10 Critical Essay Topics on Philosophy
Philosophy is a science that investigates fundamental problems, such as truths of life, ideas, and principles of all things. You might notice that I say "science" and there is no misunderstanding. Historically, the study embraces any body of knowledge: from the time of Ancient Greek philosophers Aristotle up to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" covered physics, astronomy and even medicine and thus appears as a mixture of philosophical disciplines and history of philosophy. If you have decided to study Philosophy, most likely, you will start learning the continental philosophy of the ancient Greek and European philosophers, analytical philosophy, including logic, mathematics, and theoretical physics up to present times.
We can distinguish 4 stages of maturity in Philosophy as a science.
- The ancient era of the history of philosophy
- The new era of the history of philosophy (the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modern times)
- The latest era of the history of philosophy (German classical philosophy that preceded Hegel’s philosophy)
- Logical philosophy (Hegel's philosophy)
First and foremost, you need to understand in what area of philosophy you are interested. There are several directions Philosophy covers. In nutshell we can distinguish four main of them:
- Ontology - what exists and what doesn’t
- Epistemology - how to understand and cognize the world
- Ethics - what should I do and what I shouldn’t
- Aesthetics - what is beautiful and what is not
10 essay topics on Philosophy:
1. Destruction and loss of consciousness in Apology of Socrates
2. The Effects of ancient Philosophy on modern times
3. Analyzing Moral letters to Lucilius
4. Nature of Marcus Aurelius thoughts: Alone with myself
5. Tackling the Discourses of Epictetus
6. The impact of Schopenhauer’s Aphorisms of worldly wisdom
7. A guide to Sartre: Is Existentialism a Humanism?
8. Kant and Critique of Practical Reason
9. An inquiry into Fromm’s nature of Love
10. The opposition "individualism - collectivism” and its importance in cultures
Sample on Critical Essay: Apology by Plato
During the trial, Socrates denies that he is guilty, but the judges think otherwise. The judges asked Socrates to choose a punishment between a fine and exile. However, Socrates says that the most fitting punishment will be death penalty. He agrees to die rather than to roam in foreign lands, among alien and unfamiliar environment and people. He said that he would not feel the life in full if he had not wandered around and question people to find the answers. If he is not able to do it again, his life will not worth living, and he would rather die. Before his death, he made a speech in which he said about the immortality of the soul and his expectation about the afterlife reward.
Socrates does not fear death not only because he believed about life after death. He also claimed that a person, aspiring to the ideals, should not think of life or death. A person should act honestly as it befits an honest man. Whatever positions a man holds their must remain there in a moment of danger and do not to think about the death.
Rather than avoid death, Socrates thinks it is important to avoid unrighteousness. An immortal soul is exposed as the improvement and deterioration, depending on the earthly life of those to whom it goes to his eternal transmigration from this world into the next. The soul is immortal, and, therefore, inevitable human responsibility for their actions. Thus, it is essential to avoid an evil as it may promptly capture the sole.
According to Socrates, the death is a good thing firstly because it is a destruction and loss of consciousness. According to the other Socrates’ theory, death is a transition from earthly life to a higher level. If death is the total destruction of consciousness, it erases all the memory including fears, anxieties, and unsatisfied desires. The death is similar to a deep sleep without dreams. If death is the transition from this world to the other, people after death will be able to meet all holy men and their ancestors.
Plato, Apology, Translated by Benjamin Jowett