How to Begin a Philosophy Paper: Topic Selection

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pick your philosophy paper topics rather than having to deal with the complex prompts suggested by your tutors. At the same time, to write a quality philosophy paper, you must carefully select a topic.

Because most philosophy essays are argumentative or persuasive, we recommend adhering to these topic selection guidelines.


Choosing the Best Philosophy Essay Topic

When selecting philosophy paper topics, the basic rule to follow is to evaluate your knowledge of a discussed problem and the number of available sources to work with.

Here are a few more hints to help you make the right decision:

  • Make a list of possibilities.

On a separate sheet of paper, jot down the best topic ideas you have to analyze. Examine them all and decide which ones you want to go into more detail on.

  • Examine class discussions and notes

During your classes, take notes. It is beneficial to select a topic related to what you are studying.

  • Choose a problem with two sides that you can see both sides of. 

Don’t be too narrow-minded: it’s up to you to choose a topic with two sides, just like a coin. It might be a good idea to discuss the opposite problem in a philosophy work. Examine the subject from various angles to build a stronger case while refuting the opposition.

  • Choose a topic on which you have an opinion. 

If you choose a topic you have no interest in; your argument will fall flat.

  • Create content that will persuade.

The paper should explain why the upcoming dispute is so important. Include some philosophical judgments to back up your point.


Philosophy Paper Topics

The suggestions above may not be enough to understand what a good title for a philosophy essay should sound like. We have provided a list of philosophy paper topics to assist students in making their selections.


5 Simple Philosophical Paper Topics

If you are a freshman and don’t know what topic to choose, we recommend looking at these easy to write philosophy paper topics.

  • The reasons why animals live on this planet
  • Missions that every man should complete in his life
  • Are men and women as different as the media portrays them to be?
  • The causes and consequences of living in a dream
  • What is it about blond hair that appeals to me?


5 Ideas for Political Philosophy Papers

Students are frequently required to cover political philosophy paper topics in a thoughtful piece of writing. These suggestions may be helpful:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of violent and nonviolent resistance/revolution
  • Socialism vs. Capitalism in terms of unplanned vs. planned economics
  • On the issue of property, Locke vs. Thoreau
  • Multicultural plurality vs. cultural unity
  • On Utilitarianism, Bentham vs. Mill

Don’t forget to consult your tutor once you’ve decided on a topic. Inquire whether the topic is appropriate for your upcoming philosophy essay. Now that you know how to choose a good topic, we can move on to the next stage of writing a good philosophy paper, creating a thesis statement.


Learn How to Write a Philosophy Paper Thesis.

If you’re wondering how to start a philosophy paper, consider developing a compelling thesis first. So, what exactly is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is a central argument that must be defended. In contrast to other essays, a philosophy paper frequently requires a student to analyze the distinguished author’s thesis. Let’s get started writing a thesis statement for a philosophy paper right away.

When writing a thesis statement, you can choose which strategy to use to support a philosopher’s claim:

  • Analyze the thesis statement
  • Make an argument to back up your thesis.
  • Provide an objection.
  • Defend the thesis against a complaint.
  • Consider the arguments for and against the principal claim.
  • Consider the various outcomes.
  • Determine whether or not another argument binds one to the thesis.
  • Determine whether multiple positions can be held while remaining consistent with the main argument.

The last few options are more complex than the first few, but they make the paper much more interesting to read. It is more difficult to object to one’s point of view than to defend it. A writer should find a defense against the criticism of other sides, look for specific reasons to reject another person’s theory, include numerous counter-examples, and work with credible data to object.

These are some considerations to bear in mind that will assist in bolstering the argument regardless of strategy:

  • Include examples from both sources and real-life;
  • Compare and contrast the central argument’s weak and strong points.
  • Make the thesis more credible by proposing alternative theories — demonstrate your objectivity.
  • Consider what would occur if the thesis were correct.
  • Determine whether some philosophers are committed to the argument based on their personal beliefs.
  • Proofread and edit the thesis several times to ensure that it is specific, narrow, concise, compelling, reasonable, and contains a hint about the remainder of the paper.


Some Words on Evidence

When writing a philosophy paper, having adequate evidence to back up your claim is critical to success. Even when they ignore empirical questions, philosophers always find something to argue about. On the one hand, the empirical evidence required to solve the problem may appear to be a non-empirical issue that philosophers investigate. On the other hand, philosophers spend a lot of time discussing how various arguments are logically interconnected. A reductio ad absurdum is a crucial tool to use when justifying your statement.


What Exactly Is Reductio ad Absurdum?

A reductio ad absurdum is an argument that demonstrates how different points of view cannot be held consistently with each other. It may also indicate that, while a few ideas are consistent with one another, they result in an implausible final claim when taken together. Reductio allows you to have specific reasons for disagreeing with at least one of the offered premises.


Another Way to Sort Arguments

Arguments for the philosophy paper can be classified in a variety of ways. The more common distinction is between deductive and non-deductive arguments.

A deductive argument insists on the truth of the conclusion if all of the premises are true. “They released 10,000 tickets for the Sweden Rock Festival,” for example. There will be no extra tickets, and the time for all users to purchase them online is limited. As a result, my chances of getting one access are one in 10,000.”

A non-deductive argument states that the conclusion has a high degree of probability. “All cats I’ve ever met in my life will love playing with humans,” for example. Buffy is a feline. As a result, Buffy will most likely enjoy playing with me.”


Checklist for Beginning a Philosophy Paper

  • Examine the classroom discussions and notes you’ve taken.
  • Make a list of possibilities.
  • Explain why disagreements are so significant.
  • Choose a topic on which you have an opinion and see both sides of the issue.
  • Select a central argument to defend and develop a thesis statement.
  • Find appropriate evidence to back up your claim.