romanticism.
  • How did Kant differentiate modes of thinking? In this essay, you can discuss analytic and synthetic propositions, their definitions, and applicability.
  • Kant’s ethical ideas . See how they’re connected to his belief in everyone’s fundamental freedom.
  • How did Immanuel Kant influence other philosophers? Kant was hugely influential: in particular, he provided the basis for what later became Marxism .
  • Leibniz’s concept of knowledge . You can include Leibniz’s idea that it’s possible to understand everything in the world with the help of logic and analysis.
  • How did Indian philosophy influence Schopenhauer ? For example, you can study the influence of Buddhism in Schopenhauer’s idea that the world is full of suffering , which can be overcome by way of renunciation.
  • What did Nietzsche mean by saying that “God is dead”? This quote is often misunderstood. In fact, it is hinting at the fact that traditional values have lost their power.
  • What were Immanuel Kant’s antinomies? Antinomies are contradictions that can both be justified. They create logical paradoxes.
  • What are the main points of Kant’s transcendentalism ? In short, transcendental idealism focuses on the self as the center of reality. People get information about the outer world, but it will never be able to know the world as it is.
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his philosophy.

Hegel quote.

  • The problem of subjectivity and consciousness in German Idealism .
  • What are paralogisms?
  • Ends-in-themselves and means-to-ends: definition and comparison.
  • What is Hegel’s absolute spirit?
  • Schopenhauer ‘s philosophy of pessimism.
  • How did Nietzsche influence the ideas of the National Socialists?
  • Kierkegaard’s angst and “fear and trembling.”
  • What are Leibniz’s contributions to metaphysics and epistemology ?
  • Benedict de Spinoza and his doctrines.
  • F.W.J. Schelling’s understanding of nature.
  • Ethics and moral philosophy in Kant, Nietzsche, and others .
  • Schelling’s identity philosophy .
  • Ludwig Feuerbach anthropological materialism .
  • Kierkegaard’s conception of irony.
  • What were Christian Thomasius’ views on reason and prejudice ?
  • What was Christian Wolff’s role in German philosophical thought?
  • What are the main features of Pietism?
  • Who were the Thomasians?
  • How did Sturm und Drang movement influence philosophy?
  • Baumgarten’s Aesthetica and the concept of art.
  • What characterized Elisabeth of the Palatinate’s critique of Descartes ?
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s impact on German philosophy .
  • What did Johann Gottfried Herder mean by “the great chain of being”?
  • What was Richard Warner’s influence on Nietzsche’s philosophy ?
  • What was Johanna Charlotte Unzer’s contribution to feminism ?
  • Friedrich Hölderlin as an Idealist.
  • Epistemology and metaphysics: philosophers views .
  • What are Karl Marx’s concepts of labor, class, and capital ?
  • What were Schleiermacher’s thoughts on psychology and knowledge?
  • What was Schleiermacher’s influence on Gadamer and Heidegger?
  • What were Nietzsche’s main “positive values?”
  • What was Nietzsche’s interpretation of nihilism?
  • Nietzsche’s doctrine of “will to power.”
  • What impact had Eastern philosophy on Nietzsche’s work ?
  • Nietzsche’s concept of Apollonian vs. Dionysian and its impact on culture.
  • What was the role of Plato and Aristotle in classical German philosophy?
  • Leibniz’s vs. Pythagorean theory of monads: a comparison.
  • What is Leibniz’s “fundamental question of metaphysics ?”
  • Gottfried Leibniz’s contribution to logic.

David Hume quote.

In the 20th century, philosophy was developing just as rapidly as technology. New standards of living, change of values, wars, and conflicts led to increased disappointment and alienation among people. Philosophers of that era tried to reflect on these changes and come up with new outlooks on life and the world around us.

  • Karl Popper’s concept of three worlds. This philosophy topic includes the analysis of three categories of reality (physical objects, mental works, and objective knowledge ) and their interactions.
  • How did the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics influence idealism in the 20th century? It’s a terrific philosophy question that shows the complexity of our reality.
  • The philosophy of modernism as a reflection of societal changes. It includes the massive influence of art on modernism . See what led to the rejection of realism and increased focus on personal experience.
  • Lyotard’s Postmodern Condition: technology, communication, and mass media . Lyotard’s book offers a surprisingly accurate glimpse into the 21st century’s spread of communication technologies . It can be an exciting paper topic.
  • Marxism-Leninism : key concepts and legacy. In this essay, you can discuss world revolutions , vanguardism, and other concepts that led to the popularity and eventual demise of Marxist-Leninist philosophy.
  • Marxism vs. Freudism differences . Freudism was based on psychoanalysis; later, Freud’s ideas about the human psyche were expanded into a philosophy concerned with society as a whole.
  • Slavoj Zizek’s concept of The Real. Inspired by Lacan’s psychoanalysis , Zizek formulated a classification of different types of The Real. He provided examples from pop culture, such as The Matrix .
  • Feminist philosophers: Rosa Luxemburg , Sandra Bartky, Julia Kristeva . While the philosophy of the 20th century was dominated by men, there were also many outstanding women. You can choose to write about them!
  • Foucault’s theories of power, knowledge, and subjectivity. Foucault’s philosophy was very influential in society, as well as in the arts. In many ways, he shaped postmodernism as we know it.
  • Deconstruction as a critique of Platonism. Deconstructivism concerned everything from architecture to queer studies. It was influenced by Nietzsche and critiqued Plato’s idea of forms .
  • Walter Benjamin ‘s “angel of history.” This is a wonderful topic that covers Benjamin’s concept of history and the importance of remembering the past exactly as it was.

Walter Benjamin quote.

  • Jacque Derrida’s key concepts: an overview. Here you can discuss the ideas Derrida introduced to philosophy as well as literature studies and politics.
  • Karl Marx views on history . Karl Marx’s historical materialism was tremendously influential in early socialist societies. Explore it in your essay!
  • Theodore Herzl and Zionism . This philosophy topic is closely connected with 20th-century history. You can also discuss arguments for and against Zionism .
  • Jacques Lacan’s impact on philosophy , linguistics, and film theory . Discuss Lacan’s concepts such as the “mirror stage” and” the Other” in your philosophy essay!
  • International development, colonialism, social inequality and class stratification . This topic is centered on the influence of the colonial past on today’s politics. You’d be surprised to see how much colonial worldview affected almost every facet of life in all countries.
  • Behaviorism and philosophy of mind. It’s a very interesting branch of philosophy that has elements of natural science, linguistics, and psychology . See what different approaches to behavior were proposed by philosophers, and describe them in an argumentative essay!
  • Being-in-itself in Heidegger and Sartre . This topic is closely connected with several other concepts, such as Dasein and bad faith, and it can be an excellent theme for an extended research paper.
  • John Searle’s “Chinese room.” It is an exciting topic about the philosophical aspects of artificial intelligence . “Chinese room” is a thought experiment that led to many curious replies.
  • Existentialism in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea: an analysis . Here you can study one of the most brilliant books of the 20th century from the philosophical point of view! Discuss what made Sartre’s Nausea so famous and influential.
  • Anarchism in the 20th century: the classical era.
  • Communism: theory and reality .
  • The fundamental concepts of existentialism: angst, despair, the absurd .

Edward R. Murrow quote.

  • Existentialism in France after WWII: key figures.
  • Karl Popper’s critique of historicism.
  • Determinism : mathematical models and the quantum realm.
  • Post-modernism vs. modernism: a comparison.
  • Foucault’s conceptions of biopower and biopolitics.
  • Structuralism concept in philosophy .
  • What was Karl Marx’s idea of a higher-stage communist society?
  • Friedrich Engels ‘ socialism vs. the Soviet economic model.
  • How Aristotle and other Greeks influenced Heidegger?
  • Heidegger’s concepts of “present-at-hand” and “ready-to-hand.”
  • Bertrand Russell and analytical philosophy .
  • What was Frankfurt school’s dialectical method of investigation?
  • Freudian perspective on dreams .
  • Jaques Maritain and neo-Thomism.
  • What were the breakthroughs of 20th-century feminism ?
  • What was the influence of war and globalization on the late 20th-century anarchism ?
  • Queer theory and philosophy of gender.
  • The concept of the Other in philosophy, psychology, and film.
  • The power of ideas: from ancient to modern philosophies .
  • Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics .
  • What are the key ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy ?
  • Simone de Beauvoir’s existentialist philosophy .
  • What is the concept of Dasein in Heidegger’s Being and Time ?
  • The Decline of the West: what caused Oswald Spengler’s bleak outlook on the future?
  • Philosophical views of Albert Camus : absurdism, existentialism, anarcho-syndicalism.
  • Absurdism: parallels with nihilism and existentialism .
  • Nihilism in the 20th century: Deleuze , Derrida, Heidegger, Lyotard.
  • Jean Baudrillard: the concept of simulacra .
  • Camus’s The Stranger and Rousseau’s Natural Man .
  • How do Derrida’s concepts of différance and trace correspond to ideas of Plato and Aristotle ?
  • What was Edmund Husserl’s contribution to phenomenology?
  • Roland Barthes’ semiotics and structuralism .
  • “Death of the Author”: Bartes vs. Foucault .
  • Hannah Arendt : the origins of Nazism and Stalinism.
  • Julius Evola’s critique of fascism and national-socialism.
  • Iris Murdoch’s philosophy and influences.
  • Feminist philosophers: Rosa Luxemburg, Sandra Bartky, Julia Kristeva.
  • How did Russian cosmism influence space exploration?
  • What was Heidegger’s influence on Sartre’s Being and Nothingness?
  • Of Grammatology: Derrida’s critique of structuralism .
  • Henry Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience .
  • Berlin and Vienna circles of logical positivism and their characteristics.
  • Marxist feminism as opposed to the exploitation of women in capitalism.
  • The Communist Manifesto and its legacy .

The Communist Manifesto quote.

  • The concept of social privilege from Du Bois to the late 20th century.
  • Richard Taylor’s view of cruelty and compassion .
  • The development of the “collective conscious” concept.
  • Emile Zola’s positivism.
  • Activity theory and its field of usage.
  • The philosophy of Maoism.
  • What is “Moore’s paradox,” and how can it be used?
  • Philosophy of artificial intelligence .
  • Umberto Eco’s philosophical works.
  • What are the characteristics of empiricism?
  • The “cultural turn” of the ’70s.
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss: philosophical and anthropological ideas.
  • Social character and social psychology .
  • Georg Simmel’s philosophy of money .
  • What is the role of classical pragmatism in the development of feminist theories ?
  • Jane Addams and her ethical principles .
  • Holism in philosophy: an overview.
  • Can the concept of noosphere be considered real?
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: controversies and influence on the New Age movement.
  • Bertrand Russell’s Problems of Philosophy .
  • Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology of temporality.
  • Intentism: authorial intent vs. death of the author.
  • The concept of aboutness in philosophy of mind .

The basic definition of ethics is “moral philosophy.” It is concerned with the problems of good and evil, right and wrong, and everything in-between. The first ethical teachings appeared in ancient times, but they’ve always been changing throughout history, and they vary among different nations.

  • What are the three main theories of ethics ? In this essay, you can talk about utilitarian, deontological , and virtue ethics as the basis for ethical reasoning.
  • What are the main principles of utilitarian ethics ? The main appeal of utilitarianism is its promise to produce greater good for a greater number of people. However, it also has a number of dubious aspects.
  • What is Internet ethics? Write about the ethical problems of the information age and discuss their role in globalization.

Internet ethics.

  • Virtue ethics and its main concepts . This topic includes the definitions of virtues and vices given from different points of view. You can also trace these concepts throughout the history of philosophy and show how they have changed.
  • What are the main challenges of deontological ethics ? Here you can discuss problems that arise out of the principle “people should be treated with respect according to their rights.”
  • The problem of free will . The discussion of moral responsibility and control can serve as an excellent basis for a research paper!
  • What are the peculiarities of Chinese ethics? Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism , and globalization – see what influenced the ethics of Chinese people over the course of history.
  • The ethics of religious belief: Christianity, Judaism , Islam, Buddhism. Different religions have their ethical peculiarities. Some people argue that without religious belief , a person can’t be moral. Discuss it in your paper!
  • Personal information, privacy , and other ethical issues of Internet search engines. You can mention both the positive and negative aspects of private data collection via search engines.
  • The ethics of cultural appropriation . It is a controversial topic that should include the definition of what can and can’t be qualified as offensive. Discuss past events, such as colonialism, that contributed to the problem of cultural appropriation .
  • What are the specifics of feminist ethics?
  • Gender binarism as an ethical issue.
  • Emotions: definition of love .
  • The ethics of the US voting system .
  • What are the distinctive features of morality ?
  • The concepts of freedom and responsibility in relation to metaethics.
  • The benefits of “human-values approach” to computer ethics .
  • Ethics of working environment .
  • What are the main views on public health ethics?
  • What are the ethical problems of human tests in clinical research ?
  • The milestones of animal rights activism.
  • What is beneficence and benevolence in ethical theory?
  • The ethical problems of social justice .
  • Business ethics: from Ancient Greece to modern era.
  • Confronting physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia .
  • Environmental ethics and deep ecology.
  • What are the ethical issues of Manifest Destiny ?
  • Bioethics and its main disciplines.
  • Axiology: the relations between ethics and aesthetics.

Plato quote.

  • What are the issues of organ donation ?
  • Neutrality vs. moral agency in ethics of technology.
  • What are the central moral issues of human enhancement?
  • The “is-ought problem” of evolutionary ethics.
  • The issues of human/non-human chimera creation.
  • Should animals have the same rights as humans?
  • What is the definition and issues of informed consent ?
  • The moral challenges of parent-child relationships .
  • The ethics of war: the “just war” theory .
  • What’s the difference between utilitarianism and hedonism?
  • Ethics in psychotherapy : principles and issues.
  • Conscience and its main characteristics.
  • What are the moral issues of stem cell research?
  • Disability ethics: promotion and optimization.
  • What is the role of ethics in education?
  • The principles of global justice.
  • Gender issues in public ethics.
  • What is the difference between ethical and unethical marketing ?
  • Abolition of capital punishment .
  • What are the possible ethical questions of postmortem autopsies?
  • Should abortions be legal?

🧐 Top 50 Philosophical Questions

  • Is there such a thing as free will?
  • What are the constituents of a good life ?
  • Can mathematical concepts be considered real?
  • Does chaos always triumph over order?
  • What is the role of religion in modern society?
  • Can a lie be justified ?
  • Should we strive for immortality ?
  • What makes us human?
  • Is evil a necessary part of life?
  • Is it possible to find answers to all questions about the Universe ?
  • What’s the point of art?
  • Is there such a thing as destiny ?
  • Does knowledge make up happier?
  • Can we separate art from the artist ?
  • Do our small actions affect the world?
  • Is it possible to know a person completely?
  • Does power corrupt?
  • Is religion necessary for morality?
  • Is hedonism a right way of life?
  • What does it mean to be conscious ?
  • What makes a genius ?
  • Can thoughts exist without language?
  • Why do people need poetry and fiction?
  • Can a murder be justified?
  • Is there inherent order in nature?
  • What are the limits of free speech ?

Kierkegaard quote.

  • Is media censorship necessary?
  • Why is beauty associated with morality?
  • How can we eliminate prejudice ?
  • How will the spread of AI change the world ?
  • Should genetic engineering be allowed?
  • Is it possible to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor?
  • Is democracy an effective way of government?
  • Why have women been oppressed throughout history?
  • Can perfect laws ever be created?
  • Why do many people like conspiracy theories ?
  • Is a formal education important ?
  • Will there be an end to technological progress ?
  • Is it possible to be completely free?
  • How much do genetics influence human personality?
  • Is there such a thing as synchronicity?
  • Should animals be used in medical experiments?
  • Why is it important to preserve cultural heritage ?
  • Should coma patients be kept on life support?
  • What is the true nature of time?
  • Is it possible to free ourselves from all material thoughts?
  • Why is success so important to people?
  • Why are people afraid of death ?
  • Is there such a thing as soulmates?
  • How much freedom should children have?

Throughout history, philosophers have developed many schools of thought. Their ideas vary, but they’re also interconnected. Here is the list of philosophies from Philosophy 101 book that will help you prepare for exam or test:

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  • Aristotelianism is a school of thought inspired by Aristotle and his followers. Aristotle rejected Plato’s concept of “ideas” and placed more emphasis on practical wisdom. He also developed what we know as the deductive method of reasoning, as well as a highly influential idea that everything has a purpose. Aristotelianism served as a basis for Scholasticism.
  • Atomism is an ancient idea that everything in the world is made out of tiny “atoms.” It proved to be very accurate in the Modern era. The conception of atoms was used not only in natural sciences but also as a way to answer philosophical questions, such as “ why does everything change? “
  • Cynicism can be considered a way of life. The Cynics opposed conventions and lived in harmony with nature. They were also famously straightforward and advocated free speech. The most prominent Cynic was Diogenes.

Diogenes famous antics.

  • Stoicism was partially inspired by cynics. Stoics such as Seneca and Epictetus thought that a true sage should be impassionate and calm. They taught people not to worry about things beyond one’s control and that “virtue is sufficient for happiness.”
  • Platonism was founded by Plato. According to him, there exists another realm beyond our material world. It is filled with abstract objects (“ideas” or “forms”) which manifest themselves in our world as concrete objects of different kinds. Platonism was popular during the Renaissance, and it served as a basis for Idealism and Humanism.
  • Zen Buddhist philosophy originates from Japan. It aims at attaining perfection by way of achieving enlightenment. According to Zen Buddhists, all things in life are equally important. A person should always live “here and now,” and free themselves from all unnecessary thoughts and feelings.
  • Scholasticism can be characterized as a method of learning. Initially, it was meant to combine the ideas of Christianity with Aristotelian philosophy. Later it encompassed logic, science, psychology, linguistics, and many other elements. Scholasticism introduced many essential aspects of logical reasoning, such as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. It was especially popular during the Middle Ages.
  • Humanism was the leading philosophical school during the Renaissance. It was influenced by the Italian poet Petrarch, who popularized classical Greek writings. It lead to the re-discovery of Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato, as well as classical arts and literature. Humanism was characterized by the increased importance of human life as opposed to God, striving for perfection, and reliance on scientific methods.
  • Existentialism is a significant philosophical school of the 19th-20th centuries. In the center of existentialism was a person with their unique subjective experience. Some of the leading Existentialists, such as Sartre, were novelists and influenced literature with their writings. It also influenced psychology by introducing concepts of anxiety and dread.
  • Absurdism is closely related to Existentialism. Its main idea is that searching for the meaning of life is meaningless, as it does more harm than good. We must come to terms with the absurdity of the universe and learn to accept it as it is, without resorting to religion.
  • Idealism is another influential school of philosophy which is based on Platonism. It emphasizes the mind and human perception. Some Idealists postulate that the world is an illusion, and only what’s inside our minds is real. Immanuel Kant is considered the most influential Idealist. He argued that the brain perceives reality in a distorted way, and we can never see things as they really are.
  • Postmodernism is one of the most prominent philosophical schools of the 20th century. It re-contextualized the notions of identity, reality, difference, and meaning while introducing new concepts. Postmodernism can be described as playful, skeptical, and ambiguous.
  • Marxism is a philosophical school that played a massive role in the history of the 20th century. It is mostly concerned with economics and sociology. It introduced the ideas of the proletariat, class struggle, and socialism. These concepts became crucial in the development of Socialist and Communist societies, such as the USSR and China. The most prominent Marxist thinkers are Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
  • Feminist philosophy is focused on justice for women, as well as marginalized groups. It fights prejudice and tackles many controversial topics, such as racism and disability. Besides, feminists rethink existing philosophical ideas and make their original contributions to philosophy and science.

Writing a philosophy essay can be a great experience! It teaches you to see the problem from different angles, analyze it, and improve your critical thinking. Besides, studying a philosophy topic allows you to learn new things about the world and even about yourself!

First of all, you need to choose a good paper topic . It can be a classic philosophy topic concerning different schools of thought, or it can be a more abstract existential question. If the problem is too broad, try to narrow it down as much as possible. Also, if you’re only starting to study philosophy, find an easy topic that you can work with. Choose something that will be interesting for you to research!

When you come up with a theme, think of something you can discuss from different sides . Philosophy is all about questioning, debating, and a deeper understanding of things, both real and hypothetical. If you choose to write about the works of a famous philosopher, go ahead and add your own thoughts on the topic!

e.g., Plato’s Republic has many outstanding ideas, but I disagree with his concept of selecting the wisest people to be rulers.

The second step is the thesis statement . Express the main point of your essay or paper in one sentence. It is possible to write it at a later stage. However, if you start with a thesis statement, it would help you stay on topic. It should present the aim of your paper and convince the readers that your work is important. It will also be beneficial if you write an outline!

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

e.g., Socratic dialogue helped to advance the way of thinking.

Then you come up with arguments for and against your thesis statement . This way, you’ll see the subject from multiple points of view, and you’ll be able to discuss it more fully.

You can present your arguments in different ways:

Present arguments.

The arguments can be positive or negative – that is, they can either support or refute the thesis statement. You can use evidence from life or quote the ideas of other philosophers. If you’ve chosen a big philosophical question, e.g., “ what is the meaning of life? ” you can select arguments for related problems, such as “should everything always have meaning?” or “why is meaning important?” Don’t forget to show how all these questions are related to your main topic!

e.g., the Socratic method can be very beneficial in education and psychotherapy; at the same time, it may be used for manipulating people.

When coming up with arguments, choose only the strongest ones . The same thing goes for examples. They can be empirical or hypothetical, but most important of all, credible. As philosophy is interconnected with all kinds of arts and sciences, you can find your evidence everywhere: in fiction, physics, or psychology. The choice is yours!

We are sure that these tips will help you to write a perfect philosophy paper. Now it’s time to choose your topic and get started! Good luck!

The most interesting topics in philosophy are usually concerned with politics, the human mind, and ethics. They can also be inspired by modern-day problems. E.g. how does philosophy apply to an AI, or can AI become better than humans.

Philosophy covers a vast number of topics. They can be related to everything from politics to quantum physics. There are classical questions, such as the purpose of life, but also new topics about the modern world, like computer ethics.

The Greek philosopher Socrates is often called the father of western philosophy. He taught his disciples the importance of asking questions, showing that philosophy is the art of searching for the truth.

There are five major areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and aesthetics. They study reality, knowledge, debate, morality, and beauty.

🔎 References

  • Scholasticism: Philosophy Basics
  • Renaissance Philosophy: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • History of Philosophy | Ancient Philosophy: Illinois State University
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Main Page
  • Ethics: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Virtue Ethics: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Ethical Theories: The Arthur W. Page Center
  • Atomism: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • A Brief Guide to Writing a Philosophy Paper: Harvard University
  • Feminist Philosophy: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • What is Marxism: All About Philosophy
  • Idealism: CUNY
  • Postmodernism Philosophy: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • What is Philosophy?: Florida State University
  • Karl Marx | Biography, Philosophy and Facts: Famous Philosophers
  • Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy: Academia
  • Immanuel Kant: International Bureau of Education
  • Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy: The Quintessential Mind
  • German Idealism: New World Encyclopedia
  • Greek Philosophy: Ancient History Encyclopedia
  • Medieval Philosophy: Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy: The University of Tennessee Martin
  • Renaissance Philosophy Review: Birkbeck University of London
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Good Philosophy Questions For Students

There are countless good philosophy questions. You can ask yourself the following: Are all beliefs inherently bad? How does language affect our thinking? Is lying always wrong? Is euthanasia wrong in all circumstances? Or, perhaps, does love make the world better? Read on to discover some of the best philosophical questions for students. And don’t forget to share your own questions with fellow philosophy students! Hopefully these questions will inspire you to ask more questions of yourself!

560 good philosophy questions

If you’re looking for topics to spark philosophical discussions, you might want to try a list of 560 good philosophy questions. These questions cover various areas of philosophy and are designed to provoke meaningful discussions with a broad audience. You can print out the list or create an image to use as a guide when preparing a discussion topic. These questions are sure to get the conversation going and help you get into deep philosophical discussions with your friends.

Philosophical questions are naturally thought-provoking and can spark debates among older students. Not only can these debates be fun and stimulating, they also give students the opportunity to exercise critical thinking. While some questions may not be practical for philosophical discussions, others might prove to be good springboards for critical thinking in an informal setting. Therefore, if you want to spark philosophical discussions in your homeschool setting, you should choose some questions that are controversial.

Is lying always wrong?

Some people argue that lying is sometimes justified, pointing to examples in the Bible. These examples include Egyptian midwives who lied to Pharaoh to save their baby, and Rahab, who lied to the men of Jericho about the Israelites. Both women are mentioned favorably in the Bible, but neither story is an excuse for lying. God does not condone lying, however. Rather, the Bible condemns lying in general.

Immanuel Kant , a famous philosopher, argued that lying is always wrong. Kant claimed that all persons have intrinsic worth derived from their unique rationality. This is what he called human dignity, and ethical behavior must respect that power. Despite this argument, Kant never directly appealed to the categorical imperative . Nonetheless, he did point out that lying can be justified under certain circumstances, such as in the case of spies.

While Bok and others are opposing lying, she acknowledges that it is not always easy to be honest. This is true, despite the fact that many people find it difficult to be honest and to lie. While this may make the act of lying even more difficult, it is a legitimate way to avoid the consequences of deception. In the same way, it can be dangerous for the recipient of the lie to feel better about himself.

Christians argue that they shouldn’t lie, as a result of the consequences of doing so. Yet the Bible does not condemn lying, but it does encourage honesty. But a Christian should not lie just because he or she feels uncomfortable about it. In other words, Christians should not lie if they want to be accepted by others. The Bible warns that lying will ruin the relationship with the person who has told it. There are some situations in which Christians may justify lying, but this does not make lying a sin.

Is euthanasia wrong in every circumstance?

The arguments against euthanasia often come from the perspective of compassion. The word ‘euthanasia’ sounds like murder-on-demand, but euthanasia is not as insidious as its sanitized counterpart. It is still wrong, regardless of the circumstances. The morality of euthanasia is debatable, and it is not clear where its boundaries lie.

While the concept of euthanasia goes back more than 2,000 years, it has recently gained renewed interest in the United States and abroad. These recent developments may be due in part to aging populations, the fear of uncontrolled technology, and distrust in the medical profession. However, there may be a deeper force at work behind these efforts. In the United States, society has protected the freedom of individual liberty, so euthanasia and assisted suicide are not against these rights.

Euthanasia should be done only if the patient is capable of giving consent and is lucid enough to make the decision. However, this is not a simple task. The decision may not be clear-cut: a patient may feel like a burden on his or her family or resources, or hospital personnel may have a financial incentive to help the patient end their suffering. Further, depression can complicate the decision.

While the deontologic argument for euthanasia is based on the idea that physicians have a duty to act in the best interests of their patients, doctors still perform euthanasia in cases where the patient is not conscious. In addition to enhancing the medical profession, these guidelines also create a more trustworthy relationship between physician and patient. In addition, the rights of every person extend to the method of death.

Does love make a difference in the world?

Biologically, love makes a difference in the world. It changes our brains in a number of ways. For example, it raises our cortisol levels, which suppress immune function, and turns on our neurotransmitter dopamine, which activates our pleasure centers. And when we are in love, our serotonin levels drop, which adds a dash of obsession. But is love really that powerful?

Love is a complex emotion, involving warmth and protectiveness. It is a universal human emotion, but its definition is disputed. It can also apply to principles, non-human animals, and religious beliefs. Philosophy has long debated the concept of love. Most people agree that it implies strong feelings of affection, but there is no universal definition for it. However, researchers disagree on its exact meaning, but it is an innate human behavior.

Does religion make a difference in the world?

Despite its widespread popularity, religion is not without controversy. It can be a source of comfort, a moral basis , and a sense of community. Yet there is much debate about whether religion has an impact on health. Studies have shown that religious people are healthier than non-religious ones, but this may be due to the social contact that comes with religion. And this debate is hardly new.

The first part of this course examines the range of viewpoints on religion. This includes the external aspects of religion (such as rituals, beliefs, and socially learned culture), and the internal aspects of religion (such as mystical direct spiritual experience). Students will also explore how religious institutions promote tolerance and respect for diversity. The course also considers how religion affects world peace. Is religion a force for good?

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200+ Thoughtful Philosophical Questions to Ask

Katee Fletcher

A good philosophical question is one without a black or white answer. Most of the time, a philosophical question stimulates debate, argument, and critical thinking that pushes the human mind to think about life differently. Hard philosophical questions lead one to ponder the fundamental question of life: why are we here? What is the meaning of human life , human nature , or humanity altogether?

Asking an interesting question or deep question, such as those listed below, is a great way to start a conversation and get other people thinking. Use the list below to introduce interesting topics at dinner or push the buttons of someone you’re getting to know better! However you use them, you’re in for a good discussion with some thought-provoking material on a philosophical problem or major philosophical inquiry.

A Brief History on the Creation of Western Philosophy

Pre-Socratic Philosophy:

Western Philosophy was born in 6th Century B.C. with Pre-Socratic philosophers such as Thales of Miletus. A few main findings and inquiries created the base for classic philosophical questions and theories during this time, such as metaphysics , the four classic elements, atomism, and mathematics.

Classical Philosophy:

With the continuation of philosophical thought into the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., great, classic philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were born. Socrates focussed mainly on ethics. Plato blended many ideas, including epistemology , which is the theory of knowledge and how we acquire it. Meanwhile, Aristotle created a more comprehensive system that blended many ideas, including science and logic.

Medieval Philosophy:  4th & 5th Century A.D.

Early Modern Philosophy: 

Modern philosophy began in the 17th Century with the “Age of Reason” and the 18th Century with the “Age of Enlightenment” alongside famous philosopher Kant.

19th Century Philosophy:

Modern philosophy continued with famous philosophers like Karl Marx, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Many theories such as Marxism, Romanticism, and Individualism came out of this time, along with many highly-esteemed pieces of literature.

20th Century Philosophy: Present Day Theories & Inquiries

Thoughtful Philosophical Questions on Metaphysics

  • What does it mean to be “real”?
  • What is real versus what appears to be real?
  • Is existence necessary?
  • What is the origin of the universe?
  • What created the universe?
  • What are the material components of the universe?
  • Do the cosmos have a purpose?
  • What is the goal of existence?
  • Is there anything that has to be relatively true for everything that exists?
  • Can some things exist that aren’t in time?
  • Is change really possible?
  • Can there be things that, in principle, are unobservable?
  • Is the universe inherently random, as quantum mechanics predicts?
  • What is time?
  • Is time real or an illusion?
  • Can there be time without change?
  • Can there be aspects of reality that, in principle, are unknowable?
  • Is space real or an illusion?
  • What are the laws of nature?
  • Do humans possess the power of free will?
  • What are we?
  • Why does the universe exist?
  • What is consciousness?
  • Are humans free?
  • Do humans have immaterial souls?
  • What are numbers?
  • Is causation real or an illusion?
  • Could time be cyclical?
  • What are the laws of the universe?
  • Is the self a bundle of experiences?
  • Is space itself an entity, or is it reducible to spatial relations between objects and events?
  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • Could there be a person who was not in time?
  • Is freedom compatible with determinism?

Fun Philosophical Questions

  • If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
  • Is water wet?
  • Some claim money can’t buy happiness, but can happiness exist without money?
  • Which is easier: to love or to be loved?
  • Does the “Law of Attraction” exist?
  • Does true love exist?
  • Does fate exist?
  • Is friendship necessary for happiness?
  • Why are drugs banned but not harmful food additives and alcohol?
  • Is it ever okay to share a secret?
  • Why does time feel slow or fast depending on the day and the moment?
  • Does life exist outside of our world?
  • Does luck exist?
  • Does artificial intelligence have the ability to take over the planet one day?
  • Are clowns funny or scary?
  • Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
  • Why are they called apartments if they’re so close together?
  • Can animals think and have reason?
  • Why does your nose “run” and your feet “smell”?
  • Why is it called a building if it’s already been built?
  • Can vegetables feel pain?
  • Can a vegetarian eat animal crackers?
  • What hair color is listed on the driver’s license of a bald man?
  • Why aren’t cheese and meat slices made the same shape as bread?
  • Why do women open their mouths to put on mascara?
  • Why don’t they have seatbelts on buses, but they do on airplanes?
  • Why are pizza boxes square when pizzas are round?
  • At what age can you consider someone “elderly”?
  • Do our pets have names for us?
  • How can you tell what a room full of mirrors looks like when nobody is in it?
  • Does expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?
  • Who put the alphabet in alphabetical order?
  • If two mind readers read each other’s minds, whose mind are they really reading?
  • Is there a synonym for “synonym”?
  • If your shirt isn’t tucked into your pants, are your pants tucked into your shirt?
  • If I try to fail but succeed, which one did I do?
  • How do you know you are not just in a VR computer game?
  • What came first? The chicken or the egg?
  • If time travel is possible, would we have met time travelers already?
  • Do animals like being kept as pets?
  • Are you lucky? Does luck exist?
  • If you were born with a different name, would you have a different personality?
  • Are you dreaming right now? How do you know?
  • Is the glass half empty or half full?
  • Do those who love us really love us, or do they love what they think we are?
  • If tomatoes are fruits, is ketchup a smoothie?
  • If you punch yourself and it hurts, does that make you strong or weak?

Epistemology Inspired Philosophy Questions

  • What is knowledge?
  • How do we acquire knowledge?
  • What is the structure of knowledge?
  • Are there limits to the amount of knowledge we can acquire?
  • What justifies a justified true belief?
  • What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge?
  • Can a true belief be unjustified?
  • Is justification internal or external to one’s own mind?
  • What do people truly know?
  • How do we understand the justification process?
  • What distinguishes knowledge from mere belief?
  • What can be known with certainty?
  • How can we know if we have knowledge?
  • What can we know by reasoning alone?
  • What can we know by sensory experience?

Deep Philosophical Questions

  • How can you distinguish art from something that isn’t art?
  • Would you kill 1 person you love to save 100 strangers? Would you kill 100 strangers to save 1 person you love?
  • Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?
  • If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
  • Are emotions rational or irrational?
  • Is there such a thing as an ideal government?
  • Is there a cause for every event?
  • Is love different from lust?
  • Does democracy function well for every country?
  • How much freedom should people be permitted to have?
  • If someone commits suicide while you watch and don’t interfere, are you responsible for that death?
  • Is torture ever justified?
  • Is murder ever justified?
  • Which is more important: justice or mercy?
  • Will time travel ever be possible?
  • Is it ever okay to break the law? When?
  • What is a dream, and why do we have them?
  • What is self-esteem, and how is it constructed?
  • What is the right age for marriage?
  • Do animals have universal rights?
  • Does a higher power exist?
  • Does absolute morality exist?
  • What shapes a person, nature, or nurture?
  • Can we know about happiness without knowing about sadness?
  • Can we know good without the existence of evil?
  • What is the truth, and is it the same as reality?
  • Is truth relative?
  • Does an afterlife exist?
  • Do animals have souls?
  • Is it ever okay to lie?
  • Do numbers exist, or were they created by man?
  • Are we living in a simulation?
  • If God is “good,” why does evil exist in the world?
  • When will the world reach its end?
  • What are thoughts?
  • Where do thoughts come from?
  • Does a soul exist before life and continue after?
  • Do parallel universes exist?
  • Why are people told to respect the dead?
  • Is everyone’s life of equal value?
  • Are religion and science compatible?
  • Is happiness the main purpose of life?
  • Which is more real: mind or matter?
  • Do the needs of many outweigh the needs of a few?
  • Does time have a beginning or an end?
  • Do universal human rights exist?
  • Are human beings inherently good or evil?
  • Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?
  • Are we morally obligated to help others?
  • What is emotion, and why do we experience it?
  • What is love?
  • If the only thing I know is that I know nothing, do I know something?
  • If I go back in time and kill my grandfather before he conceives my father, I have prevented my own conception. So, therefore, can I even travel back in time?
  • If every cell in my body gets replaced in 7 years, will I still be me in 7 years?
  • What makes you, you?
  • Are there limitations to free speech?
  • Is death a new beginning?
  • Do guns protect people or kill people?
  • Would the world be a better place if caste and religion ceased to exist?
  • What’s more important: doing things right or doing the right thing?
  • Is world peace achievable?
  • Can memories be erased?
  • Intelligence or wisdom, which is more important?
  • Would ending all wars make a better world?
  • Do thoughts have a pattern?
  • If we live in a civilized world, why are there so many distinctions between the rich and the poor?
  • Can you love someone without loving yourself first?
  • Do you think “wild” animals should be kept as pets? When and why?
  • Would you break the law to save someone you love?
  • Is it more important to be a leader or a follower?
  • Do people really change, or do they recognize and react logically to new circumstances?
  • Is there really any completely selfless act of kindness? Or is there always a motive behind helping someone else?
  • Should terminally ill people be allowed or encouraged to commit suicide?
  • Which is more important, to be respected or liked?
  • Can a person be “educated” without a formal education?
  • Are people natural-born leaders, or do they develop the traits over time?
  • What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?
  • What should be the goal of humanity?
  • How will humans as a species go extinct?
  • Is the meaning of life the same for animals and humans?
  • What actions in your life will have the longest reaching consequences? How long will those effects be felt?
  • If a child somehow survived and grew up in the wilderness without any human contact, how “human” would they be without the influence of society and culture?
  • Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition?
  • Will religion ever become obsolete?
  • What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?
  •  What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?
  • Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?
  • Why don’t we, as a species, take advantage of the fact that we have almost infinite knowledge available to us?
  • Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions but judge others by their actions?
  • What would you genetically change about humans to make them a better species?
  • Does jealousy have value in driving humans to improve themselves, or is it a purely negative emotion?
  • Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more?
  • How would you define genius?
  • How much does language affect our thinking?
  • Why are humans so confident in beliefs that can’t be proven?
  • Are there limits to human creativity?
  • Are intelligence and happiness tied together in any way? If you are brilliant, is it more likely that you’ll be more or less happy?
  • Can animals have morals?
  • What’s the difference between justice and revenge?
  • Are people ethically obligated to improve themselves?
  •  Is privacy a right?
  • If you could press a button and receive a million dollars, but one stranger would die, would you press the button?
  • Does anonymity encourage people to misbehave, or does it reveal how people would choose to act all the time if they could?
  • Has social media been a net positive or a net negative for our society? Why?
  • Should full access to the internet be a fundamental human right?
  • Does the study of philosophy ever lead to answers or simply more questions?

Katee Fletcher

Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life.

Keep up with Katee on Instagram and linkedin.com

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good philosophical questions for essays

240 Philosophical Questions for Deep Critical Thinking & Debate

statue of ancient philosopher thinking about philosophical questions

Philosophical questions are an effective tool to stimulate and develop critical thought. They examine profound matters like free will and human nature; the source and value of happiness; morality and ethics; love, logic, and knowledge; religion, death, and the meaning of life.

Although such questions can open a “rabbit hole” that leads to endless and seemingly unanswerable questions, a list of philosophical questions to ask about life—like the ones provided below—can be used as a springboard for critical thinking.  

Such questions help us evaluate arguments, explore foreign ideas, identify potential biases, and think critically about our own beliefs and presuppositions.

good philosophical questions for essays

We are preparing our our children to enter a society full of questions … and questionable ideas.

Consequently, it is our responsibility to train them to think critically and, above all, seek truth when asking the deep questions that arise in their own hearts. 

First, let’s take a closer look at what a philosophy question is. Then I’ll provide some examples to help encourage deep thinking. 

What is a Philosophical Question OR TOPIC?

A philosophical question is open-ended. Since philosophy itself means “love of wisdom,” it logically follows that a philosophical question is one that pursues a deep understanding of the subject examined.

The answer to this type of question isn’t necessarily an easy one—nor is it always black or white. It requires thoughtful reflection.

The deeper the reasoning behind the answer the better.  

Bear in mind there’s no such thing as a dumb philosophical question . However, don’t be surprised if the way questions are answered borders on the brink of absurdity at times.

But the goal is to inspire thought .

So … even if your students gives nonsensical responses, if they’re willing to explain how they came to their answer, count it as a win. 

(Even giving an incomplete answer is better than not pondering the question at all.)

A good example of a philosophical question is one of the three overarching “pillars” of philosophy.

The 3 Basic But Big Questions of Philosophy Deal with Existence

The fundamental questions of philosophy deal with existence and fall into three main categories::

  • Where did we come from?
  • Why are we here and how should we live?
  • Is there hope for our future and life after death?

How we answer those questions determines what we will value and how we will behave. 

With that in mind, it’s clear just how important it is to train our children to ask meaningful questions and seek truthful answers. 

The study of philosophy can help us do that.

PDF Download of 240 Philosophical Questions

240 Philosophical Questions for Deep Critical Thinking


Includes strategies for using philosophical questions as debate topics.

It is natural to be inquisitive. Let’s steward our students’ curious natures well!

I’ve gathered 240 philosophy questions to help you (and your students) think through tough philosophical topics together. 

It’s tempting to look at these questions as a mere academic exercise. 

But philosophical ideas have shaped human history from ancient times until today — for better or for worse .

Look at them, instead, as a means of preparing your students to face (and combat) the deceptive ideas they will soon encounter. 

Questions of Free Will and Human Nature

It's human nature to live according to the clock. We only have so much time on Earth.

Are we really free?

The question of free will versus determinism has been debated by great thinkers for centuries.

Some contend that we have complete freedom of choice.

Others believe that humans have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions (determinism).They argue that the choices we make stem exclusively from the nature we are born with and all the influences that surround us.

The Bible teaches that we have free will, and we’re responsible for our actions. As Deuteronomy 30:19 explains:

“… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live …”

Here are some questions about will and humanity:

  • Are humans innately good or evil?
  • Can humans change their behavior if given enough time?
  • Do humans need God to exist?
  • What happens when we die?
  • Does consciousness continue after physical death?
  • Why does suffering happen?
  • Should we try to prevent bad events from happening? If so, then how would we go about doing that?
  • What makes human life so valuable?
  • What makes us human?
  • Why does it matter if we’re alive?
  • Is there anything wrong with being selfish?
  • Do humans need other people in order to live?
  • Can animals feel pain? If so, why don’t they try to avoid hurting each other?
  • Are children born good or evil?
  • Is it okay to lie to protect yourself?
  • What is beauty?
  • Do all people deserve respect?
  • Did you exist before you were born?
  • Where do emotions come from?
  • Can we choose our emotions or do they just happen?
  • At what age are children held accountable for their actions? How do you determine that?
  • Where does self-worth come from?
  • How do you determine one’s self-worth?
  • Is one human life worth more than another?
  • Is ignorance really bliss?
  • What is the goal of humanity?
  • Can predestination and free will coexist?

Is it okay to lie to protect yourself?

Philosophical Questions About Happiness

The philosopher Aristotle held the view that, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

Yet the very definition of happiness is as diverse as the people who seek it. Some seek it in relationships, others in work, hobbies, or pleasure. 

One school of thought says finding happiness requires a life in which every aspect contributes toward personal fulfillment. 

Another believes that happiness is “happenstance”—an emotion based on positive circumstances. 

What do you think?

Here are some questions to ponder about happiness:

How much should we care about making ourselves happy?

  • What does it mean to be happy?
  • Can I be happy when faced with suffering?
  • Is happiness universal or a matter of perspective?
  • How much should we care about making ourselves happy?
  • Is it possible to feel happy and sad at the same time?
  • Is it really necessary to pursue happiness?
  • Are we happier now as a society than in times past? Why or why not?
  • Does anyone else’s happiness affect my own?
  • If someone has less material wealth than me, does this automatically make him unhappy? 
  • What brings true happiness?
  • Can happiness be measured or quantified, like money and power?
  • Are certain types of experiences inherently “happier” than others?
  • Is it always best to seek out pleasure over avoiding pain?
  • Is happiness just the product of chemical reactions in the brain?

Questions Regarding Morals and Ethics

Questions of morals and ethics are important to examine.

Questions of morals and ethics are important to explore if you wish to develop critical thinking skills. 

Morality and ethics both relate to the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong. However, morality is usually thought of as personal and normative, while ethics is the standards of good and bad distinguished by a particular community or social setting. 

Because the seriousness of the two topics can elicit emotional responses, if we’re not careful, debates on ethics and morality can get heated quickly.

A good moral or ethical argument takes the whole picture into account. 

For instance, how would you answer the question, “ Is killing always wrong? ”

Our first instinct may be a resounding Yes!

But looking at the big picture, we might ask: What if it occurs in self-defense? What about soldiers? Are they held to the same ethical standard civilians are?

These are the types of philosophical questions we encounter in this category.

Here are some additional examples:

Is it possible to make moral judgments without religion?

  • Is morality relative or absolute?
  • Where do morals come from?
  • Is it possible to make moral judgments without religion?
  • Is killing justified under certain conditions?
  • What makes something immoral?
  • How do you define “good” and “evil”?
  • Why do most people think that lying is bad?
  • Should all actions have equal consequences?
  • Does every human life count equally?
  • Is it ever justified to hurt others?
  • Is it fair to punish criminals with death?
  • Does morality come from within or outside ourselves?
  • Is stealing ever permissible? 
  • Is it ever permissible to deceive others?
  • Should we judge acts based on their outcomes alone?
  • Should we always follow the rules even if doing so causes harm?
  • Is slavery ever ethically defensible?
  • Is dishonesty always wrong?
  • Would you kill one person in order to save 1,000?
  • Are lies permissible if they protect someone’s feelings?
  • What defines a person?
  • Are we obligated to help others?
  • Is it wrong to kill animals?
  • Are humans replaceable?
  • What is virtue?

Love is an abstract concept defined in a number of different ways. It’s described as:

  • a state of mind
  • a relationship
  • or a desire.

You’ll find a biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.…”

Can life without love exist?

Here’s a collection of philosophical questions about love:

  • Which is more important: love or money? Why?
  • Is there such thing as true love? If yes, where does it come from? 
  • Do all human beings want to be loved?
  • Can anyone ever really understand another’s feelings?
  • Are children born with an innate love for their parents? 
  • Are some relationships better than others?
  • Can life without love exist?
  • What makes someone fall in love?
  • Why do people get married?
  • Is there a difference between love and lust?
  • Is marriage necessary?
  • Does love last forever?
  • Is it okay to love yourself?
  • Is love natural or a choice to be made?
  • Where do we find love?

Hard Questions Concerning Death

Have you heard the cliché: “The only certainty in life is death and taxes”?

Death truly is a certainty of life. 

While some people choose to face the reality of death head-on, others pretend like it doesn’t exist. 

Perhaps it’s the finality of death that sparks fear. 

Regardless of how we feel, our time on earth will end at some point in the future. 

How should that impact how we live today?

Discussing death can be healthy when done in the right manner. 

How would you like to be remembered after you die?

Here are some questions about death we can use to explore the topic, provoke thought, and potentially positively affect how we live:

  • Why do people fear death?
  • Can we know for certain if there is life after death?
  • How would you like to be remembered after you die?
  • What happens to the body after you die?
  • Does “good death” exist?
  • What would happen if we lived forever?
  • Should we try to prolong our lives at any cost?
  • Could immortality be possible?
  • Is euthanasia wrong in all circumstances?
  • Is death actually the beginning?
  • Why is it acceptable to kill insects?
  • Should terminally ill patients be able to choose death?

Questions with Respect to Universal Human Rights 

Man ponders whether universal human rights exist.

Universal human rights are those rights which apply equally to everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, or creed. 

They include freedom of speech , equality before law , right to justice , and more. 

The philosophy behind human rights is based upon the idea that humans deserve respect and dignity, and—ultimately—the right to life.

They’re largely considered universal because they are natural, belonging to all members of humanity simply by virtue of being human.

Some philosophers argue that such rights can’t be taken away, while others claim they are conditional.  

Here are a few questions to help us think critically about human rights:

  • What makes something a human right?
  • Do you believe human rights even exist?
  • Are human rights actually universal?
  • Are humans rights and entitlement the same thing? 
  • Can torture be justified?
  • Is liberty a human right?
  • Is personal autonomy a right?
  • Do governments have the authority to regulate what people do?
  • Does democracy guarantee individual liberty?
  • How much control should individuals have over their own bodies?
  • If someone commits murder, do they still have the right to life?
  • Who has the ultimate responsibility for protecting human rights?
  • Has modern technology made us more or less humane?
  • Is education a human right for all people?
  • Is war ever justifiable?
  • Is due process a universal right no matter the crime?
  • Is capital punishment ever appropriate?
  • Are there any downsides to universal human rights?
  • Is free speech a universal right?

good philosophical questions for essays

Philosophical Questions About Politics, Government, and Society

This category contains some of the hardest philosophical questions out there. Most of us have strong beliefs about politics, government, and society that make it hard to form an unbiased opinion. 

Besides political topics, questions in this category also address social issues , social construct , culture , power , and influence .

We can go so far as to question who gets what— when, where, and how.

If you wish to argue successfully—no matter what side of an issue you align with—it is paramount to understand the opposing viewpoint. 

Let’s look at a few questions:

  • What makes a country democratic?
  • What responsibilities does a government have to its constituents?
  • Do democracies always make better decisions than dictatorships?
  • What constitutes good governance?
  • Is rebellion against government ever justified?
  • Is socialism fair? What is “fair”?
  • If you rob from the rich and give to the poor, is it wrong?
  • Are laws always good?
  • Is taxation justified?
  • What is the ideal government? Why?
  • Should the will of the people always be followed?
  • What role do political parties play?
  • Who defines corruption?
  • How do I know whether my views are correct?
  • Is voting compulsory?
  • Is there such a thing as too much freedom?
  • Is bribery always bad?
  • Are police officers obligated to protect criminals?
  • Should citizens obey unjust laws?
  • Who decides which laws apply to whom?
  • Where do we draw the line between criminal behavior and civil disobedience?
  • Does the state have the moral duty to provide healthcare for its citizens?
  • Is wealth redistribution morally correct?
  • Should college be free for all? What about grade school or high school?
  • Are freedom and liberty the same thing?
  • What makes someone free?
  • What makes a crime a crime?
  • Is it right to govern the number of children families can have to control the world’s population?

Is voting compulsory?

Deep Questions to Make You Think 

Deep philosophical questions are designed to help you think critically and reflect on the subject at hand. 

They are meant to challenge your beliefs so that you may stand more firmly in them , knowing why you believe what you do. 

Here are some examples:

What determines success vs. failure?

  • What is reality?
  • What are the limits of science?
  • Where did all matter come from?
  • Can I trust my senses?
  • Is there an innnate moral code?
  • Does time exist objectively?
  • Who created God?
  • Is there a soul?
  • Are perceptions real?
  • Is “fair” the same for everyone? Who determines whether or not something is “fair”?
  • What is time?
  • What makes you … you?
  • What is truth?
  • Is truth reality?
  • What gives life meaning?
  • What determines success vs. failure?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • How do I know what’s true?
  • Should we judge others by their actions?
  • What’s the purpose of life?
  • Where do ideas come from?
  • What is justice?
  • What is evil?
  • What makes someone “good” or “bad”?
  • Can something be true without evidence?
  • Is fate real?
  • At what point does consciousness begin?
  • Can time be altered?
  • Is there a cause for every effect?

Easy and Funny Questions for Conversation Starters

Some philosophy questions are easy, fun, or even funny! These make the best conversation starters.

Not all philosophy discussion topics have to be as serious as “What is the meaning of life?” 

Learning should be fun and engaging, so don’t shy away from humor when asking deep questions or coming up with unorthodox answers. 

Sometimes the most amusing questions lead to the most profound realizations.

Here’s a list of somewhat random philosophical questions to start fun conversations with kids, teens, and older students:

If two people understand things differently, who is right?

  • Is time travel possible? Why or why not?
  • Do memories still exist if you forget them?
  • Are animals freer than man?
  • Are twins unique?
  • Are animals like people?
  • Do trees feel pain?
  • How do you know you’re not dreaming right now?
  • Are insects conscious of life?
  • What makes something humorous to some and not to others?
  • If you save time on something, what happens to that time?
  • Why do we talk to ourselves?
  • If you try to fail and do, did you actually succeed?
  • Can 2+2 ever be something other than 4?

For more ways to engage students in the study of philosophy, try these fun and creative philosophy activities .

Epistemology Questions

Epistemology is concerned with knowledge. It asks questions like::

  • How does knowledge work?
  • Why do we need it?
  • What kind of things count as knowledge?

Epistemologists study these kinds of questions because they’re interested in understanding how humans acquire knowledge. 

They also investigate how to differentiate between opinion and justified belief .

As such, epistemological questions analyze which types of evidence can be trusted as reliable sources of information and why. 

Needless to say, this category can contain some pretty interesting philosophical questions:

What is the role of reason in determining what’s true?

  • How do we determine if something is certain?
  • How do you know if you know something?
  • Does anyone ever truly learn anything?
  • Who decides what counts as true knowledge?
  • Who determines the difference between fact and fiction?
  • What is the relationship between facts and opinions?
  • What is the source of human knowledge?
  • What is knowledge?
  • What is the nature of certainty?
  • What is the basis of our confidence in claims made by other people?
  • What is the role of reason in determining what’s true?
  • What is the relation between logic and reasoning?
  • What is the connection between language and thought?
  • What is the distinction between perception and imagination?
  • What is intuition?
  • What is the function of intuition?
  • What are thoughts?
  • What is the purpose of thinking?
  • If two people understand things differently, who is right?
  • If we had 1000 years to learn, could we know everything?
  • Is there an end of knowledge?
  • Is everything subjective?

Logic and the Universe

Some of the hardest philosophical questions involve logic and how the universe began.

The historical discipline of logic largely began with Thales , known as the “Father of Western Philosophy.” 

Before this point in history, questions of existence were largely “explained” with Greek mythology. 

As it stands today, logic can be described as the discipline of distinguishing good vs bad reasoning.   

But who defines “good” and “bad”?

It’s important to note that even the best logical conclusions can be false.

Logic doesn’t equal truth.

( Investigate the difference between logical thinking and critical thinking here if you’re interested).

You’ll notice many questions in this category address our origins and creation: 

  • Can order come from chaos?
  • Can something be created from nothing?
  • Where did matter come from?
  • Is everything relative?
  • Is there only one universe? How do we know?
  • Is there such thing as absolute truth?
  • Are there different levels of existence?
  • Do we live forever?
  • Was the Big Bang a real event?
  • Is space finite?
  • Is time eternal?
  • Is logic a created concept?
  • What time is it really?
  • Is the mind the same as the brain?
  • What are numbers? 
  • Does the universe end?
  • Is there such a thing as perfection?
  • Does sound exist without hearing?
  • Are people in a different timezone in the past (or future)?
  • Where does fear come from?
  • Does pain exist in itself or just our perception of it?
  • What is hope?
  • Could there be a parallel universe?

Philosophical Questions About Religion 

Maybe some of the toughest questions are those of religion. Religion for many is the driving force in their lives (and for good reason). 

Religious views affect how we raise our children, interact with others, make decisions, and so much more. 

As such, questioning religious principles can be tricky. Some parents go so far as to encourage their kids to not question at all. 

Others choose a different route, knowing their children will soon enter a world that will challenge them to question what they believe.

Encouraging teens to question their beliefs—in a structured setting with the Word of God in hand—can prepare them to “make a defense” to those who ask about the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:15). 

Here are some questions about religion:

Should I follow my beliefs blindly?

  • Does God exist?
  • Does God’s existence depend on our belief in him?
  • Can love exist without God?
  • What constitutes religion?
  • Are miracles real?
  • Is religion compatible with science?
  • Why does faith matter?
  • Who decides which religions are right?
  • What makes a person a Christian?
  • Should I follow my beliefs blindly?
  • Is God a created being?
  • Can morality exist without religion?
  • Is there a higher power?

Unanswerable Philosophical Questions

Let’s talk about some of the challenges that arise when we delve into the world of ideas.

Since philosophical thought lives largely in grey territory, it deals with questions that can’t be answered with the usual “yes or no,” “this or that” definitive response. 

And as our children search for answers to these philosophical questions, they will encounter deceptive lies disguised as logic. 

Many college professors of philosophy today will tell you that life’s biggest questions remain unanswered.

Yet those who possess a biblical worldview have a much different perspective. 

Even in a lost, confusing world, the Bible is a compass that always points true North. It declares truth in matters the world deems unanswerable.

That’s why it is so important to teach our children how to think and how to reason from a biblical perspective.

Philosophy and Critical Thinking Go Hand in Hand

Critical thinking involves asking questions, analyzing arguments, evaluating evidence, and making decisions based on those evaluations. 

It requires us to use logic, reasoning skills, critical analysis, and judgment.

Sound familiar?

Critical thinking is an essential skill that allows us to make decisions and solve problems effectively. 

And while it may not seem so at first glance, it is a skill that enables us to defend our beliefs effectively when challenged.

That’s why we focus so heavily on critical thinking from a biblical worldview in the resources we offer at Homeschool Adventure . 

If you’re looking for a way to help your students develop critical thinking from a biblical worldview as they explore the history of ideas, check out Philosophy Adventure :

good philosophical questions for essays

will your children recognize truth?

Philosophy Adventure  teaches students 6th-12th grade how to  write   skillfully ,  think   critically , and  speak   clearly  as they explore the  history of ideas .

It was written to bring history alive! Instead of memorizing facts, students “travel back in time” to walk alongside ancient philosophers.

All the while, they will be challenged to examine what they believe about the world around them, and  why they believe it .

By the end of the year, students will have written their very own book of philosophy!

Tips for Using These Questions as Philosophical Debate Topics

Philosophical questions about life are naturally thought provoking.

When used properly, even controversial philosophy topics can be effective springboards for critical thinking—a skill that will benefit your teen for life!

Questions can spark wonderful, stimulating debate among older students, especially those in upper middle through high school. 

A family discussing a philosophical debate topic.

And philosophical debates can be fun but also challenging, providing the perfect opportunity to practice critical thinking. 

If you’ve never tried debating in your homeschool, you can use some of these philosophical questions to start. 

A quick note:

Not all questions are practical for satisfying philosophical discussions.  

The purpose of debate in the homeschool setting is to practice and improve critical thinking, active listening, argument formation, and even teamwork. 

Its purpose is not to waste time on frivolous arguing. 

Those of us who believe that the Bible is the Word of God know that absolute truth exists. Consequently, questions to which Scripture provides clear answers may not be the best choice for learning how to debate .

Likewise, you may want to avoid questions whose answers would have to be based solely on speculation—with no practical way to confirm facts or conclusions. 

However, keeping all of that in mind, it can be immensely productive for older, more mature students to try to debate a stance they personally disagree with.

Doing so can help them better understand their opponent … and equip them to effectively counter opposing views they may face in “real life.”

Only you know whether your students are ready for such a task, so use discernment. 

Since the list of questions we provided is pretty extensive, here’s an abbreviated list of questions that would make great philosophical debate topics :

  • Does anyone else’s happiness affect my own?
  • Is socialism fair? What is “fair’?

 How to Debate Philosophy

When you debate a philosophical question, follow the same general outline as any other debate process. 

An at-home, sibling-to-sibling or parent-child debate may proceed as follows:

  • Assign the debate topic, first and second positions (for or against the question), and allow time for students to brainstorm ideas.
  • Encourage students to organize their ideas into simple arguments or points.
  • Practice structuring those ideas into a speech with an introduction, rebuttal (for those arguing in the second position), points to make, and a conclusion. 
  • Designate a neutral third party to declare a “winner.”
  • Start the debate.

Depending on your schedule, this entire process can be done in a single day—or stretched over the course of a week (or even a month). 

How to Handle Different Age Groups

Simply adjust how deeply you go into each step, depending on the ages of your students.

For younger middle school students, consider keeping the debate more like a simple discussion and less of an emphasis on structure and speeches. 

However, you may want to encourage high school students to organize well-developed arguments and rebuttals.

Philosophical questions about life are naturally thought-provoking.

We actually have even more thought-provoking questions here .

When used properly, even controversial philosophy topics can be effective springboards for critical thinking — a skill that will benefit your teen for life!

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125 Philosophical Questions To Encourage Critical Thinking and Self-Exploration

Food for thought!

Should we have to pay for basic needs such as food, water, and shelter?

Our world is full of mysteries—why not try to solve a few? One of the most incredible ways to encourage critical thinking and self-exploration is to ask kids thought-provoking questions. Hearing the responses and exchanging ideas can really expand our perspectives and leave us with important food for thought. Want to try? Here are some philosophical questions to share with students in the classroom.

What Is a Philosophical Question?

Philosophical questions usually explore human nature, morality, ethics, the origins of the universe, and even the afterlife. These types of questions require deep thinking and don’t usually have straightforward, clear answers. They leave a lot of room for interpretation, which is why they are so interesting and fun!

Fun Philosophical Questions

1. Which really came first, the chicken or the egg?

2. If you’d been given a different name, would you be a different person?

3. Would the world be more peaceful if kids were in charge?

Would the world be more peaceful if kids were in charge?

4. What is kindness?

5. Do you think music is a universal language?

6. What does happiness feel like in your mind and body?

7. Can one person really change the world?

8. If it was possible to live forever, would you want to?

If it was possible to live forever, would you want to?

9. If people live in a time zone ahead of us, does this mean they live in the future?

10. Can a person be happy and sad at the same time?

Philosophical Questions About Life & Society

11. What is the meaning of life?

12. What is the biggest issue in our society right now?

What is the biggest issue in our society right now?

13. What is your vision of the ideal society?

14. Do you think it’s important to conform in society?

15. How can humans improve the world in the next five years?

16. What is the most important thing in life?

17. Are people too greedy?

18. How could the world change for the better?

How could the world change for the better?

19. Is failure ever useful?

20. What would life be like if we never experienced pain?

21. Why is it important to help others?

22. What is freedom?

23. Can too much freedom be a bad thing?

24. Should we have to pay for basic needs such as food, water, and shelter?

Should we have to pay for basic needs such as food, water, and shelter?

25. Should education be free?

Philosophical Questions About Growing Up

26. When do children become adults?

27. Are adults as curious as kids?

28. At what age does an adult become “old”?

At what age does an adult become “old”?

29. What can kids learn from grown-ups?

30. What can grown-ups learn from kids?

31. Do we become wise through age, study, or experience?

32. Does birth order affect people’s personalities?

33. Do people need to have children?

Do people need to have children?

34. If you could give your younger self one piece of life advice, what would it be?

Philosophical Questions About Love & Relationships

35. What is love?

What is love?

36. Is love about feelings, words, or actions?

37. Does unconditional love really exist?

38. How do you know you are loved?

39. What causes someone to fall in love?

40. What makes a good friend?

41. Are romantic relationships important?

42. Do soulmates exist?

Do soulmates exist?

43. Can someone be in love with more than one person?

44. Do you think love at first sight really exists?

45. Is love blind?

46. Can you love others if you don’t love yourself?

47. What makes a relationship last for many years?

48. Do large age gaps matter in a relationship?

Do large age gaps matter in a relationship?

Philosophical Questions About Animals

49. Do humans treat animals properly or do we need to improve?

50. Are dairy and eggs more ethical to eat than meat?

51. What would life be like if animals were dominant over humans?

What would life be like if animals were dominant over humans?

52. Have some animals or creatures walked the Earth that we don’t know about?

53. Do spiders or bugs experience emotional pain?

54. Do animals feel love?

55. Are animals less intelligent than humans?

56. Do animals like being kept as pets?

Do animals like being kept as pets?

57. Is it OK to kill bugs?

58. Do you think our pets have names for us too?

Philosophical Questions About Death

59. Where does the soul come from?

Where does the soul come from?

60. Does the soul die when the body does?

61. Do you believe in life after death or reincarnation? Why or why not?

62. What do you believe about this statement: “Everyone dies twice. Once with their body and again the last time someone mentions their name.”?

63. If you only had five years left to live, how would you live differently?

64. Is euthanasia an immoral way to end a life?

Is euthanasia an immoral way to end a life?

65. Would you ever want to know how or when you were going to die?

66. Should everyone have to be an organ donor?

Philosophical Questions About the Universe

67. Do you believe in life on other planets?

68. Why are we here on Earth?

69. Do you believe in astrology?

70. Are there alternate universes?

Are there alternate universes?

71. Have aliens visited Earth?

72. Should we be spending money to develop space travel?

73. Do you think there could be time travelers living among us right now?

74. If someone could time-travel, would it be ethically wrong to change history?

75. If an advanced life-form from another planet wanted to eat us, would that be wrong considering we eat animals on Earth?

If an advanced life-form from another planet wanted to eat us, would that be wrong considering we eat animals on Earth?

76. What do you think is out in space that we have not discovered yet?

77. If aliens were to come tomorrow, what would you do?

Philosophical Questions About Law & Governance

78. Are equal and fair the same thing?

79. What makes something right and something wrong?

80. Will war ever go away?

Will war ever go away?

81. Is our legal system fair?

82. Is it OK to commit a crime to save another person’s life?

83. Is it OK to steal something to survive?

84. Should the legal drinking age be lower or higher?

85. Should the legal age for driving be lower or higher?

86. Should good healthcare be a universal right?

Should good healthcare be a universal right?

87. Should people living an unhealthy lifestyle pay more for healthcare?

88. Should there be stricter laws about what goes into our food?

89. If killing someone saved hundreds of other people, would that make it OK?

90. Does power change people?

91. What makes a crime a crime?

91. What makes a crime a crime?

92. Should buses have seat belts?

Philosophical Questions About the Paranormal

93. Have you ever had any paranormal or strange experiences that defy explanation?

94. Do you believe in ghosts or spirits?

95. Do humans have extrasensory powers like psychic abilities or telepathy?

Do humans have extrasensory powers like psychic abilities or telepathy?

96. Do you believe in miracles?

97. Do you think that life is predetermined or that you choose your own path?

98. Does karma really exist?

Does karma really exist?

99. Is it possible that paranormal creatures like vampires and werewolves really do exist?

100. Do you believe in the law of attraction?

Philosophical Questions About Science & Technology

101. What has been the greatest advancement or invention of our time?

102. Can robots develop emotions, consciousness, or morality?

Can robots develop emotions, consciousness, or morality?

103. Are you controlling your technology or is your technology controlling you?

104. Is social media a good thing in our society?

105. Why is it so easy to spread misinformation on social media?

106. Do you think the environment is in danger?

107. Do you think that technology is advancing us or destroying us?

108. Is time travel possible?

Is time travel possible?

109. Will climate change affect us in the future?

110. Is technology making us more polarized or more open in our thinking?

111. Is technology gathering too much of our information?

Tough Philosophical Questions

112. Can people change?

113. What makes someone human?

114. Is hope essential to life?

Is hope essential to life?

115. What is intuition (your gut feeling)?

116. Why are we so afraid of the unknown?

117. Is there only one truth or can it be different for everyone?

118. Do we need good and evil to coexist in life?

119. What are dreams?

What are dreams?

120. Is it possible to be in the wrong place at the right time?

121. Should wealthy people leave their money to their family or give it to charity?

122. Is lying ever OK?

123. Will life as we know it end someday?

124. Why do we remember things we should forget and forget things we want to remember?

125. Where do our thoughts come from?

Where do our thoughts come from?

What are your favorite philosophical questions? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook !

Plus, check out  100+ fun icebreaker questions for kids and teens ..

Jump-start critical thinking and self-exploration in the classroom by sharing and discussing these thought-provoking philosophical questions.

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Over 170 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion

Here are all of our Student Opinion questions from the 2020-21 school year. Each question is based on a different New York Times article, interactive feature or video.

good philosophical questions for essays

By The Learning Network

Each school day we publish a new Student Opinion question, and students use these writing prompts to reflect on their experiences and identities and respond to current events unfolding around them. To introduce each question, we provide an excerpt from a related New York Times article or Opinion piece as well as a free link to the original article.

During the 2020-21 school year, we asked 176 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF . The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for debate and persuasive writing, and those that lend themselves to creative, personal or reflective writing.

Teachers can use these prompts to help students practice narrative and persuasive writing, start classroom debates and even spark conversation between students around the world via our comments section. For more ideas on how to use our Student Opinion questions, we offer a short tutorial along with a nine-minute video on how one high school English teacher and her students use this feature .

Questions for Debate and Persuasive Writing

1. Should Athletes Speak Out On Social and Political Issues? 2. Should All Young People Learn How to Invest in the Stock Market? 3. What Are the Greatest Songs of All Time? 4. Should There Be More Gender Options on Identification Documents? 5. Should We End the Practice of Tipping? 6. Should There Be Separate Social Media Apps for Children? 7. Do Marriage Proposals Still Have a Place in Today’s Society? 8. How Do You Feel About Cancel Culture? 9. Should the United States Decriminalize the Possession of Drugs? 10. Does Reality TV Deserve Its Bad Rap? 11. Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? 12. How Should Parents Support a Student Who Has Fallen Behind in School? 13. When Is It OK to Be a Snitch? 14. Should People Be Required to Show Proof of Vaccination? 15. How Much Have You and Your Community Changed Since George Floyd’s Death? 16. Can Empathy Be Taught? Should Schools Try to Help Us Feel One Another’s Pain? 17. Should Schools or Employers Be Allowed to Tell People How They Should Wear Their Hair? 18. Is Your Generation Doing Its Part to Strengthen Our Democracy? 19. Should Corporations Take Political Stands? 20. Should We Rename Schools Named for Historical Figures With Ties to Racism, Sexism or Slavery? 21. How Should Schools Hold Students Accountable for Hurting Others? 22. What Ideas Do You Have to Improve Your Favorite Sport? 23. Are Presidential Debates Helpful to Voters? Or Should They Be Scrapped? 24. Is the Electoral College a Problem? Does It Need to Be Fixed? 25. Do You Care Who Sits on the Supreme Court? Should We Care? 26. Should Museums Return Looted Artifacts to Their Countries of Origin? 27. Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons? 28. Should Teachers Be Allowed to Wear Political Symbols? 29. Do You Think People Have Gotten Too Relaxed About Covid? 30. Who Do You Think Should Be Person of the Year for 2020? 31. How Should Racial Slurs in Literature Be Handled in the Classroom? 32. Should There Still Be Snow Days? 33. What Are Your Reactions to the Storming of the Capitol by a Pro-Trump Mob? 34. What Do You Think of the Decision by Tech Companies to Block President Trump? 35. If You Were a Member of Congress, Would You Vote to Impeach President Trump? 36. What Would You Do First if You Were the New President? 37. Who Do You Hope Will Win the 2020 Presidential Election? 38. Should Media Literacy Be a Required Course in School? 39. What Are Your Reactions to the Results of Election 2020? Where Do We Go From Here? 40. How Should We Remember the Problematic Actions of the Nation’s Founders? 41. As Coronavirus Cases Surge, How Should Leaders Decide What Stays Open and What Closes? 42. What Is Your Reaction to the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? 43. How Worried Should We Be About Screen Time During the Pandemic? 44. Should Schools Be Able to Discipline Students for What They Say on Social Media? 45. What Works of Art, Culture and Technology Flopped in 2020? 46. How Do You Feel About Censored Music? 47. Why Do You Think ‘Drivers License’ Became Such a Smash Hit? 48. Justice Ginsburg Fought for Gender Equality. How Close Are We to Achieving That Goal? 49. How Well Do You Think Our Leaders Have Responded to the Coronavirus Crisis? 50. To What Extent Is the Legacy of Slavery and Racism Still Present in America in 2020? 51. How Should We Reimagine Our Schools So That All Students Receive a Quality Education? 52. How Concerned Do You Think We Should Be About the Integrity of the 2020 Election? 53. What Issues in This Election Season Matter Most to You? 54. Is Summer School a Smart Way to Make Up for Learning Lost This School Year? 55. What Is Your Reaction to the Senate’s Acquittal of Former President Trump? 56. What Is the Worst Toy Ever? 57. How Should We Balance Safety and Urgency in Developing a Covid-19 Vaccine? 58. What Are Your Reactions to Oprah’s Interview With Harry and Meghan? 59. Should the Government Provide a Guaranteed Income for Families With Children? 60. Should There Be More Public Restrooms? 61. Should High School-Age Basketball Players Be Able to Get Paid? 62. Should Team Sports Happen This Year? 63. Who Are the Best Musical Artists of the Past Year? What Are the Best Songs? 64. Should We Cancel Student Debt? 65. How Closely Should Actors’ Identities Reflect the Roles They Play? 66. Should White Writers Translate a Black Author’s Work? 67. Would You Buy an NFT? 68. Should Kids Still Learn to Tell Time? 69. Should All Schools Teach Financial Literacy? 70. What Is Your Reaction to the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial? 71. What Is the Best Way to Stop Abusive Language Online? 72. What Are the Underlying Systems That Hold a Society Together? 73. What Grade Would You Give President Biden on His First 100 Days? 74. Should High Schools Post Their Annual College Lists? 75. Are C.E.O.s Paid Too Much? 76. Should We Rethink Thanksgiving? 77. What Is the Best Way to Get Teenagers Vaccinated? 78. Do You Want Your Parents and Grandparents to Get the New Coronavirus Vaccine? 79. What Is Your Reaction to New Guidelines That Loosen Mask Requirements? 80. Who Should We Honor on Our Money? 81. Is Your School’s Dress Code Outdated? 82. Does Everyone Have a Responsibility to Vote? 83. How Is Your Generation Changing Politics?

Questions for Creative and Personal Writing

84. What Does Your Unique Style Say About You? 85. How Do You Spend Your Downtime? 86. Would You Want to Live to 200? 87. How Do You Connect to Your Heritage? 88. What Do You Think Are the Secrets to Happiness? 89. Are You a Sneakerhead? 90. What Role Have Mentors Played in Your Life? 91. If You Could Make Your Own Podcast, What Would It Be About? 92. Have You Ever Felt Pressure to ‘Sell Your Pain’? 93. Do You Think You Make Good Climate Choices? 94. What Does TikTok Mean to You? 95. Do Your Parents Overpraise You? 96. Do You Want to Travel in Space? 97. Do You Feel You’re Friends With Celebrities or Influencers You Follow Online? 98. Would You Eat Food Grown in a Lab? 99. What Makes You Cringe? 100. What Volunteer Work Would You Most Like to Do? 101. How Do You Respond When People Ask, ‘Where Are You From?’ 102. Has a School Assignment or Activity Ever Made You Uncomfortable? 103. How Does Your Identity Inform Your Political Beliefs and Values? 104. Are You an Orchid, a Tulip or a Dandelion? 105. Are You Having a Tough Time Maintaining Friendships These Days? 106. How Is Your Mental Health These Days? 107. Do You Love Writing or Receiving Letters? 108. What Has Television Taught You About Social Class? 109. Are You Easily Distracted? 110. What Objects Bring You Comfort? 111. What Is Your Favorite Memory of PBS? 112. Have You Ever Felt Embarrassed by Your Parents? 113. What Are You Doing to Combat Pandemic Fatigue? 114. Have You Ever Worried About Making a Good First Impression? 115. What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About What It’s Like to Be a Teenager During the Pandemic? 116. How Have You Collaborated From a Distance During the Pandemic? 117. How Important Is It to You to Have Similar Political Beliefs to Your Family and Friends? 118. How Are You Feeling About Winter This Year? 119. Which Celebrity Performer Would You Like to Challenge to a Friendly Battle? 120. How Mentally Tough Are You? 121. What Smells Trigger Powerful Memories for You? 122. What Are You Thankful for This Year? 123. Do You Miss Hugs? 124. Are You a Good Conversationalist? 125. What Habits Have You Started or Left Behind in 2020? 126. What Was the Best Art and Culture You Experienced in 2020? 127. What’s Your Relationship With Masks? 128. What Role Does Religion Play in Your Life? 129. How Will You Be Celebrating the Holidays This Year? 130. What Is Something Good That Happened in 2020? 131. What New Flavor Ideas Do You Have for Your Favorite Foods? 132. What Are Your Hopes and Concerns for the New School Year? 133. How Has 2020 Challenged or Changed You? 134. What Do You Hope for Most in 2021? 135. How Do You View Death? 136. What Is Your Favorite Fact You Learned in 2020? 137. What Are the Places in the World That You Love Most? 138. Have You Ever Experienced ‘Impostor Syndrome’? 139. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Siblings? 140. Do You Talk to Your Family About the Cost of College? 141. Do You Have a Healthy Diet? 142. How Do You Feel About Mask-Slipping? 143. Do You Believe in Manifesting? 144. How Do You Express Yourself Creatively? 145. What Are Your Family’s House Rules During the Covid Crisis? 146. What Online Communities Do You Participate In? 147. Have You Experienced Any Embarrassing Zoom Mishaps? 148. What Does Your Country’s National Anthem Mean to You? 149. Are Sports Just Not the Same Without Spectators in the Stands? 150. Would You Volunteer for a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial? 151. What ‘Old’ Technology Do You Think Is Cool? 152. Have You Ever Tried to Grow Something? 153. How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Relationship to Your Body? 154. How Do You Find New Books, Music, Movies or Television Shows? 155. Are You Nervous About Returning to Normal Life? 156. How Do You Celebrate Spring? 157. How Do You Talk With People Who Don’t Share Your Views? 158. Would You Want to Be a Teacher Someday? 159. What Would You Recommend That Is ‘Overlooked and Underappreciated’? 160. What Children’s Books Have Had the Biggest Impact on You? 161. What Is Your Gender Identity? 162. Have You Hit a Wall? 163. What Is the Code You Live By? 164. Do You Think You Have Experienced ‘Learning Loss’ During the Pandemic? 165. What Are the Most Memorable Things You’ve Seen or Experienced in Nature? 166. Do You Want to Have Children Someday? 167. What Have You Learned About Friendship This Year? 168. What Seemingly Mundane Feats Have You Accomplished? 169. Has a Celebrity Ever Convinced You to Do Something? 170. How Have You Commemorated Milestones During the Pandemic? 171. How Often Do You Read, Watch or Listen to Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone? 172. Do You Think You Live in a Political Bubble? 173. What Is Your Relationship With the Weight-Loss Industry? 174. What Have You Made This Year? 175. How Are You Right Now? 176. What Are You Grateful For?

Want more writing prompts?

You can find even more Student Opinion questions in our 300 Questions and Images to Inspire Argument Writing , 550 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing and 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing . We also publish daily Picture Prompts , which are image-centered posts that provide space for many different kinds of writing. You can find all of our writing prompts, added as they publish, here .

good philosophical questions for essays

How to Write a Philosophy Essay: Ultimate Guide

good philosophical questions for essays

What Is a Philosophy Essay: Definition

Philosophical writing isn't your typical assignment. Its aim isn't to provide an overview of professional philosophers' works and say whether you agree with them.

Philosophy demands becoming a philosopher for the time of writing, thinking analytically and critically of ideas, pondering the Big Questions, and asking 'Why?'. That's why it requires time and energy, as well as a lot of thinking on your part.

But what is philosophy essay, exactly? If you're tasked with writing one, you'll have to select a thesis in the philosophical domain and argue for or against it. Then, you can support your thesis with other professional philosophers' works. But it has to contain your own philosophical contribution, too. (This is only one definition of philosophy essay, of course.)

What's a Good Philosophy Paper Outline?

Before you start writing your first line, you should make a philosophy essay outline. Think of it as a plan for your philosophy paper that briefly describes each paragraph's point.

As for how to write a philosophy essay outline, here are a few tips for you:

  • Start with your thesis. What will you be arguing for or against?
  • Read what philosophical theory has to say and note sources for your possible arguments and counterarguments.
  • Decide on the definitions of core concepts to include precise philosophical meanings in your essay.
  • After careful and extended reflection, organize your ideas following the structure below.

How To Structure a Philosophy Paper?

Like any other essay, a philosophy paper consists of an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. Sticking to this traditional philosophy essay structure will help you avoid unnecessary stress.

Here's your mini-guide on how to structure a philosophy essay:

  • Introduction - Clarify the question you will be answering in your philosophy paper. State your thesis – i.e., the answer you'll be arguing for. Explain general philosophical terms if needed.
  • Main body - Start with providing arguments for your stance and refute all the objections for each of them. Then, describe other possible answers and their reasoning – and counter the main arguments in their support.
  • Conclusion - Sum up all possible answers to the questions and reiterate why yours is the most viable one.

What's an Appropriate Philosophy Essay Length?

In our experience, 2,000 to 2,500 words are enough to cover the topic in-depth without compromising the quality of the writing.

However, see whether you have an assigned word limit before getting started. If it's shorter or longer than we recommend, stick to that word limit in writing your essay on philosophy.

What Format Should You Use for a Philosophy Paper?

As a philosophy and psychology essay writing service , we can attest that most students use the APA guidelines as their philosophy essay format. However, your school has the final say in what format you should stick to.

Sometimes, you can be asked to use a different college philosophy essay format, like MLA or Chicago. But if you're the one to choose the guidelines and don't know which one would be a good philosophy argumentative essay format, let's break down the most popular ones.

APA, MLA, and Chicago share some characteristics:

  • Font: Time New Roman, 12 pt
  • Line spacing: double
  • Margins: 1" (left and right)
  • Page number: in the header

But here's how they differ:

  • A title page required
  • Sources list: 'References' page
  • No title page required
  • Sources list: 'Works cited' page
  • Sources list: 'Bibliography' page
  • Footnotes and endnotes are required for citations

Have a Tight Deadline?

Our PRO philosophy essay writers will quickly produce a unique paper for you based on your specifications!

Guideline on How to Write a Philosophy Essay

If you still don't feel that confident about writing a philosophy paper, don't worry. Philosophical questions, by definition, have more than one interpretation. That's what makes them so challenging to write about.

To help you out in your philosophical writing journey, we've prepared this list of seven tips on how to write a philosophy essay.

guide philosophy essay

  • Read Your Sources Thoughtfully

Whether your recommended reading includes Dante's Divine Comedy or Jean-Paul Sartre's Existentialism Is a Humanism , approach your sources with curiosity and analytical thinking. Don't just mindlessly consume those texts. Instead, keep asking yourself questions while you're reading them, such as:

  • What concepts and questions does the author address?
  • What's the meaning behind key ideas and metaphors in the text?
  • What does the author use as a convincing argument?
  • Are there any strange or obscure distinctions?

As for which sources you should turn to, that all depends on your central question; philosophy topics for essay are diverse and sometimes opposed. So, you'll have to do your fair share of research.

  • Brainstorm & Organize Your Ideas

As you're reading those texts, jot down what comes to your mind. It can be a great quote you've stumbled upon, an idea for an argument, or your thoughtful, critical responses to certain opinions.

Then, sort through and organize all of those notes into an outline for your essay in philosophy. Make sure that it holds up in terms of logic. And ensure that your arguments and counterarguments are compelling, sensible, and convincing!

Now, you might be wondering how to write a philosophy essay introduction. Don't worry: there's an explanation right below!

  • Craft Your Introductory Paragraph

Think of your introduction as a road map preparing your reader for the journey your essay will take them on. This road map will describe the key 'stops' in your essay on philosophy: your topic, stance, and how you will argue for it – and refute other stances.

Don't hesitate to write it out as a step-by-step guide in the first or third person. For example: 'First, I will examine... Then, I will dispute... Finally, I will present….'

Need an example of an excellent introduction for a philosophy paper? You’ll be thrilled to know that we have one of our philosophy essay examples below!

  • Present Your Key Arguments & Reflections

Philosophy papers require a fair share of expository writing. This is where you demonstrate your understanding of the topic. So, make your exposition extensive and in-depth, and don't omit anything crucial.

As for the rest of the main body, we've covered how to structure a philosophy essay above. In short, you'll need to present supporting arguments, anticipate objections, and address them.

Use your own words when writing a philosophy paper; avoid pretentious or verbose language. Yes, some technical philosophical terms may be necessary. But the point of a philosophical paper is to present your stance – and develop your own philosophy – on the topic.

  • Don't Shy Away from Critical Ideas

Whenever you examine a philosophical theory or text, treat it with a fair share of criticism. This is what it means in practice – and how to structure a philosophy essay around your critical ideas:

  • Pinpoint what the theory's or idea's strengths are and every valid argument in its support;
  • See the scope of its application – perhaps, there are exceptions you can use as counterarguments;
  • Research someone else's criticism of the theory or idea. Develop your own criticism, as well;
  • Check if the philosopher already addressed those criticisms.
  • Ponder Possible Answers to Philosophical Questions

Writing an essay in philosophy is, in fact, easier for some students as the topic can always have multiple answers, and you can choose any of them. However, this can represent an even tougher challenge for other students. After all, you must consider those possible answers and address them in the paper.

How do you pinpoint those possible answers? Some of them can come to your mind when you brainstorm, especially if you'll be writing about one of the Big Questions. Others will reveal themselves when you start reading other philosophers' works.

Remember to have arguments for and against each possible answer and address objections.

  • Write a Powerful Conclusion

The conclusion is where you sum up your paper in just one paragraph. Reiterate your thesis and what arguments support it. But in philosophical writing, you can rarely have a clear, undebatable answer by the end of the paper. So, it's fine if your conclusion doesn't have a definitive verdict.

Here are a few tips on how to write a conclusion in a philosophy essay:

  • Don't introduce new arguments or evidence in conclusion – they belong in the main body;
  • Avoid overestimating or embellishing the level or value of your work;
  • Best conclusions are obvious and logical for those reading the paper – i.e.; a conclusion shouldn't be surprising at all;
  • Stay away from poorly explained claims in conclusion.

Philosophical Essay Example

Sometimes, it's better to see how it's done once than to read a thousand guides. We know that like no one else, so we have prepared this short philosophy essay example to show you what excellent philosophy papers look like:

Like this example? Wondering how to get a custom essay as great as it is? You're in luck: you can buy online essay at EssayPro without breaking the bank! Keep in mind: this example is only a fraction of what our writers are capable of!

30 Philosophy Paper Topic Ideas

Philosophical writing concerns questions that don't have clear-cut yes or no answers. So, coming up with philosophy essay topics yourself can be tough.

Fret not: we've put together this list of 30 topics for philosophy papers on ethics and leadership for you. Feel free to use them as-is or tweak them!

15 Ethics Philosophy Essay Topics

Ethics deals with the question of right and wrong. So, if you're looking for philosophy essay topic ideas, ethics concerns some of the most interesting – and most mind-boggling – questions about human behavior.

Here are 15 compelling philosophy essay topics ethics has to offer you:

  • Is starting a war always morally wrong?
  • Would it be right to legalize euthanasia?
  • What is more important: the right to privacy or national security?
  • Is justice always fair?
  • Should nuclear weapons be banned?
  • Should teenagers be allowed to get plastic surgery?
  • Can cheating be justifiable?
  • Can AI algorithms behave ethically?
  • Should you abide by an unfair law?
  • Should voting become mandatory?
  • When can the right to freedom of speech be limited?
  • Is it the consumers' responsibility to fight climate by changing their buying decisions?
  • Is getting an abortion immoral?
  • Should we give animals their own rights?
  • Would human gene editing be immoral?

15 Leadership Philosophy Essay Topics

You're lucky if you're tasked with writing a leadership philosophy essay! We've compiled this list of 15 fresh, unconventional topics for you:

  • Is formal leadership necessary for ensuring the team's productivity?
  • Can authoritative leadership be ethical?
  • How do informal leaders take on this role?
  • Should there be affirmative action for formal leadership roles?
  • Is it possible to measure leadership?
  • What's the most important trait of a leader?
  • Is leadership an innate talent or an acquired skill?
  • Should leadership mean holding power over others?
  • Can a team function without a leader?
  • Should you follow a leader no matter what?
  • Is leader succession necessary? Why?
  • Are leadership and power the same?
  • Can we consider influencers contemporary leaders?
  • Why do people follow leaders?
  • What leadership style is the most ethical one?

7 Helpful Tips on Crafting a Philosophical Essay

Still, feeling stuck writing a philosophical essay? Here are seven more tips on crafting a good philosophy paper that can help you get unstuck:

  • Write the way you would talk about the subject. This will help you avoid overly convoluted, poor writing by using more straightforward prose with familiar words.
  • Don't focus on having a definitive answer by the end of your philosophical essay if your conclusion states that the question should be clarified further or that there are multiple answers.
  • You don't have to answer every question you raise in the paper. Even professional philosophers sometimes don't have all the answers.
  • Get straight to the point at the start of your paper. No need to warm up the reader – and inflate your word count.
  • Avoid using quotes. Instead, explain the author's point in your own words. But if you feel it's better to use a direct quote, explicitly state how it ties to your argument after it.
  • Write in the first person unless your assignment requires you to use the third person.
  • Start working on your philosophical essay well in advance. However much time you think you'll need, double it!

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Philosophy Writing

Sometimes, knowing what you shouldn't do in a philosophical essay is also helpful. Here are seven common mistakes that often bring down students' grades – but are easily avoidable:

guide philosophy essay

  • Appealing to authority – in philosophy, strive to develop your own stance instead;
  • Using convoluted sentences to appear more intelligent – instead, use simpler ways to deliver the same meaning;
  • Including interesting or important material without tying it to your point – every piece of evidence and every idea should explicitly support your arguments or counterarguments;
  • Inflating your word count without delivering value – in the writing process, it's crucial to 'kill your darlings';
  • Making poorly explained claims – explicitly present reasons for or against every claim you include;
  • Leaving core concepts undefined – explain what you mean by the words like 'free will' or 'existentialism' in the introduction;
  • Worrying about being wrong – no one can be proven wrong in philosophy!

Realize that your draft contains those mistakes, and it's too late to fix them? Then, let us help you out! Whether you ask us, 'Fix my paper' or ' Write my paper from scratch,' our philosophy writers will deliver an excellent paper worth the top grade. And no, it won't cost you a fortune!

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Referencing & help.

  • Good essay writing begins with good course preparation. You should remember that just attending courses is not enough. You will engage with the lectures and seminars only if you do the required primary and secondary reading. By the time you come to write your first essay you should already know enough to approach the subject confidently.
  • Make sure you have properly understood the question. If you do not, ask. Review your lecture notes and the course outline in order to put the question into context and to relate it to other aspects of the subject. If you can break down the question into parts, do so. Decide which are the most important and weight each part accordingly.
  • Read the suggested texts with your question or questions in mind. If you find the reading hard to understand, try reading a whole article or chapter to get the gist and then re-read slowly, making notes.
  • Think for yourself. Don't borrow thought or ideas without giving yourself time to digest them. Discuss them with your fellow students. It can be very helpful to discuss the articles and books you read with others. Also, when you take notes, don't simply excerpt long passages, write them in your own words.
  • Always start from a plan, however rudimentary; but you will inevitably find your argument developing a dynamic of its own, so do not be afraid to revise your plan as you go along. As Socrates says in Plato's Republic: 'Where the argument takes us, like a wind, hither we must go.'
  • Write a draft, leave it for a while, then come back and revise it. On the first draft concentrate on getting the content and structure right and do not dwell on the style. Do not be held up by the precise formulation of a sentence, jot down a phrase and move on.
  • Write the final draft. Check the spelling, grammar and make sure all the bibliographical details are correct. leave a wide margin on the right hand side of your page for the marker's comments. Be kind on your marker: use a font that is easy to read and a line spacing of at least 1.5 or 2. Make a photocopy of your essay as a precaution, since they sometimes can go astray.
  • Your essay should contain a clear exposition of the theory you are studying, a detailed discussion and critical assessment of that theory. The criticisms you look at may be your own, or those of other philosophers.
  • Make sure you indicate when you are expounding the view of someone else and when you are writing in your own voice. Don't just write a long list of objections to a particular argument. Indicate whether you endorse or reject them and give your reasons.
  • Use examples to illustrate your point. Preferably, choose your own examples. Always make the point of your example clear to the reader.
  • Don't worry too much about the 'originality' of the content of your essay. Nobody expects you to come up with a new philosophical theory in your first four pages of writing. Your essay will be original enough if you think for yourself, use your own words, give your own examples and always provide reasons for accepting or rejecting a particular view.
  • Avoid rambling introductions and conclusions. Some books begin with a portentous opening sentence e.g., 'Philosophy, from the earliest times, has made greater claims, and achieved fewer results, than any other branch of learning.' (B. Russell) You can get away with such a sentence as the opening line of a 400 page book, but not as the opening line of a 4 page essay. State briefly what you think the question involves, if this is not obvious, and get stuck in to your answer. With conclusions, sum up your argument if you want to and leave it at that.
  • Think small or be methodical. There is a gap between your brain's ability to grasp something and your ability to express in writing what you have already understood. It is as if your intuition can leap up whole flights of stairs at once, whereas your written explanations climb one step at a time. This means that you can easily get ahead of yourself, producing the illusion that your ideas are far more lofty than they really are. Only by patiently stepping through the details of an argument can you avoid such illusions. So be patient! If you are not sure whether you have made your point, try putting it another way; 'The upshot of this argument is...', 'the point of this example is...'. Do not simply repeat yourself, try instead to look at your subject from different angles. Sometimes it will feel as if your point is trivial and not worth making. But a trivial point can be a solid step in an interesting argument. The ability to tease out the subtleties of a small point will serve you better than a grand philosophy of life, the universe and everything.
  • One way to structure your essay is to outline an argument, consider an objection, then reply to the objection and then move on to the next point. Avoid the two extremes of length and unbroken paragraphs on the one hand, and staccato sound bytes on the other. Divide your essay into clearly defined paragraphs and devote a whole paragraph to each point. Make the connections between them explicit, by telling the reader what they are. Write things like, 'There are two major objections to this line of thought...' or 'what this example shows is...' Think of these connections as signposts telling the reader where she is, where she has been or reminding her where she is heading.
  • 'Style is the feather in the arrow, not the feather in the cap.' Do not worry about repeating important words or phrases. In philosophy it is more important to be consistent in your terminology than to find new and imaginative ways of saying the same thing. Clear prose has its own elegance, wordiness can sometimes cloud the issue.
  • Empathise with your reader. Once you understand something, you forget what it was like not to understand it; but doing just this will help you to get your point across. To write clearly you have to put yourself in the place of your reader. Imagine the reader is someone who knows nothing about the subject. What would you have to do firstly to convince them and secondly to maintain their interest. Generally speaking a concrete example will get you much further than a passage of purple prose or a string of high-falutin' epithets. One useful way to attain clarity and simplicity of style is to write in short sentences. It is easier to waffle in long rambling sentences.
  • Use 'signposts' to let the reader know what you are trying to do. You can say things like , 'one objection is...', 'A possible reply to this is...', 'What this example shows...', 'This importance of this point is that...', 'What X is assuming is that...'. Be explicit about what you are arguing and why.
  • Stylistically it is vital to use your own words. Quite apart from the dangers of plagiarism, if you borrow chunks of text from another author and then insert them into your essay, you will end up with a patchwork of different styles that reads awkwardly. By all means paraphrase someone else's view, although make it clear that you are paraphrasing. This will help you to understand the position you are adumbrating; and there is a lot of skill involved in a lucid and concise exposition of somebody else's argument.
  • Occasionally you will want to cite somebody else's words directly. Be sparing in your use of quotation. There is much less skill to quotation than to paraphrase or précis. When you select a passage for quotation, make sure it is both brief and relevant. There is nothing worse than reading a string of long quotations interspersed with brief and gnomic comments.
  • Use a dictionary (or spell check) and a grammar. Good spelling and good grammar are not wholly unrelated to the content of your essay. The thread of an essay is easier to follow if the reader does not have to guess the word which you actually meant to write. Good grammar makes not only for elegant but for precise prose. So do not be ashamed to use a dictionary. I prefer the Chambers to the Collins single volume dictionary, but both are good. (Webster's and M.S. Word dictionaries are American.) Michael Dummet, the philosopher, has written an excellent little English grammar for his students, published by Duckworth.

Use of sources

  • All verbatim quotations, whether long or short should be enclosed in inverted commas or indented, and the precise source given. Make sure that you give enough information for the reader to find the passage, i.e. author, work, edition page number or section.
  • Passages of close paraphrase should be acknowledged, and the purpose of these paraphrases made clear e.g. as a summary of a view to be discussed disputed or agreed with.
  • When a point has been derived directly from an author, even though it mode of expression may be original, this should be acknowledged in a footnote or parenthesis.
  • Extensive use of an essay written by another student should be acknowledged. This applies to essays borrowed from the 'Essay Bank' and to essays which are borrowed on a personal basis. Just as the rule that you should acknowledge your dependence on published sources is not supposed to discourage you from reading widely, the rule that you should acknowledge your dependence where it exists, on other students' essays, is not supposed to discourage you from reading each others' essays. In the end however the only thing of value to you and of interest to us is work in which you express and develop your own thoughts.
  • At the end of any essay to be submitted for formal assessment (not tutorial essays) write a list in alphabetical order of all the works consulted or read during the preparation and writing of the essay, as well as those from which you quote directly (see Referencing).


The Philosophy Department accepts the Harvard or MLA styles of referencing.  Please refer to the specific information below on each permitted style.

Additional help

You may find the extra help below useful when writing Philosohy essays.

This guide to writing Philosophy essays was written by Gordon Finlayson

Department of Philosophy University of York , York , YO10 5DD , UK Tel: work +44 (0)1904 323251 | Fax: fax +44 (0)1904 324023 | [email protected]

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100 Philosophy Essay Topics For Students

This article will consider what a philosophical essay is and what philosophy essay topics are. We will consider how one type of paper differs from another. In addition, we will tell you by what criteria and how to choose a topic for your essay and give some ideas and examples of philosophy essay topics (created with our professional) to practice.

What Is a Philosophy Essay?

Philosophy is one of the oldest sciences that arose with the first intelligent thought of man. The concept of “philosophy” is translated as “search for truth.”

How much do we want to know about this world and its order or disorder if we succeed? How necessary is this knowledge for us? Any academic writing that defends a claim that can be proven valid can be considered a philosophy essay.

Argumentative philosophy essay topics follow a strictly basic format that must always be considered. When you write, you present your statement or fact as a reality throughout the essay.

Throughout the article, the writer seeks to defend his statement and provide a wide range of facts that support it.

How to Come Up With a Topic For the Philosophy Essay?

The first challenge of writing a philosophy essay is choosing a philosophy paper topic. The first step in selecting good philosophy paper topics is choosing the most appropriate field of study within philosophy. It is necessary to apply critical thinking in knowledge, which concerns the five branches of philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics.

When it comes to writing a philosophy essay, it can be difficult to come up with topics. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help students brainstorm and come up with topics for their essays. For instance, a quick search online can lead to a wealth of resources such as articles, books, and websites that discuss a variety of philosophy topics. Additionally, it is possible to buy college essay papers specifically tailored to cover a range of philosophical topics.

Good Philosophy Essay Topics

These ideas are classic but, at the same time, well-suited to modern philosophical questions. By choosing one of these philosophy topics for essays, you can reveal one or another relevant philosophical question that is relevant nowadays.

  • Being, substance, and matter: What is movement? What is space for you? What is the time?
  • The problem of “dialogue” between a person and computer systems.
  • Consciousness is a necessary condition for the restoration of culture.
  • Is it possible to know the world altogether?
  • Man and woman: equal or unequal?
  • Death penalty: to be or not to be?
  • Under what conditions do you consider euthanasia acceptable?
  • Nonviolence is a categorical moral prohibition.
  • The problem of human death and immortality.
  • Modern civilization and childbirth. Your attitude to abortion.
  • Childfree and large families.
  • Artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood, adoption, or loneliness?
  • Your mindset to monogamy and polygamy.
  • Religion and atheism in the 21st century.
  • Unequal marriage: pros and cons.
  • Love and love. Do we know how to love?
  • Man and nature: unity or opposition?
  • Gender diversity in the 21st century.
  • Parents in the life of an adult.
  • Nationalism or cosmopolitanism: Which ideology is relevant in today’s world?

Easy Philosophy Essay Topics

The philosophy topics ideas below are suitable for beginners or people for whom philosophy is not the science they study at the university. These easy philosophy paper topics can lead you to specific philosophical thoughts, but creating a unique essay on one of them will not be difficult.

  • How does music affect the way we live?
  • Big money in sports is the essence of competition.
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – is it relevant in the 21st century?
  • Personality tests – help you find yourself or drive you to limits.
  • Traumatic events should be openly discussed, not hidden.
  • Are people who love animals generally kinder and more optimistic?
  • Is it true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
  • For or against keeping animals in zoos?
  • How can technology be used to preserve the environment?
  • Describe how you made the decision about which career to choose.
  • Should modern education eliminate evaluation systems – yes or no?
  • A phrase that changed my life.
  • What is the difference between courage and fear?
  • What internal prisons have you already built from your fears?
  • Are people inherently more good or bad?

Political Philosophy Essay Topics

Politics is an integral part of our life. These essay topics will help you look at ethical issues of the critical social components from a philosophical point of view. By writing philosophy paper topics from this list, you will be able to understand better what politics is. So check these expository essay ideas .

  • Reasons for high unemployment.
  • Is money a tool or the goal of life?
  • Why do athletes become more socially active and proactive?
  • My ambitions are how I see my life in 10 years.
  • What does it take to become a politician?
  • In the world, everyone in it will do their own thing.
  • The development of the world is a chain of transformations of possibility into reality.
  • Social ontology. Image of flat ontologies.
  • We don’t have time to be ourselves.
  • The concept of fact in modern politic
  • Concept of person, individual in politics.
  • The concept of experiment in politics.
  • Humans as the main subject of political analysis
  • The concept of equilibrium in modern political philosophy.
  • The concept of risk in politics.

Ancient Greek Philosophical Topics for Essays

Mentioned below are philosophy topics to write a paper on your own for those who want to know more about the most magnificent world’s philosophy period. So, check these narrative essay topics , which can help better grasp that period.

  • Rational knowledge is supplemented by wisdom as an understanding of people’s life experiences.
  • The thoughts of the sophists (Protagoras, Gorgias, Antiphon, etc.).
  • Man is the measure of all things.
  • Is everything wrong in cognition?
  • Nothing exists, and if it does exist, it is incomprehensible.
  • A person should take care of himself first of all.
  • Is self-knowledge a requirement of reason?
  • Goodness begins with presentation and knowledge of it.
  • The sense organs give us information only about unrealities.
  • Being exists, and non-being does not have the unity of matter and form.

Philosophy Of Mind Essay Topics

These interesting philosophy paper topics often relate to the human mind, the study of the depths of human understanding of specific issues. Writing an essay on one of these topics will enable you to comprehend how the mind works from a philosophical perspective. If you feel you have little experience with such topics, you can get help from custom essay writing services .

  • The nature and essence of man: Freedom, choice, and responsibility
  • Man in biological and social dimensions
  • Meaning of life. Death and immortality.
  • The concept of risk in classical science.
  • The idea of risk in non-classical science.
  • The concept of sustainability in modern science.
  • The idea of the soul in European science.
  • The concept of the mind in Eastern science.
  • How does Eastern science understand “internal” knowledge?
  • “Everything was old; everything will happen again.” O. Mandelstam

Modern Philosophy Paper Topics

While studying the phenomenon of modernism in philosophy, it is possible to single out several questions that need explanation: this is the problem of the chronological status of modernism, the relationship between modernism and the modern, the prerequisites for the emergence of modernism, the connotations of modernism and its essential features. Also, you can ask some professionals to help you with writing a philosophy paper . Examining our suggested essay topics will allow you better understand these questions.

  • The transition of philosophy to other principles of self-determination. Concepts of marginality and liminality
  • The philosophy of cinema. The theory of photography by S. Sontag, R. Barth, and V. Fluser
  • Linguistic turn – the transition of philosophy to a concept value.
  • Iconic, visual turn / from the power of ideologues to the power of hieroglyphs.
  • The speech factor of polarization of modern philosophical science.
  • Problems and concepts of analytical philosophical science.
  • The main directions and problematic field of continental philosophical science.
  • Postpostmodernism: conditions of emergence and approaches to classification.
  • Postmodernism as pure proceduralism and postmodernism as reflection

Argumentative Philosophy Essay Topics

These essay topics require specific skills and a certain level of knowledge from the author. If the topics presented in the previous sections seem too easy for you, we advise you to choose one of these. Also, you can ask for some assistance from an argumentative essay writer .

Philosophy of Science Essay Topics

The topics we gathered for you will help you gain a deeper understanding of the science of philosophy . Writing philosophy papers on one of these topics requires some scientific knowledge, so we advise you to think carefully before you start to write your philosophy paper .

  • Social conditions of formation of philosophical science.
  • Spiritual sources of philosophical science.
  • Correlation between philosophical and generally scientific methods.
  • The subject of philosophical science and its historical evolution.
  • How does worldview determine worldview?
  • Philosophy is a unique form of social consciousness.
  • Forms and methods of philosophical science.
  • Prove that philosophy is a methodology of scientific knowledge.
  • How the “main question of philosophical science” is transformed within the limits of the theory of knowledge.
  • The relationship between ideology and politics.

Every essay topic in this article can help students better understand philosophy as a science, proving that interesting philosophy exists. So look at our lists of philosophy essay topics and choose the one or a few you like the most.

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235 Deep Philosophical Questions for A Thought-Provoking Conversation

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Before we start to look at philosophy in any way, I just want to put it out in the open that philosophy is complicated . If it weren’t, this search for answers to questions that people have been asking since the B.C. years wouldn’t still be going on. Someone would have found the answer to these so-called “basic” questions.

Philosophy, which looks at knowledge, truth, meaning, and existence, is one of the oldest-practiced sciences in human history. And I’m not really sure how far we’ve gotten.

As you’re asking the deep philosophical questions that we are going to go over in this article to get to know someone better or to understand yourself on a deeper level–just know that, apparently, no one’s answers are…really…right.

But, they’re also not necessarily wrong …?

However, for this purpose, the answers you’re looking for people to come up with are those that are interesting, thought-provoking, and great conversation starters .

…Even though the conversation that results from your question might not get you very far–and could potentially leave you more confused than when you started.

So why ask?

Everyone lives with their own unique set of beliefs, ideas, and realities, so you can gain a great amount of insight into someone else’s individual experiences, perceptions, and judgments by asking them philosophical questions and engaging in the resulting conversation.

How can one person’s reality be so different from someone else’s?  And what are the motivations behind their thoughts, beliefs, and actions?

This is where philosophy comes in, as philosophers have been contemplating a potential reason behind human existence (among other “simple” concepts) since the beginning of time. The ideas that famous philosophers (such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas) have come up with are notably abstract– but you have to cut them some slack.

After all, when trying to find a connection between the nature of the universe and human existence, how can anyone ever be 100% positive?  You’re trying to find a connection between two very subjective and unexplainable things, it’s not like you’re searching for the relationship between freezing temperatures and icy road conditions.

So how can you distinguish a philosophical question from a dichotomous question? Or a loaded question? …Or a rhetorical question? Let’s look at what characterizes a philosophical question.

Table of Contents

What is a Philosophical Question?

Philosophical questions are those posed to help people gain an understanding of the universe and existence of humankind. The answers to these fundamental questions are largely based on speculation, meaning there are no universal truths. However, whatever answers that you ultimately accept as being true will predominantly determine your identity and beliefs.

If you want to understand someone better–their motivations, actions, daily routines, decision-making processes, etc.–asking them deep philosophical questions is an effective method of doing so.

People use theory of mind processes  in order to improve their social cognition–that is, recognizing that people have a wide variety of experiences that shape their beliefs. We’re able to use our theory of mind processes to recognize how various social circumstances impact people’s mental states differently–and understanding people in this way helps us predict their behaviors and navigate our own actions in social situations.

The “bigger” questions that address philosophy define your unique identity and perception of reality. Your answers to these questions determines your thoughts, emotions, actions, and life experiences.

Let’s look at some examples of philosophical questions that can initiate a deep and meaningful conversation that can help you get to know and understand other people much better.

235 Deep Philosophical Questions for a Thought-Provoking Conversation

1. Is there such a thing as fate? How much free will do we actually have to make our own choices, and what is pre-determined for us as at birth?

2. How do you know when you’re being genuine or authentic to your true self? When was the last time you felt this way?

3. Because humans live according to conclusions made through inductive reasoning, is there any truth to logic, math, or scientific and everyday assumptions that we make? Can we be certain about anything?

4. Who are you?

5. Why were you born? What gives your life meaning ? Alternatively, do you believe life is completely random and therefore lacks any meaning? Do you have to create your own meaning?

6. How can you distinguish “art” from something that isn’t art?

7. Would you kill one person you love to save 100 strangers? Would you kill 100 strangers to save the one you love?

8. What do our dreams mean and how do they form? Do they predict the future in some way?

9. What is the source of your self-worth? Do you believe this same source defines your purpose in life?

10. Do you believe you have just one soulmate (or any) in this world? Do you think anyone has actually met their true soulmate? How do you know when that happens?

11. Is there anything in the world that you believe everyone finds to be beautiful? Does inherent beauty exist?

12. Is nature cyclical or is the earth headed toward complete disorder? Are humans creating things as quickly as we’re destroying things?

13. What does every human in the world deserve…even murderers or those who have committed heinous crimes? Justice?

14. When did time begin? How was it created and who determined the length of one second? Does time have an end?

15. What was in space before our universe existed ? What lies beyond our universe? What does “forever” (in terms of space) look like? Or is there a stopping point? Or at some point does it just circle back to the beginning?

16. Do people really change or do they just recognize and react logically to new circumstances?

17. Do animals have feelings? If so, do they also have souls? Does your dog know you love him?

18. If you value privacy, why is that so if you’re not doing anything wrong?

19. Are people born evil? Or do they end up doing evil things as a result of early childhood experiences or other external factors? Can all evil be blamed on mental health or a lack of empathy?

20. What happens when you die? Do you just cease to exist or does your soul live on in heaven or hell?

21. Is there really any completely selfless act of kindness? Or is there always a motive behind helping someone else?

22. How do you know when the tipping point happens between dating someone and being in love with them ? What does love actually feel like?

23. Can you be happy in life if you don’t achieve anything throughout your lifetime? If you’re unsuccessful in all of your endeavors and never make a difference in anyone else’s life?

24. What is true friendship? Is it ever equally reciprocated?

25. Is there such a thing as an ideal government? What would it look like?

26. Could the world make any progress if technology didn’t exist?

27. Why are people often more respected when they’re dead than when they’re alive?

28. Do stricter laws lead to a better or more peaceful world or do they lead to more crime?

29. If you know that you’re going to die one day, what’s the point of putting effort toward living a successful life?

30. What should the goal of humanity be?

31. Is it possible to go through life without telling a lie?

32. How would our lives change if the average lifespan of a person was 500 years?

33. Will organized religion ever become a thing of the past?

34. When you overcome a challenge , do you come out stronger on the other side? Or does every challenge break you down just a bit?

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35. How would the world change if everyone focused on what society is doing well rather than how society is messing up?

36. Does happiness exist without sadness? Can good exist without evil? Can right exist without wrong?

37. Is everyone’s life equal in value?

38. Is it more important to do the right thing or to do things right?

39. How do we know that one’s experience of consciousness is the same as everyone else’s experience of consciousness?

40. Can we ever live in a socially just society if there are still unjust people around?

41. What does it take to achieve true happiness and contentment in life? Is there one factor that’s universal for everyone?

42. How can you be sure that your perceptions are real?

43. Where are people before they’re born? At what point does your consciousness form?

44. Do you think there are any bad events that have happened in the world that have actually made us better as a society?

45. Should you live for the present moment  or for your future’s potential?

46. Is it more admirable to live for a cause or to die for it?

47. How would people behave if there were no rules or laws?

48. Do you think the human race will go extinct? If so, how?

49. Are people natural born leaders or do they develop the traits over time?

50. Who started each religion?

51. Are people inherently good?

52. How do you know if something really happened if no one witnessed it?

53. Are there boundaries to creativity?

54. What if we knew nothing about history? How would the world be different?

55. What if everyone had the same opinion about everything?

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56. Does anyone truly earn fame? Or is fame merely an illusion based on how others perceive the famous?

57. Should celebrities and professional athletes be responsible for giving a portion of their income to offset national debt, given the fact that the consumer is a large part of the reason for their success? 

58. If you were given the opportunity to know the exact time and date of your death, would you want to know? Or would you prefer to live each day believing that you have all of the time in the world? 

59. If you were offered $1 million dollars to give up one of your five senses for the rest of your life, would you? Which sense would you choose to live without? Hearing, sight, taste, smell or touch? 

60. If you were lost in the wilderness for weeks and starving, with no animal or plant source to be found, could you eat another human being? A fellow traveler? What if they were your friend or family member? 

61. Would you prefer death by drowning or fire? 

62. If you could choose any way to die, which would it be? 

63. Which would you be willing to sacrifice for a life free of debt? A person you love, the family pet or one of your limbs (leg or arm)? 

64. If you were given the choice between eating whatever you want and never gaining weight, or living to be 100, which would you choose and why?

65. If atheists do not believe in God, what is their moral compass driven by? Who or what do you think they are being held accountable to? Is our ability to differentiate between right and wrong innate or learned? 

66. With all of the technological advances we are making, the life expectancy has gone up. What would you be willing to sacrifice to ensure that your child lived to be over 100? Would you give up your one true love? Your health? Your life?

67. If you were able to name your price for participating in a clinical trial, attempting to breed a cross species of human and animal, would you do it? If so, is there any animal you would never consider breeding with?  

68. If you could do the one job that you truly loved and have all of the necessities in life taken care of (shelter, food, clothing), but never go on a single vacation or drive a nice car, would it be worth it? Which career would you choose?

69. The government has offered you a job with a salary of $300,000 per year for the next 15 years. You can pick any place in the world you’d like to be stationed; however, the position requires that you never leave this place until your contract is up. You can’t visit anyone who doesn’t already live there or take any vacations for 15 years. Would you accept the job? If so, where would you live and why?   

70. If you were only able to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, which would it be?

71. Would you prefer to be thin or healthy for the rest of your life?

72. If you found out that you only had one week to live, what would you spend it doing? Who, if anyone, would you spend it with?

73. Do you see the Unites falling apart in your lifetime? A civil war of sorts will take place, with the country dividing itself into separately governed territories? Things like the defunding of the police will occur. The middle and lower class will go to war against the wealthy, causing the crime rate to go up. The food supply chain will also suffer, more people will lose their jobs and you may be forced to defend yourself and your home.  

74. If you were forced to flee your home to keep your family safe, would you consider separating them to ensure this? Possibly winding up in different countries. 

75. Would you prefer to have a President that put your mind at ease in the darkest of times, or one who was feared by others?  

76. If you could have a never-ending cash supply, but had to give up sex for the rest of you life, would you? 

77. If polygamy became legal, would you consider it? 

78. Do parents really mean it when they say they love all of their children equally?  Or do they secretly love or favor one child more than the other? 

79. If you had to choose between saving the life of your spouse or a child, whom would you choose? 

80. Is there any cause you would give your life for? 

81. Do you side with the Big Bang theory or Evolution?  Neither?  

82. Can stress actually make you physically sick? Conversely, can meditation and mindfulness heal what ails you? 

83. Which do you think is the most impressive of the Seven Wonders of the World? 

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84. Who actually built the pyramids? Was it human or alien? 

85. If you were given the opportunity to genetically engineer the sex and physical traits of your child before they were born, would you? 

86. Do you believe the name we are born with has an effect on our personality? Or the person that we grow up to become?

87. Would you choose immortality knowing everyone else you loved would still die? 

88. Can science and God coexist?

89. If your spouse died, would you consider remarriage? If so, how long of a grieving period do you think is appropriate?  Would having children together change the timeline? 

90. Do you believe that humans are the most intelligent species in the universe? 

91. Do you think there is intelligent life in the universe similar to ours that communicates verbally, eats, drinks, procreates and desires intimacy? 

92. If proof of alien life existed, and they wanted to make contact on Earth, would you be excited or scared? 

93. Do you believe the human race will last another 2,000 years? How about our planet? 

94. Do you believe that Catholicism or Judaism can ever be eradicated? 

95. With all of the sex scandals associated with the Catholic church, would you ever allow your son to be an altar boy? 

96. If you raise your child according to your family religion, would you be upset if they wanted to convert when they got older? Which circumstances would this be ok with you? Marriage? A change in their core beliefs and convictions? Politics?

97. Is post-traumatic stress a real thing? 

98. Would you be upset if your child wanted to join the armed forces if you never served? 

99. Would you ever eat insects in a restaurant? 

100. What is freedom? If we risk facing consequences for actions deemed illegal or inappropriate by our society, then how are we truly free? Are animals freer than us? 

101. If you were to die tomorrow, what words would be written on your tombstone? What would people say about you? 

102. Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Can you be a good person and still fall prey to feelings of jealousy, greed, anger and lust?

103. If you could cheat on your partner and never get caught, would you? 

104. They say a life lived in fear is one never lived. Yet, in the absence of fear would we live the same life? 

105. Do you believe that people like Hitler and Stalin are suffering in death? 

106. Who is the worst criminal in your mind? A murdered of men or children? A rapist or a thief? Is there any crime you could never forgive if it were committed against you? 

107. Are you a dog person or a cat person? 

108. When do you feel the most alive? 

109. Which would be worse for you? Having to live life in a wheelchair with a loving partner by your side?  Or being able to walk without ever experiencing unconditional love? 

110. If you were involved in an accident and told you would never walk again, do you think your partner would leave you? 

111. Have you ever thought you weren’t good enough? Or undeserving of the life you have? 

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112. Would you give all of your possessions away to spend one more day with a loved one who died?

113. If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose? 

114. If you believe in Heaven, what do you think it is like? 

115. If you had a choice between spending life after death walking amongst the living as a ghost, or living in your own personal paradise, which would you pick? 

116. Would you prefer to live in outer space or under the sea? 

117. Having grown up watching shows and movies about the future… do you feel as if technology is meeting, exceeding, or falling short of your expectations?  For instance, hoverboards and flying cars? Robot servants? Colonies on Mars?

118. Are any of thoughts, opinions or perceptions truly objective? Or are they always subjective? Are our minds capable of not imposing judgment or bringing emotions into our decision making? 

119. Is there any such thing as luck? Or chance? Or are our fates predestined? 

120. What is faith? 

121. If you had to abandon one of your deepest convictions in order to save the rest, which one would you choose? 

122. Do you think wild animals feel guilt? How about domesticated pets? 

123. Do you believe the theory that animals can see dead spirits? 

124. Have you ever had a recurring dream? Some people believe this may be indicative of a past life. What are your thoughts? 

125. If you were gifted with one superpower, which would you choose and why?

126. How would your life be different if you changed one major decision that you have made?

127. What would your life look like if you were born a century before your birthday?

128. If you could cure COVID-19 or instantly become a billionaire, which would you choose?

129. If you could undo or redo anything from the past year, what would it be and why?

130. Should history be told with more emphasis placed upon common people than on leaders?

131. Is there a universal impetus for change? What is it?

132. Can you only feel an emotion if you have felt the opposite emotion in the past? Which one do you feel first?

133. Is happiness based on positive circumstances and luck?  Or is it based on attitude?

134. Is morality subjective or objective? Who determines what positive morals are? How do you know if something is immoral?

135. Should it be legal for doctors to help those who are terminally ill pass away peacefully if that is what they want?

136. Are your rights as a human the same as the things that you’re entitled to? Is freedom a human right? What about personal autonomy?

137. What defines fair governance? How is corruption defined and who defines it?

138. Is there a limit on science? Where does matter begin?

139. Are there any limits on knowledge? Is it possible to know absolutely everyone about a subject?

140. Can order ever come from chaos? Is there such a thing as organized chaos?

141. Is pain real or is it a perception? If we were taught from childhood that pain feels ‘good’, would we experience it differently?

142. If a main component to happiness is human connection, is the presence of so much technology affecting our happiness?

143. Is it more important to be liked or respected? What is the difference between the two? Can you have one without the other?

144. Is ignorance bliss? Are more intelligent people less happy in life than people who are of average intelligence?

145. Are there any animals that are actually smarter than humans?

146. Is it possible for artificial intelligence to be creative in a way that humans can’t be?

147. Do social norms cease to exist when communicating with other people virtually? Does this create a more genuine connection? How were social norms created in the first place?

148. Can memories ever be completely erased?

149. Does technology control our everyday decisions or do our decisions control technology?

150. Do people change if they gain power? Why?

151. Are faith and belief the same thing? Can someone believe in God without having faith in God?

152. If depression is so common, why do we think of it as the exception instead of the rule? Is there something that could be done for all people to reduce the rates of depression?

153. If a good person does an evil thing, are they considered to be evil for the rest of their lives? Or could they ever be considered “good” again?

154. If God exists and he were to reveal himself, would people who believe in God accept him as God?

155. Where do dreams come from? Do they predict the future or reference the past?

156. Can people who are born blind see in their dreams?

157. What are the principal social values (such as equality, justice, freedom) and how can we structure humanity to maximize them?

158. Does absolute morality exist? What does it look like?

159. Do people have souls on a biological level?

160. If no one sees you, is it okay if you do something “wrong”?

161. Which is more powerful, mind or matter?

162. How do your observations impact the course of your life?

163. If you could solve any unsolved mysteries, what would you choose and why?

164. What is more influential, power or money? Are they one in the same?

165. Are knowledge and understanding the same thing?

166. Should people follow their beliefs blindly? What does it take to change one’s beliefs? If they’re able to be changed, were the beliefs ever genuine in the first place?

167. Is perfection achievable?

168. Who determined logical reasoning in the first place?

169. Is it smart to follow your intuition? Can you really trust an instinctive feeling over any conscious reasoning?

170. Are animals conscious of life?

171. Where do ideas come from?

172. Can you trust your senses?

173. Is it ok for the government to put legal limits on the number of children people can have to regulate the world’s population? Should people have to go through any type of legal process before being able to reproduce to demonstrate they’re capable of taking care of their children?

174. What are the downsides to having human rights?

175. Do you have to be happy to live a fulfilling life?

176. How do you justify the process of justification?

177. What is the difference between belief and knowledge?

178. How can you tell the difference between abstract art and scribble?

179. Does every effect have a cause?

180. If you see someone commit suicide and you don’t try to intervene, does that make you responsible for their death?

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181. What are all of the elements that go into creating one’s self-esteem?

182. Are truth and reality the same thing? Are they both relative?

183. If every cell in your body gets replaced every 7 years, could you potentially live forever?

184. Will religion ever be obsolete?

185. Which is most important: helping yourself, helping your family, helping your society, or helping the world?

186. How can we judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge other people by their actions?

187. Is there anything we could genetically change about humans to benefit our species?

188. Is happiness more than chemicals flowing through your brain?

189. Has social media given society a net positive or net negative result?

190. Do you have a right to privacy when it comes to illegal things?

191. Are humans better at creating or destroying?

192. Think about what you think gives life its meaning. Can you define every life in the universe by this scale? If so, is all life equally meaningful?

193. Is it an innate human desire to enjoy beauty?

194. There is some strong evidence that space and time fabric violently burst into existence almost 14 billion years ago, so what were things like 15 billion years ago?

195. Do animals experience time the same way that humans do?

196. Do any animals do creative things on a regular basis?

197. Does art benefit society? Can art hurt society?

198. Can someone live a fulfilling life without ever feeling a true connection with another person?

199. Is it ever acceptable to lie? What if you’re lying to spare someone’s feelings?

200. Is happiness more than a chemical reaction in the brain?

201. Should actions be judged solely on their outcome?

202. How would you spend your time if you were the only person in the world who was immortal? Would you tell people about your immortality?

203. If every ending is the start of a new beginning, what is death the beginning of?

204. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received? How has it impacted your life?

205. Does love at first sight exist?

206. What could you do today to change your life tomorrow?

207. Is innocence ignorance?

208. How can someone be positive they’re living their purpose in life?

209. Does the cosmos have a purpose?

210. Are unobservable things real?

211. Is the universe intrinsically random, like quantum mechanics posits?

212. Is there anything that has to be true in order for everything that exists to be real?

213. Is time an illusion?

214. Can freedom and determinism coexist?

215. Can happiness exist without money?

216. Why does time go by slowly or quickly depending on what you’re doing?

217. Does luck exist?

218. Do animals enjoy being pets or would they rather be free?

219. Are any beliefs unjustifiable?

220. How is knowledge structured?

221. If you were given a different name at birth, would anything else be different about your life?

222. Is time travel possible? Have we met people who are able to travel through time? If so, why did they choose to be where they were? 

223. Does mind reading exist?

224. Is time cyclical?

225. Are there any aspects of reality that are actually unknowable?

226. Do you believe in past lives?

227. Is there a harsh truth about yourself that you ignore? What is it?

228. Should people prolong life at all costs for strangers? Would it make a difference what that stranger’s background or circumstance was?

229. What is hope? How are our hopes influenced? Is hope a futile endeavor?

230. Is it possible to feel happy and sad at the same time?

231. Should we respect traditions just because they are traditions? Why?

232. Is there anything that the most creative person in the world couldn’t come up with?

233. If you won the lottery tomorrow, where would you be in three years?

234. Do you believe your opinions are only yours? Or are they impacted by your surroundings?

235. If the world were to end tomorrow and you had to choose two people to spend the rest of today with, who would you choose?

Final Thoughts on Philosophical Questions

Our desire for knowledge and meaning in our lives inspires us to learn, get ahead, and become better people. What if we all really are fighting for a limited number of spaces in heaven? That’s why asking philosophical questions is so important to do, as it acts as a great motivating factor to learn about yourself, humankind, and the universe.

Talking about the deep philosophical questions on this list can help you do some reflection to consider your own beliefs   and allow you to understand other people better . Trying to find the possible answers to these questions requires you to look at the world around you to search for a meaning of our existence.

Of course, these questions have no set answers–and, in fact, often raise more unanswerable questions themselves. The key is to have an open mind by thinking critically, systemically, and comprehensively. Answering philosophical questions helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

If you want to test how well you know other people, check out our collection of how well do you know me questions .

Finally, if you want to ask better questions, then watch this short, 20-minute course to learn how to have a great conversation with virtually anyone .

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Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.

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EvolveU – Writing

A brief guide to writing philosophical questions.

Each month I write the questions for Pub Theology.  Pub Theology promises important questions, good conversation, great beer.  It only guarantee’s great beer.  Without important questions the good conversation may go bad.

I want to improve my questions, even make them important.

I need to improve my questions, even make them understandable.

I must improve my questions, even make them philosophical.

I found an article on the net about philosophical writing and my review of summation of it follows.  I hope to extract the essentials for writing good philosophical questions.

The Harvard College Writing Center published a paper titled “A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper”.  This seven page document is structured into the following parts:

The Challenges of Philosophical Writing

Begin by formulating your precise thesis

Define technical or ambiguous terms used in your thesis or your argument.

  • If necessary, motivate your thesis (i.e. explain to your reader why they should care about it)

Explain briefly how you will argue in favor of your thesis.

If necessary, explain the argument you will be critiquing.

  • Make an argument to support your thesis.

In order to strengthen your argument, anticipate and answer objections to it.

Briefly conclude by explaining what you think your argument has established.

  • Conclusion (from 2 and 3)

Avoid direct quotes

Use first person personal pronouns and possessive pronouns freely; signpost.

Say exactly what you mean, and no more than you need to say.

  • Be careful with specialized language.

Above find the outline of this article.  Below find my interpretation and the key elements I will need to apply to my Pub Theology questions.

You expressing your personal opinion on controversial topics is not philosophy.  A method of first attaining a clear and exact question, then provide answers supported by clear, logically structured arguments, that is philosophy.

An ideal argument should lead from obviously true premises to an unobvious true conclusion.  A successful negative argument refutes the theory.  Positive arguments usually end up discussing other questions.

Structuring a Philosophy Paper

Assignments ask you to a thesis, which is a claim that may be true or false.  Explain it, support it, objection to it, defend it, evaluate it, discuss consequences, etc.  Structure thesis as follows:

Example: State argument clear and concise, avoid ambiguity (uncertainty or inexactness of meaning in language.)

Think of an imaginary reader whenever you need to decide how much you need to say to set up a discussion, or to judge the overall clarity of your work.

If necessary, motivate your thesis (i.e. explain to your reader why they should care about it).

Take care to clearly indicate when you are speaking in your own voice, and when you are explicating someone else’s argument or point of view but not yourself advocating it.

Explain the argument in your own words.

POOR WRITING EXAMPLE: In order to prove or disprove a thesis, one must engage with it.  Explain and analyze the argument rather than just reporting on it (a book report).  Make your view clear, not ambiguous.

Make an argument to support your thesis. 

Use a single compelling argument as opposed to using multiple weaker arguments.

You must always present a reasons for thinking an objection is true.

You should always raise and reply to the strongest objections you can think. GOOD WRITING EXAMPLE: Do not let objections rest on logical fallacies or implausible premises.


Don’t try to write a from scratch, from beginning to end: leave plenty of time.  Topic, possible thesis, rough argument in your head, sketches on paper, then begin master outline: thesis, argument, maximal logical clarity, one line for each argument logical step, potential objections and replies.  Try explaining your argument to someone else.  Read your paper out loud or have a friend read it to work out which parts of your argument might confuse or fail to persuade the reader and need more work.

Evidence for a claim generally provides a better argument.  Philosophers avoid  empirical data, and confine their investigations to their armchairs.  If you do use such evidence from elsewhere…explain exactly why it is relevant and exactly what we can conclude from it.  Show how two or more views cannot be held consistently with each other, or show that although two views are consistent with one another, they together entail an implausible third claim, known as a reductio ad absurdum.


If the argument is logically valid, show that the three premises of the argument can all be true. A further argument would be needed to show which of the three premises ought to be rejected.

Philosophical arguments are not always in the form of a reducti.  Basic premises should generally be claims that any reasonable reader can be expected to agree with, and they might be drawn from common experience, or from our stronger intuitions.  Avoid the fallacy of begging the question – which is to say, using any premises that one would reasonably doubt if not for one’s prior acceptance of the conclusion the argument attempts to establish.


If the writer defined argument argument terms more carefully, its weakness would be clear. Ambiguous terms in philosophical arguments are a common problem, and can mask other weaknesses.

Examples can also help clarify the intended meaning of terms. Philosophers make great use of hypothetical examples in particular.


Foreknown side-effect and aims are important points in arguments which involve clear moral institutions.

Do not argue that a claim is true, or is likely to be true, just because someone of great authority believed it.  Do not argue from what the dictionary says about something.

Explain other philosopher’s arguments in your own words.  Read philosophy articles slow and careful.  Understand the steps of the argument.  When using another philosopher’s argument, put it in your own words and in the logical form that seems clearest to you, add improvements, offer or modify reason, defense.


When you paraphrase: explain any ambiguous terms or technical terms in the source, and aim to show that you’ve understood.

Give your reader a clear sense of where your argument is going at all times (i.e. I will argue…, I will now show…, My second objection is…)

Use simple prose and short, simple sentences.  Establish a modest point as clearly, carefully, and concisely as possible.

Be careful with specialized language

Philosophy reserves certain terms and phrases for special, narrow meanings that are peculiar to the subject.These include deduction, begs the question, valid, invalid, sound, and unsound (used to describe arguments), and vague (used to describe terms or concepts). You should understand the word use in philosophy before the word use in any of your writing.

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Writing a Philosophy Essay

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Is there a God? Are there objective, universal moral norms or rules? What is meant by ‘reality’? Do we have free will? In studying philosophy, students aim to do the following:

  • understand such philosophical questions and the concepts, arguments, and theories that philosophers use to address them
  • think critically about such arguments and theories
  • develop their own answers to philosophical questions

Writing philosophy essays is a key part of studying philosophy. Make sure first to understand the assignment, looking out for the questions asked and paying attention to prompts such as “outline” or “evaluate” or “compare”. Most philosophy assignments will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject through exposition of arguments and theories, and many will also test your ability to assess these arguments and theories by writing a critical evaluation of them. Write your paper so that the reader understands how your exposition and evaluation answer the questions and address all parts of the assignment.

Read the Texts Carefully, Asking Questions

Before you write a paper, though, you need to understand the course texts and recommended readings. Philosophical works need to be read slowly and with focused attention. As you read, ask yourself the following:

  • What philosophical question(s) is the author addressing?
  • What exactly is meant by key ideas or concepts in the text (e.g., Plato’s “Forms”, Aristotle’s “substance” and “accident”, Kant’s “categorical imperative,” Sartre’s “being-for-itself”)? Each discipline has its own technical language, which students must learn.
  • What arguments does the author make (e.g., Aquinas’s five arguments for the existence of God)?
  • What theories does the author propose (e.g., a dualist mind-body theory or—one of its competitors—a physicalist theory of mind)?

Organize Your Ideas into a Logical Structure

Take notes as you read. Then put your ideas for the essay into a logical order. Because philosophy papers proceed by logical argument, creating a point-form outline that captures the structure of your argument is generally a good strategy. An outline will allow you to spot problems in your argument more easily.

Augment Your Thesis with a Road Map that Reveals the Structure of Your Argument

Most assignments will require you to present a clear thesis statement that sums up the position for which you are arguing. In the introduction you should also provide a ‘road map’—a few sentences that announce in sequence what you intend to accomplish in each of the key stages of your paper. Road maps often rely on first person (“First, I will analyze . . . “), but if your professor prefers that you don’t use the first person, you can instead describe what your essay will accomplish (“First, the essay will analyze . . . “).

Show Your Understanding through Clear and Accurate Exposition

Try to make your expository writing as clear and accurate as possible, and try to show the logical connections between the different parts of a philosophical system. Avoid vague or overly brief exposition, serious omissions, or misunderstandings.

In some first year courses, an early assignment may ask you to write a short paper expounding but not evaluating a concept or theory. For example: “Explain what Plato means by Forms.” Subsequent assignments in the course usually involve evaluation as well as exposition (e.g., “Outline and evaluate Plato’s theory of Forms”). In some courses, assignments may call for detailed interpretation of a text rather than an assessment of it. “Was Hume an idealist?”, “Was Wittgenstein a behaviourist?” and “Was Marx a nihilist about morality?” are examples. Such questions are posed when there is disagreement among scholars about how to interpret a philosopher. In such essays, you will need to examine texts very closely, find passages which support a yes or no answer, choose where you stand in the debate, and defend your answer.

Critically Evaluate a Philosophical Theory

When studying a philosophical theory, you will need to think about both its strengths and weaknesses. For example, is a particular theory of art (such as the view that art is the expression of emotion) comprehensive: does it apply to all the arts and all types of art, or only to some? Is it logically consistent or does it contain contradictions? Are there counterexamples to it?

As you think about your topic, read the course materials, and take notes, you should work out and assemble the following:

  • the strengths of a philosopher’s theory
  • the arguments the philosopher gives in support of the theory and those the philosopher did not provide but which might still support it
  • possible criticisms of those arguments
  • how the philosopher has replied or could reply to these criticisms

Finally, ask yourself how you would evaluate those replies: do they work or not? Be selective, especially in a shorter paper. In a 1,000-word essay, for instance, discuss one or two arguments in favour and one or two against. In a 2,000- or 2,500-word paper, you can include more arguments and possible replies. Finally, plan carefully: leave enough space for your assessment.

A different type of critical evaluation assignment may ask for a comparative appraisal of two or more theories. For example, “Which account of human decision-making is stronger: X’s free will theory or Y’s determinist theory?” In such essays, your thesis could be that one account is better than the other or, perhaps, that neither account is clearly superior. You might argue that each has different strengths and weaknesses.

Develop Your Own Answers to Philosophical Questions

In the type of critical assessments above, you are already, to some extent, articulating your own philosophical positions. As you read texts in a course on, say, philosophy of mind or philosophy of art, you should be asking, based on what you have read so far, which theory is the best? Don’t be content to just understand theories and know their strengths and weaknesses. Push yourself to think out your own account of mind or art.

Some upper-year essay assignments may throw a fundamental philosophical question at you: “What is art?”, “Do we have free will?”, “What is morality?”, or “What is reality?”. Here, you will present your own answer, giving reasons, answering objections, and critically evaluating alternative approaches. Your answer/thesis might be an existing theory or a synthesis of two or more theories, or (more rarely) a completely new theory. Now you are not only expounding theories or critically evaluating them; you are also developing your own philosophy!

243 Plato Essay Topics & Examples

If you’re writing a Plato essay, look through the topics collected by our team . Explore the philosopher’s relationships with Socrates, the concepts of cave and utopia, and more.

🏆 Best Plato Essay Examples & Topics

👍 good plato’s republic essay topics, 🔍 great topics for plato essays, 🎓 simple & easy plato essay titles, 💡 most interesting plato topics to write about, ❓ essay questions about plato.

  • Plato and Aristotle on Literature Compare & Contrast Essay The controversy over the effects of literature has made the great philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, to differ in their perceptions of the literature impacts on the society.
  • The Concept of Plato’s Ideal State Essay Being a part of a group that had access to knowledge and power, he believed that the state needed to have some people who were cleverer than the others as it was one of the […]
  • Compare and Contrast: Plato and Aristotle Essay Aristotle was a “the son of a renowned physician from Thrace” and he began his philosophy studies at the Plato’s academy.
  • Plato vs. Aristotle: Political Philosophy Compare and Contrast Essay Plato went further to associate all the parts of the soul to parts of the body with reason connected to the head, will connected to the heart and appetite connected to the abdomen and sensory […]
  • Plato’s Theory of Forms: Summary Essay Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to discuss theory of Forms as one of the main contributions of Plato.
  • Philosophy: Plato’s Republic Versus Aristotle’s Politics Plato as well turns off the partition amid the private and the public and he contends for common kids and wives for the guardians in a bid to create a society amongst the rulers of […]
  • Socrates Influence on Plato’s Philosophy He was accused of corrupting the morals of the youth and misleading the citizens with his unorthodox political and religious views. Plato was so attracted to Socrates philosophy that he made him the principal character […]
  • Plato and Aristotle’s Views of Virtue in Respect to Education Arguably, Plato and Aristotle’s views of education differ in that Aristotle considers education as a ‘virtue by itself’ that every person must obtain in order to have ‘happiness and goodness in life’, while Plato advocates […]
  • Guardians and Justice in Plato’s “The Republic” The books begin with the discussion of the ideal city and more importantly, the concept of justice. As a result, justice of the soul and the individual is achieved.
  • Lessons From Plato’s Book ‘the Apology’ Though called ‘apology’ by Plato, the speech is not actually an apology- Socrates was attempting use his wisdom to justify his teachings and beliefs, and not to apologize for his actions.[2] First, his concise and […]
  • Plato on Knowledge and Opinion The primary division of Plato’s classification is the division of knowledge into sensory and intellectual knowledge. The first category of knowledge, namely sensory knowledge, is perceived as a lower type, and intellectual knowledge is the […]
  • Plato on Death: Comparison With Aristotle Afterlife – Essay on Life After Death Philosophy On the other hand, religion has maintained that the soul is immortal and survives the death of the body. Plato argued that the soul is immortal and therefore survives the death of the body.
  • The Role of Gods in Plato’s Philosophy As Plato recounts the episode “Myth of Er” found in the republic dialogue phaedo and the story of time reversal in the statesman, a clear view of the hierarchical arrangement of the cosmos is illuminated.
  • Why Did Plato Hate the Sophists? – Philosophy He claimed that the sophists were selling the wrong education to the rich people. The methods of teaching that the sophists portrayed in Athens were in conflict with Plato’s school of thought.
  • Aristotle’s and Plato’s Views on Rhetoric One of the points that Plato expresses in this philosophical work is that rhetoric should be viewed primarily as the “artificer of persuasion”. This is one of the similarities that can be distinguished.
  • Ideal Society by Plato The task of the social leaders is to orient to interests of the majority in order to avoid the opposition of the public which can lead to revealing the negative qualities of people living in […]
  • Plato’s Philosophy The allegory of the cave can serve in revealing some of the key reasons to mistrust the views of the majority.
  • Epistemologies of Plato and Aristotle It is also worth mentioning the Allegory of the Cave, in which Plato explains the relationship between people and the world of the Forms.
  • Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Aristotle’s “High-Minded Man” The concept of a High-Minded man is close to Aristotle’s understanding of success and the contribution of different virtues to an individual’s happiness.
  • Social Contract in Plato’s, Hobbes’, Locke’s Works In Plato’s opinion, because the guardian class would be the judge of the people, there would be no need for laws, and this would make it easier to run the city.
  • Plato’s Republic and Hobbes’s Leviathan Philosophical Comparison In order to form a solid basis on how the two theories visualize the ability of man to reason, it is important to have a valid understanding of the theories themselves.
  • The Perspectives of Plato and Augustine on Metaphysics For Augustine, God was the source of all forms, and subsequently, all of the objects and phenomena existing in the physical world were manifestations of the ideals kept in the mind of God.
  • The Affinity Argument in Plato’s Phaedo Religious leaders also pray for the body and the soul of the dead but lay a lot of emphasis on the soul.
  • “The Apology” by Plato: Socrates Accusations The main accusations that played a significant role in Socrates’ death sentence were the accusations of impiety and corrupting the young people of Athens.
  • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, there is much darkness in the cave and only very little light can be found in this place and it is so hard for a person who is in […]
  • Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” and Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” In general, Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” and LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” address the same theme the truth and how it may affect people’s reality.
  • Plato’s Philosophy in “The Republic” In his description of the ideal society, Plato explains that people in the society are not advised to act without knowledge such that before a city is erected, full understanding of justice should be known.
  • Plato’s Dialogue Crito Crito insists that a person must listen to the opinion of the majority, and Socrates argues that it is impossible to pay attention to the opinions of all the people because it is important to […]
  • The Allegory of the Cave by Plato Review First of all, Plato created the people in the cave captives in order to rhetorically appeal to the audience’s emotions and arouse the sensations that already exist in them, which, of course, already produces an […]
  • “Statesman” by Plato: A Critique Plato extols the virtues of a statesman stating that it is not the power of the statesman that is important but his knowledge.
  • Plato’s Ideal State: Self-Enclosed and Unstable Plato’s proposed alternative is the rule of a philosopher-king a wise person able to see the essence of justice and, consequently, have the precise knowledge rather than a mere opinion of what is right.
  • “The Apology” a Work by Plato I will also aim to explore the validity of a suggestion that, while pointing out that no one is wiser than Socrates, the Oracle of Delphi meant to say that people are being just as […]
  • Philosophical Issues on Plato’s Phaedo Weiss argues that Plato used the argument by Socrates that true philosophers hate the pleasures of the body, for example, drinks, sex, and food.
  • Important Virtues in Human Life: Plato’s Protagoras and Hesiod’s Works and Days Plato and Hesiod tried to evaluate the ideas of justice in their worlds and the ways of how people prefer to use their possibilities and knowledge using the story of Prometheus; Plato focused on the […]
  • Plato’s Theory of Natural Depravity Even in times of ancient Jews and peoples which surrounded them the core accent consisted in the purity of spirit, soul and body, but most of all they emphasized the concept of spiritual life minding […]
  • Plato and Aristotle: Criticisms of Democracy To speak of it in our present time, there are only a few people who are given the power of ‘sound judgement about what is right and what is wrong’ and should have the power […]
  • Communication in Plato’s “The Phaedrus” The Phaedrus compares oral and written communication and outlines the advantages of the two forms. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Internet becomes the main and the most popular form of communication.
  • Plato and Socrates on the Ideal Leader’s Virtues In the context of a community, different factors contribute to the definition of this ultimate success. This is important, as people in the community will stand a chance to achieve the higher statuses that they […]
  • Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle: Views on Society In the video, it is highlighted that both Plato and Confucius shared a commitment to reason and the value of the state.
  • The Film “Soul” by Pixar: Understanding Plato’s Rhetoric Plato believes that the function of the soul in the conception of noble rhetoric is the ability of the orator to understand other people and execute the art of rhetoric.
  • “The Republic” by Plato: Book X It is a fundamental theory defining society, and with the theme continuing throughout the book, the reader reconceptualizes their place and purpose in the community.
  • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy Allegory by the Cave is one of the widely read and used books of Plato. Plato’s view on a Utopian society is slightly different in the sense that it is aligned more towards religion compared […]
  • Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”: Nature of Reality His exceptional and genius ideas included the theory of forms, platonic realism, and platonic idealism.”The Allegory of the Cave” is written in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon.
  • Plato’s Apology: Is Socrates Guilty? The accusations placed against Socrates include: Studying the activities in the heavens and below the earth. Predicting the things in the heavens and below the earth associates him with the physicists such as Thales and […]
  • Philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Marx The philosophical dilemma is how to do it, because in the overwhelming majority of cases, a human being is driven by the desire.
  • Plato’s Imitative View of Art. An understanding of the essence of art is inseparable from the understanding the world of human nature and views on society.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Theories of Human Nature Chapter five of Kupperman’s book “Theories of human nature” looks at great philosophers, namely Plato’s and Aristotle’s points of view in trying to define humanity. The writer tries to illustrate the complexity of defining a […]
  • Plato, the Philosopher: His Life and Times He could have attained the name because of the nature of his forehead or because of his extensive knowledge. Due to the wealth and political influence of his family, his father gave him the best […]
  • Plato and the Allegory of the Caves Occasionally, the carriers of the objects speak to one another, but their voices reach the prisoners in form of echoes from the wall ahead of them.
  • Comparison of Descartes’ “Meditation” and Plato’s “Phaedo” In general, the Descartes’ philosophy is linked to the church’s connotation of the most significant part of an individual’s body, which is acknowledged as existent, even after the end of physical life.
  • Comparison of Plato’s and Aristotle’s Approaches to the Nature of Reality In contrast to Plato, Aristotle asserted that the senses were necessary for accurately determining reality and that they could not be used to deceive a person. Aristotle and Plato both considered that thoughts were superior […]
  • Machiavelli’s vs. Plato’s Justification of Political Lies As we will see, claims of lying and deception and the desire to deceive and mislead seem to be linked to incorrect expectations, false beliefs, and self-delusion on both sides of the political and public […]
  • Machiavelli’s vs. Plato’s Ideas of Political Morality According to him, reconciling the gap between ideal and reality is necessary for the development of a political philosophy capable of guiding the Greeks in their quest for liberty.
  • Plato, Augustine and Descartes Views on Religion The decision to return to the cave to enlighten the rest of the prisoners is viewed by Plato as the work of philosophers in enlightening the rest of the population to know the truth.
  • Plato’s Concept of the State: The Philosophy of Justice Taking into consideration the fact that Plato was actually trying to create the image of the ideal state and show the means which in his understanding are the key issues to building up the society […]
  • Greek Philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle It is argued that the origin of philosophy as a discipline owes its origin to the contribution of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.”Socrates’ contribution to the love of wisdom was manifested by the belief that philosophy […]
  • Aspects of Justice in Plato’s Republic Or to put it the other way around: For the moneymaking, auxiliary, and guardian classes each to do its own work in the city is the opposite.
  • “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato As Plato was a disciple of Socrates and the source of much of the information we have regarding much of what this man had to say, Socrates’ concept of ethics is relevant to an understanding […]
  • “The Republic” by Plato Review The allegory of the cave illustrates the place of the form of the good at the top of Plato’s hierarchy. It addresses the images of education and governance.
  • Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates” Speech Analysis He also suggests that the speech could be the real account of the apology of Socrates based on the premise that the people in Athens at the time Plato had written the speech could have […]
  • Cameron’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and Plato’s “Symposium”: Comparison The plot of the story is unique, while the character of Hedwig and her life story emphasize the difficulties that people can go through.
  • How Plato and Epicurus Viewed Help for People In the Republic, Plato gives a detailed analysis of the “good” while Epicurus describes the notion of “good life” in his Letter to Monoeceus. The conversations between Glaucon and Socrates help the reader equate and […]
  • The Theme of Vocation in “Apology” by Plato Then if I do not think he is, I come to the assistance of the god and show him that he is not wise.
  • Plato’s Five Dialogues Importance for the Art of Philosophy Given that Socrates knows that Euthyphro is a good lawyer, he asks him to explain to him so that he can know the whole truth about what is pious.
  • Plato’s Theory of Eros in Nussbaum’s Interpretation This is done so that in the end there is a way that the individual can be able to conquer or attain the trust of the other party.
  • Explaining “The Apology of Socrates“ by Plato He claimed that his wisdom was greater than that of other humans which means that the judges and the accusers did not possess any of it for he believed that they were invented people who […]
  • Socrates by Aristophanes and Plato In “The Apology” by Plato, the characterization of Socrates is tied to the fact that the setting of the book was Socrates’ execution.
  • Human Excellence From Nietzsche’s and Plato’s Perspectives According to Nietzsche, the highest kind of human excellence is the ability to be oneself and to make one’s own choices, as well as being self-content.
  • Plato’s “Republic”: Moderation and Justice In order to understand the relationship of justice and moderation both in a person and a polis, it is vital to assess Plato’s understanding of the soul.
  • Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium His speech has a somber tone and tells the fabled story of the beginning of love. Aristophanes creates the notion that the earliest humans were androgynous a combination of both male and female using his […]
  • The Work “Republic” by Plato: Arguments for Democracy The primary argument that democracy is worse than timarchy and oligarchy derives directly from the text of Republic, where Socrates agrees that only tyranny is worse than democracy.
  • Allegory of the Cave by Plato Among them is the existence of objective truth, which is independent of people’s opinions; the presence of constant deceptions that make a person stay away from this truth; and the need for qualitative changes to […]
  • The Article “Plato on Democracy and Expertise” by R. W. Sharples The central message permeating the writing is that the rigidity of truth on which the conceptual model of democracy is built is a problem since any system needs to acknowledge the malleability of the underlying […]
  • The Importance of Education in Plato’s Kallipolis This paper evaluates Plato’s Republic to show how the differentiation between justice and injustice, the worth of a successful beginning, and the exchange of knowledge through education contribute to creating the perfect Kallipolis.
  • Plato’s Theory of Musical Education Hertzler bestows perfection on utopia, arguing that it is “purged of the shortcomings, the wastes, and the confusion”. It is noteworthy that Sargent shares the opinion of Patrick and considers Hertzler not proper.
  • Plato’s, Aristotle’s, and Augustine’s Ideas Although the basis of the ideas of the four philosophers may be different regarding God, it is similar in terms of the creation of the world and, in my opinion, differs only in terminology and […]
  • Plato’s “Parable of the Cave”: The Socratic Method In conclusion, the allegory of the cave by Plato is a parable about knowledge, wisdom, and ignorance. The cave represents a world in which a person is placed initially, but by examining one’s life and […]
  • Plato’s Philosophy on Exposure to Education Plato establishes what education is worth for both the individual and the state in The Republic, emphasizing the crucial function of those who select the materials to educate the state’s future guardians.
  • Plato’s Account of Socrates’ Trial Though the described behavior might seem as unexpected and uncalled for, Socrates’s actions are justified by his decision to explore the nature of social justice and understand the citizens’ stance on their status and the […]
  • Concept of Piety in Plato’s “Euthyphro” Thus, the first answer to the question of piety shows that Euthyphro’s piety is what he is doing at the moment, that is, accusing his father of murder.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Works and Their Effects The first insight from these philosophical writings that shifted my viewpoint about this field was the distinctive role of the end goal and action in Plato’s and Aristotle’s works.
  • Eros in Plato’s Symposium Speeches Therefore, in most cases, the product of love, or Eros, is the fulfillment of the need for admiration. The role of self-love in Aristophanes’ speech is to inspire people to find lovers that connect to […]
  • Plato’s Theory of Forms and Personal Perception In his philosophical dialogues, the thinker divides the divine, unchangeable world of forms and the world of material, physical objects that was constantly changing and existed only as a shadow of the ideas.
  • The Gyges Mythology by Plato: Personal Review Over the decades, the intensification in the flow of information and automation of the communication domains provides an opportunity for anonymity.
  • Plato’s “Republic” and the Issues of Justice To oppose this, the philosopher offers a discussion to convince the opponents of the need for a passage for himself, receiving in response a symbolic phrase from the Polemarchus who says, “How can you convince […]
  • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Main Features of His Philosophy The sense of opposing the reality and the perceived in the Cave myth is epistemological and is tied to the replacement of reliance on sensory cognition with mental comprehension. The reality of the Cave is […]
  • The Freedom Concept in Plato’s “Republic” This situation shows that the concept of democracy and the freedom that correlates with it refers to a flawed narrative that liberty is the same as equality.
  • The State’s Role in “The Republic” by Plato Even being unaware of the three categories of people, the reader can learn that the state’s role is to function and create the conditions under which every person is able to exist. One of the […]
  • “Euthyphro” Philosophical Book by Plato The setting of the dialogue is near the Athenian courthouse where the two meet to discuss of the notions of holiness and piety.
  • Plato’s “Apology” Review In this quote, Socrates makes it clear to the audience that the accusation against him is based not on evidence but rather on the lack of understanding of philosophers by other people.
  • Understanding the Concept of ”Beauty” by Plato In his view, beauty is connected to the idea of forms. Plato would consider all three pieces of artwork, including The Creation of Adam, The Persistence of Memory, and Fountain, as an imitation.
  • Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” Analysis It would not be an exaggeration to state that Plato’s allegory of the cave only makes perfect sense if one views it in the light of the theory of forms.
  • Plato’s Concept of Education and Wisdom For the people in the cave, the only reality they are aware of is the shadows from the figures cast by the fire’s light.
  • Discussion Questions for Plato – The Allegory of the Cave Therefore, the inability of individuals to discover the truth and leave the cave makes them unable to choose between actual reality and the world that they falsely believe to be true.
  • Plato’s Views on Democracy Plato’s point of view appeared to me as a more appealing out of the two presented opinions on the best course for a political regime within a country.
  • Plato’s Justice and Injustice Theory The reading focuses only on the subjective benefits of a particular action and, in most cases, unjust actions that are dishonest towards others, but at the same time, favorable to oneself are more likely to […]
  • Euthyphro: Plato’s Notion of Justice in Stratified Societies As among humans, the disagreement between the gods is related to the line between the just and the unjust, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the evil.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Concepts of Political Theory In The Republic by Plato and The Politics by Aristotle, two unique originations of the state, equity, and political investment introduce themselves.
  • Philosophy of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle Logic as understood by Socrates was to some extent influenced by the Pythagoreans since he practiced the dialectic methods in investigating the objectivity and authority of the different propositions.
  • Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”: Personal Review The sun represents the realm of knowledge illustrated by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. I think that an individual has the power to shape their ideas and perspective of knowledge.
  • Examining Plato’s Ideas About the Universe Along with Socrates and Aristotle, Plato is one of the members of the Big Three that made a significant impact on the emergence and development of philosophy.
  • Plato’s “Euthyphro” The Euthyphro dilemma refers to the state Euthyphro found himself in after the conversation with Socrates, whereby it was difficult to decide whether God loves holiness because it is holy or whether holiness is holy […]
  • Plato’s “Method of Division” According to Plato, rhetoric is an art of philosophy that helps in controlling the minds of the crowd or any kind of meeting such as congregation.
  • Wisdom as Discussed in Plato’s Meno and Phaedo In addition, Socrates says that an action may be right and its quality determines whether it is an act of wisdom.
  • “Not Knowing”: Plato’s Cave and Descartes’s Meditations And it is not the way of “the sceptics, who doubt only for the sake of doubting”. And a redundancy of information also is a huge power, which confuses people to get the pure Knowledge.
  • Democracy Emergence in Ancient Greece and Why Plato Was Opposed to It The result of this war was the defeat of Athens by Sparta at the end of the fifth century which led to the overthrow of many democratic regimes.
  • Analysis of Socrates and Plato Theories One element of the Soul, the Nous, or reason, he maintained that has to try to order the irrational part of it by getting it to contribute in the Good.
  • Gaines’ “A Lesson Before Dying” and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” This situation resembles the one found in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave discourse whereby the prisoners fixedly stare at the wall.
  • Plates Forms and Its Association to Plato’s Cave The theory of forms of Plato portrays to us that abstract non-material forms have the highest kind of fundamental reality as compared to this material world that is known well to us by sensation.
  • Art Theory and Beauty in Plato’s The Symposium The Platonic dialogue in The Symposium epitomizes the progression that Diotima describes as pursuance of beauty in highly refined and generalized forms and each speech in the symposium takes the reader closer to the comprehension […]
  • Plato: Redefining Objectiveness in Life According to Kreiss, through the Allergy of the cave, the allergy is presented as the sense in which we reveal our world, yet it is actually not exactly that, rather, an intellectual approach can comprehensively […]
  • Twain’s “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” and Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” The judge goes to the extent of taking the boy’s father in his own home to help him reform his drinking problem. The father then decides to visit the house of the widow during which […]
  • Plato’s Meno: Philosophical Dialogue The discussion begins by Meno asking Socrates whether there is a definition of the word ‘Arete’ because he thinks that it cannot be taught in class because there is apparently no definition of the word.
  • Medieval Philosophy of Plato The description of the existence of universals in a domain that is devoid of time and space gives universals an extra-ordinary picture.
  • Plato’s Principles in Murray’s Book Real Education Having based the main propositions of his work on the categories of inherent abilities and education of Plato’s Philosophy, the contemporary American scientist adapted them to the present-day realities and used Plato’s ideas as axioms […]
  • Plato and Socrates: Differences in Personal Philosophy The question that enters my mind when I read the Republic is in regards to the fact that Plato considers education to be the defining act that separates those who do not know from those […]
  • Politics and Ethics in Plato’s Republic After the Peloponnesian war, he was convinced by his uncle to join the oligarchical rules of Athens but as an alternative, he joined his two brothers in becoming a student of Socrates.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Views on Oedipus People in the Oedipus play lived in the dark of the unknown meaning of the riddle; until Oedipus answered the riddle.
  • Plato, Aristotle and Socrates: Knowledge and Government It appears that Socrates believed in an intellectual aristocracy, where those who had more education and had proven themselves in sophistry the “Socratic method” of exchange and analysis of ideas as a path to all […]
  • Plato’s Republic: An Introduction Plato’s dialogues bring out the nature of justice in the society. The issue of guardian of the society is a major issue in the society.
  • Plato’s “Leaving the Cave” The author discusses positive and negative features of the individuals, describes the forms of government, and introduces the idea about the necessity of the education in order to create a perfect state with perfect people, […]
  • “Republic” by Plato: Social and Political Philosophy As well, the ruler will do his job in the best way if one does not abstract from one’s responsibilities.”Therefore, I suggest that we first consider the nature of justice and injustice as they appear […]
  • Eros in Plato’s Symposium and Sappho’s Poems The truth of love is to follow the way of love like philosophical way and see the soul behind the body, everlasting beauty of virtue, and idea behind the beauty of transient love.
  • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in “The Republic” They also are learning the things that I am learning and starting to see dimensions where before there were not any.
  • Plato’s “Meno”: On the Nature of Virtue In 95c, the author assumes that Sophists are also not qualified to teach virtue, due to the fact that one of the respected philosophers is quite critical about those who make some promises and believes […]
  • Answers to Questions From Plato’s Republic The framers had in mind the preservation of the public good, and not the promotion of private interest. The notation that the motivation to maintain a position of power can be destructive was addressed by […]
  • Plato’s and Socrates’s Views on the Immortality of the Soul Such wisdom is useless to a common man who is limited to materialism and lacks the wisdom to see his inner self-understanding that constitutes and provides the ground of Socratic rationalism in the sense of […]
  • Plato’s Descartes’ and Hume’s Philosophy Also, his philosophy conveys the importance and the beauty of the life of faith in the midst of a discouraging world.
  • “Apology” by Plato and the “Plea for Captain John Brown” by Thoreau The Apology by Plato is the account of Socrates’ defense in the court of law, while the Plea for Captain John Brown by Henry David Thoreau is the essay defending the captain who rebelled against […]
  • The Life of Plato and His Philosophy One of the founders of Greek ancient thought was Plato whose works became the handbooks of many modern philosophers and scientists.
  • Plato’s “Myth of the Cave”: Identification and Assignment of Symbols Of these, he would be able to study the things in the sky and the sky itself more easily at night, looking at the light of the stars and the moon, than during the day, […]
  • Philosophy Ideas Ascent: Plato’s and Socrates’s Ideas Their points of view help us to understand history better, the development of people’s thought and the changes which occur in people’s lives for passed times.”A Guided Tour of Five Works by Plato” by Christopher […]
  • Plato’s Parable of the Cave and Dennis Carlson In today’s terms, one might say he linked the operations of the germ to the entire system of the disease or the understanding of the student to the entire organization of the literate world.
  • Plato’s and Socrates’ Philosophical Views In the light of the current political or social system one can see that Plato’s comments about the involvement of the people in the public sector to destroy the republic is absolutely right.
  • Psychological Relevance of Plato’s Parable of the Cave The parable of the cave, the metaphor of the cave, terms describing the same topic commonly known as the Allegory of the cave.
  • Plato’s Metaphysical Ideas Validity By utilizing the Theory of Opposites, Socrates suggests that the existence of soul could not possibly end with the death of one’s body, because life and death actually derive out of each other: “Suppose we […]
  • “Apology of Socrates” by Plato: Socrates’ Defense He was accused of corrupting the minds of the youths in Athens, creations of his deities, and not respecting the gods of the state.
  • “Socrates’s Apology” by Plato The point about his defense is that he wanted to stick to the speech he had prepared and it was planned and was well prepared.
  • Plato’s, Aristotle’s, Petrarch’s Views on Education To begin with, Plato believed that acquisition of knowledge was the way to being virtuous in life but he tended to differ with philosophers like Aristotle stating that education to be acquired from the natural […]
  • Classical Political Thought. Democracy in Plato’s Republic During Plato’s life, the democratic constitution set the seal on the work of the tyranny, for it ensured the exclusion of the large landowner from a predominating influence on politics, and it put effective power […]
  • The Teachings of Plato Socrates and Machiavelli In The Apology, Socrates stands before a jury of his peers accused of “committing an injustice, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument the […]
  • Socrates Figure: Based on “The Apology” by Plato This is evidenced within the text of the Apology as Socrates begins his defense of himself against the old enemies that have spoken falsely “telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the […]
  • Plato’s Forms and Its Association to Plato’s Cave It is important to note the importance of the term paradigm in analyzing a correlation or link between Plato’s Forms and the Allegory of the Cave.
  • Plato and Aristotle Thoughts on Politics Aristotle emphasized that the lawgiver and the politician occupied the constitution and the state wholly and defined a citizen as one who had the right to deliberate or participate in the matters of the judicial […]
  • Plato’s Republic: Perspectives on Politics No doubt to avoid engendering such reactions in their first experiences with Plato, Rice has sought to minimize the buzz of controversy virtually to the point of elimination from view and to focus instead on […]
  • Logic and Insight in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” The world outside the cave is the logical place; which is reachable to logic but not to insight; the voyage outside of the cave into daylight of the world is the soul’s inclination to the […]
  • Life Purpose and Substance in Plato’s Philosophy Maybe she was right, but life is not going the way we want it to; in contrary we are bound ourselves to the circle of life by the stress of existence.
  • Theory of Justice According to Plato The next task is to find the existence and nature of justice in this state. Plato adds to this that justice is “the principle of doing one’s own business”.
  • Aristotle’s “Knowing How” and Plato’s “Knowing That” The goal of Aristotle is knowledge in action and real knowing, which merge in the higher stratum of existence – the active mind.
  • Reasoning in Plato’s “Phaedo” Dialogue The author of this paper will outline all four of the philosopher’s lines of reasoning that a person’s soul is immortal while promoting the idea that it specifically the second one, concerned with one’s possession […]
  • Socrates’, Plato’s and Descartes’ Philosophical Ideas In my case, I have always had that striving to be right, get to the root of every problem, and understand the world’s phenomena.
  • Plato’s Gorgias Applied to the Pursuit of Power In the pursuit of power, I hold the view that the aim is more valuable than the method or the approach employed.
  • Justice and Ideal Society in Plato’s Republic Thrasymachus argues that the moral values in the society are a complete reflection of the interests of the ruling group and not the society as a whole.
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Philosophical Differences According to Plato, the functioning of every human being is closely linked to the entire society. Therefore, the major difference here is that for Plato, the function of every individual is to improve the entire […]
  • Plato’s Apology of Socrates He says that he is not a sophist or physicalist, he is not irreverent, and he does not corrupt the youth.
  • Vocation in Plato’s “Apology” and Dostoyevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” I will use the texts of Plato’s “Apology, the Trial and Death of Socrates” and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” in order to comprehensively analyze the theme and consider the questions of who I am, […]
  • Conflict in Hobbes’, Marx’s, Rousseau’s, Plato’s Works Therefore, conflict can be defined in terms of the struggle to get wealth and power that are usually the main issues that propel people to fight.
  • Puzzles in Plato’s Philosophical Work Therefore, to conclusively draw his philosophical views, it is paramount that we take what the characters say to represent Plato’s stance and view of the world.
  • Examined Life in Plato’s and Conners’ Works We should say that Platos Allegory of the Cave could be used to prove the importance of an examined life and the role a person living according to this principle might play in the community.
  • Plato’s Cave Analogy in “The Republic” The prisoners in the cave for example, refused to hear anything about the reality outside the cave, and got angry with the prisoner that had seen the reality.
  • Art and Media Censorship: Plato, Aristotle, and David Hume
  • Knowledge in Plato’s Dialogue and Pritchard’s View
  • Plato’s Eros in Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Plato Diner Restaurant’s Poor Management
  • The Cave Analogy in “The Republics” by Plato
  • Philosophical Exploration in Plato’s Book ‘The Republic’
  • Art Effects on Society: Plato and Nochlin Views
  • Political Philosophies: Plato and Hegel Conceptual Differences
  • Justice in Human Gene Transfer Therapy: Plato Views
  • Socrates in “Phaedrus” by Plato
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy: Socrates and Plato Comparison
  • “Meno” a Socratic Dialogue by Plato – Philosophy
  • Plato’s Allegory of the Cave – Philosophy
  • Plato Statements on the Best Moves in Life – Philosophy
  • Philosopher Plato and His ‘The Republic’
  • Aristotle and Plato: How Do They Differ?
  • Addressing Love in Plato’s “Symposium”
  • Philosophy Issues in “Euthyphro” by Plato
  • Thrasymachus Ideas in The Republic by Plato
  • “Crito” by Plato – Politics and Philosophy
  • Literature Studies: “Phaedo” by Plato
  • Musical Education and The Laws by Plato
  • Plato’s Thoughts About Education
  • “The Laws” by Plato
  • Views on Writing Style by Plato, Aristotle and Dante
  • Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and “You, Screws”
  • Plato and Nietzsche’s Approaches
  • Connections Between Plato’s Allegory of the Cave & Galileo Galilei’s Dialogue of Two Chief World System
  • Taxes, Capitalism, and Democracy: Karl Marx vs. Plato
  • “The last Days of Socrates” by Plato
  • Plato on Who Should Rule
  • “The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato
  • Parable of the Cave by Plato: The Way Towards Enlightenment
  • “Parable of the Cave” by Plato
  • Five Worlds of Plato’s Cave
  • Plato on Power and Republic
  • Essence of Happiness of Indira’s Life According to Plato’s and Aristotle’s Views on Education
  • Ancient Political Theory: Plato and Aristotle
  • Plato’s and Socrates’s Philosophy
  • Meno by Plato: Philosophical Ideas
  • Allegory of the Cave: Conception of Education in Plato’s The Republic
  • Justice and Leadership as Expressed by Plato and Ibn Khaldum
  • Plato’s Story of the Cave
  • Comparison Between Descartes’ and Plato’s Notion of “Not Knowing Is at Times Fruitful”.
  • Philosophy of Plato’s Ideal City
  • Justice as the Advantage of the Stronger: Thrasymachus’s Ideas (plato’s the republic) vs. Charles Darwin’s Principle of Natural Selection: a Comparison
  • Plato’s Visions of Beauty and Déjà Vu
  • The Republic by Plato
  • Education Concept in “Parable of the Cave” by Plato
  • The Truth and Reality in the “Parable of the Cave” by Plato
  • Plato and Descartes on Confusion or the Sense of Not Knowing
  • Plato’s Parable of the Cave
  • The Dangers of Dogmatism With Approaches Adopted by Martin Luther King Jr and Plato
  • Plato: Piety and Holiness in “Euthyphro”
  • Philosophical Concept of the Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”
  • What Is Your Evaluation of Plato’s Accounts on Human Nature?
  • Why Plato Thinks Philosophers Should Be Kings?
  • What Are the Four Arguments for the Immortality of the Human Soul by Plato?
  • What Are the Emotional and Intellectual Revelations in Plato’s Works?
  • How Humans Are Afraid of Change in Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”?
  • What Machiavelli Praised about Plato’s Republic?
  • How Can Plato’s Allegory of the Cave Be Read in Contemporary Social Environment?
  • What Are the Insights Into the World of Ignorance in Plato’s “Myth of the Cave”?
  • What Way Did Philosophy of Plato Influence Psychology?
  • What Is Plato’s Theory of Reality?
  • How Plato and Sophists Would View the World of “Brave New World” by Huxley?
  • Why Does Plato Considers Ordinary Human Existence to Thatos Chained Prisoners?
  • What Famous School Did Plato Found?
  • How Does Aristotle’s View of Politics Differ From That of Plato’s?
  • Which Definition of History Was Made by Plato?
  • How Does Plato Relate the Soul of Virtuous Individual to Ideal Republic in “Republic”?
  • How Does Plato’s Theory of the Psyche Relate to Modern Management Practice?
  • Why Thucydides and Plato View Democracy as the Worst Form of Government?
  • What Is the Explanation of the Virtues and the Normative Ethical Theory of Plato?
  • What Plato Thinks about God?
  • What Are the Attitudes Expressed Towards Democracy by Plato?
  • How Plato Reconciles the Opposition Between Parmenides and Heraclitus?
  • Where the Real Socrates’ Ideas Leave Off and Where Plato’s Own Ideas Begin?
  • What Did Plato Expect from Astronomy?
  • What Did Plato Say on Knowledge and Forms?
  • What Are Plato’s Views on the Individual’s Relationship to Society?
  • What Might Plato Say About Delacroix’s “Painting of a Bed”?
  • What Is the Relationship Btween Plato and the Mouth-Piece Theory?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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