List of 120 Philosophy Essay Topics and Questions For Students

While the majority of university students may assume that choosing a philosophy essay topic is easy, it does not work well in practice. Depending on what philosophy school you would like to choose, you should think of a list that must be brainstormed. Therefore, our philosophy essay topics below are meant to keep you inspired and help you see practical examples that can serve as a starting point. You will also learn how to write an excellent philosophy essay and how to tell a good topic from a poor one. When you have a good idea to start with, you will already overcome the challenges of finding a good topic.

Writing Philosophy Essay: Definition & Tips

Before you start with philosophy paper topics, ensure that you know the basics of essay writing. Begin with essay structure to academic features, take time to study your grading rubric and ask questions when something is unclear. Here is what you must consider:

  • Ensure that you envision your philosophy essay’s topic by narrowing things down.
  • Create an outline by choosing various key arguments.
  • Read various literature dealing with the things that interest you.
  • Focus on your weaknesses by looking up terms and facts.
  • Choose your research methodology: persuasive, argumentative, explanatory, etc.
  • Create a bibliography to support chosen ideas with reliable sources.

Your philosophy research paper topics structure should follow these aspects:

  • Compose a strong thesis statement.
  • Use your key arguments as the body paragraph topic sentences.
  • Add a hook sentence to your introduction part.
  • Provide evidence for each idea that is not yours.
  • Present your ideas with the help of bridging words.
  • Add counter-argument ideas if it is necessary to support your point.

Tips on Writing Philosophy Essay

  1. Explain a philosophical concept.
  2. Provide real-life examples to help your audience understand complex aspects.
  3. Compare theories by seeking contrasts.
  4. Structure your philosophical ideas from easy to complex.
  5. Provide personal analysis to support each argument.

Once again, always provide due evidence if you are using any external ideas!

What are some Philosophy topics?

Some topics may deal with the nature of human existence, the things we know, the definition of concepts, and moral ethics. It is also possible to choose case study examples by turning to the works of Socrates, Plato, or more modern philosophers like John McDowell.

40 Philosophy Essay Topics

We shall start with not so difficult Philosophy ideas that will deal with the general subjects related to this challenging field of science. While Philosophy is about thinking and analysis, your research writing should not be vague or unclear. Read your chosen topics aloud, change the wording, and see whether you can support some paradigm with good sources and explanatory analysis.

  1. Philosophy of love in Buddhism.
  2. Personality formation and environmental science.
  3. Can happiness be approached without a social group?
  4. A definition of true friendship on social media.
  5. A unique personality trait: a comparison between the 90s and the present times.
  6. What drives us to obey the rules?
  7. When is it applicable to violate the law?
  8. How does payment affect satisfaction based on what a person does?
  9. Social media and success philosophy.
  10. Are we born with racial prejudice?
  11. Western VS Eastern moral values.
  12. The role of the family in the modern marriage and philosophy of heritage.
  13. Why do we have a bullying problem? Loneliness or struggling with violence.
  14. Determination of character: what makes human beings social in 2021.
  15. Love and affection: do we learn from it?
  16. Why do people participate in volunteering?
  17. Emotional aspect in legislation.
  18. The changes in perception of the body image.
  19. Creativity vs knowledge and natural skills.
  20. The sources of determinism.
  21. Do we truly have a right to free speech?
  22. The role of animal instincts by K. Lorenz.
  23. The challenges of free will.
  24. What guides us to choose ethical decisions?
  25. A genetic aspect of moral perception.
  26. Spiritual medical practices.
  27. What does bring sense to human life?
  28. A definition of harmony.
  29. Why an ideal world cannot exist.
  30. Relativity: pros and cons.
  31. The philosophy of Apartheid.
  32. How do we gain initial knowledge: an experience or constant processing of information?
  33. Why do people start wars?
  34. The phenomenon of eternity.
  35. Should people be provided with self-governance in legal aspects?
  36. The role of digital platforms and their negative effect on human philosophy.
  37. What forces children to lie?
  38. The philosophy of Marxism.
  39. The role of imagination in futuristic beliefs.
  40. Are moral choices objective?

Remember that you can always narrow things down to what fits your essay!

Easy Philosophy Paper Topics

These easy Philosophy essay topics should provide you with a basic idea before we proceed with more complex ideas:

  1. The definition of anger.
  2. Why is love often associated with jealousy?
  3. The phenomenon of first love.
  4. Why do our perceptions of friendship change as we become mature?
  5. Politics vs moral values.
  6. Our perception of disabled people.
  7. The origins of racial prejudice.
  8. Voluntarism: the personalities.
  9. The pros and cons of socialism.
  10. Is religious education necessary?

Argumentative Philosophy Essay Topics

They are meant for clear arguments where you make a stand with an aim to defend what you believe in or bring up arguments to discuss things with your fellow students. Here are some ideas:

  1. What philosophy drives people to participate in gambling?
  2. The philosophy of feminine fashion and the way how it affects the macho concept.
  3. The pros and cons of competition in sports: a philosophical outlook.
  4. Being mean to younger siblings is a form of nurturing.
  5. Is restriction a way of creating a forbidden fruit?
  6. The causes of religious wars.
  7. The philosophy of Nihilism is a way to perdition.
  8. Idealism is hard to achieve in real life.
  9. Utilitarianism has roots in violence and social rejection.
  10. A scientific approach to religion.

Practical Philosophical Topics For Essays

If you can apply a school of philosophy or some subject in practice, take a look at these Philosophy essay ideas:

  1. The role of Twitter in political processes.
  2. The Black Lives Matter social movement philosophy.
  3. How can a person remain objective with the plethora of information we process today?
  4. The definition of truth online.
  5. Why are people afraid of changes in the times of technology?
  6. The philosophy of peaceful protests.
  7. The anti-vaccination philosophy.
  8. The definition of modern romance.
  9. An application of medieval philosophy in literature.
  10. The philosophy of eco-friendliness and the controversies.

Worldview Essay Topics

This section is dedicated to those subjects that reflect how a person sees the world. It brings up philosophy essay questions that sum up what a person beliefs in. For example:

  1. The origins of consumerism in American society.
  2. The role of the Grandparents in our outlook on life.
  3. Communism versus Capitalism.
  4. The role of Platonic realism.
  5. Are we alone in the universe?
  6. An average perception of the world by the middle school child.
  7. The value of knowledge and reading of books.
  8. Feminism and idealism through the lens of behavioral science.
  9. The role of a cultural mindset and globalization.
  10. Future perspectives and technology.

Plato Essay Topics

It is hard to find another personality that would be as important for the field of Philosophy as Plato. Here are several philosophy topics for essays that deal with Plato’s beliefs and the timeless heritage. For example:

  1. A comparison of Plato's philosophy versus Christian metaphysics.
  2. The role of literary devices in Plato's philosophy.
  3. The similarities between Plato and Aristotle.
  4. The role of soul and analysis through the lens of eternity.
  5. Reason, emotion, and desire.
  6. Analysis of Plato's Theory of Forms.
  7. Plato's Republic: moral and subjective views.
  8. The central beliefs of Socrates vs Plato's analytical approach.
  9. An ideal world through the prism of Plato.
  10. Parable of the Cave as the reflection of modern-day life.

Enlightenment Essay Topics

This section explores interesting topics that relate to the period of Enlightenment. Here is the list to consider:

  1. The pros and cons of individualism.
  2. The role of reason and intellectual development in the late 17th century.
  3. The reflection of skepticism in the literature of the 18th century.
  4. The role of power in the Age of Enlightenment.
  5. How did political songs affect education?
  6. Understanding of the Universe.
  7. How did people approach happiness in the Age of Enlightenment?
  8. Freedom through the lens of love and prosperity.
  9. Voltaire and censorship.
  10. The access to information and the burned books.

Transcendentalism Essay Topics

In simple terms, Transcendentalism is a philosophy that came to be in the 19th century, aiming for self-sufficiency. The main belief states that people are originally good but are corrupted by society and the wrong teaching or negative examples. It is one of the most varied branches of philosophy as can be seen from the topics below:

  1. The role and effect of remote education for children.
  2. How did social protest change since the 1920s?
  3. The philosophy that impacted the elimination of slavery.
  4. Feminism and the lack of changes to women's rights.
  5. Is there such a thing as American Transcendentalism?
  6. The most famous Transcendentalists of the 21st century.
  7. Henry David Thoreau: how do his ideas apply to 2021's state of things?
  8. How do people in different cultures perceive nurturing of children?
  9. The role of emotions on social media.
  10. The attitude to people with autism and other learning difficulties.

Philosophy Essay Questions

When you choose a good Philosophy essay topic, always ask yourself a question. Take a look at how it has been done below:

  1. Does religion change the way people approach science?
  2. Would people commit crimes if we did not have punishment?
  3. What are the main aspects of Stoicism?
  4. Do we learn based on the legacy provided by the family?
  5. Are single-family children more caring?
  6. Is there an end to technology's development?
  7. Is love only based on chemical reactions?
  8. What is the human link to Mother Nature?
  9. The world of cinema: objective vs subjective.
  10. What is our modern perception of anti-utopia and the link of technology?

How to Find Excellent Philosophy Essay Topics?

When you have a plethora of philosophy ideas, it is easy to get lost, which is why you should follow these simple Philosophy topic choice tips:

  • Find something that truly inspires you. If your topic does not motivate you, it will always show.
  • Choose a certain school of philosophy as your methodology.
  • Read on various philosophers and examine their famous works.
  • Narrow things down and change the wording.
  • Research similar works on the topic.

When you have already chosen something, read it aloud and try to think about keywords by writing them down in a list. Once done, connect your essay topic with the thesis statement.

What is a good topic for a philosophy paper?

One of the most popular topics in Philosophy today is whether people are born as good beings or we already come to this world with all the negative traits. While it is popular, you can narrow things down by focusing on criminals, youth gangs, or volunteers (as an example of the good ones).

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