The discipline of philosophy is very vast. There are several areas that can be explored by students willing to write an essay on a philosophy topic. Continental philosophy offers the possibility of engaging in speculative reflection about the nature of reality. Analytical philosophy is an excellent platform in order to understand the relationship between language and logic. Classical philosophy continues to have a great deal of influence in the manner in which the Western world thinks about human nature. Political philosophy allows us to know the best manner in which to tackle questions regarding the nature of government and society. Postmodern philosophy seeks to rebut some of the outdated assumptions of Enlightenment thinking. All of these strands are useful in order to further our knowledge of the world.
- Continental philosophy
- Analytical philosophy
- Classical philosophy
- Political philosophy
- Postmodern philosophy
Continental philosophy is a term that is used in order to differentiate the European tradition of German idealism, existentialism and phenomenology from the analytical tradition of the Anglo-Saxon world. Other important philosophical strands within Continental philosophy include post-structuralism, psychoanalytic theory and the tradition of the Frankfurt School. Continental philosophy claims that there is an objective reality that is beyond the subjective inclinations of the individual. A common theme that unite all the strands of Continental philosophy is that reality is best understood through reflection instead of meticulous empirical inquiry. This is an interesting area that can be further explored by students. Here are some titles that can used:
- Does Continental philosophy deal with the question of subjectivity?
- In which manner has the phenomenological concept of Dasein influenced the development of political philosophy in the twentieth century?
- What are the contributions of Kantian philosophy to the study of reason as an instrument to understand material reality?
- In which way have Nietzsche and Kierkegaard set the tone for the popularity of Existentialist philosophy in the twentieth century?
- What is the link between psychoanalytic philosophy and Marxism?
- What are the differences between the position advocated by the Frankfurt School and Marxism?
Analytical philosophy can be clearly contrasted to continental philosophy, in the sense that the focus is not making grandiose claims about the world. Analytical philosopher focus on the way in which language is used in philosophical inquiry. There is also a great deal of attention placed on ensuring that the arguments are outlined in a clear and rigorous manner. This philosophical approach is useful for finding out information about the way in which reality operates. These are a few topics that students can explore in essays and dissertations:
- In which way can formal logic enable us to identify the problems associated with the internal relations of philosophical arguments?
- What does Wittgenstein think about the role of language in the validity of philosophical argument?
- What is the role of logical positivism in the development of an empiricist account of knowledge?
- In which way has analytical philosophy influenced the development of a distributive notion of justice?
- What is the role of theory of special relativity in the notion of free will?
- In which way is language used as a metaphysical tool dealing with the issues of necessity and possibility?
One of the most significant aspects of classical or ancient philosophy is the development of the philosophical argument as a means to find out information about the nature of reality. The development of Greek and Roman philosophy spanned several centuries and it eventually influenced the rise of Christianity and medieval philosophy. Classical philosophy continues to have a significant impact on modern philosophy, as Greek and Roman philosophers ask some of the most significant questions concerning human nature. Here are some of the topics that students could explore:
- In which way can Stoic philosophy be used in order to deal with the question of adversity?
- What is Plato’s take on the nature of the soul?
- What can we learn about Aristotle’s views on the political community?
- In which way has Greek philosophy ushered in the rise of Christianity?
- What is the influence of Neoplatonism in Western philosophy?
- What are the contributions made by Roman philosophy to the study of government?
Political philosophy is a useful discipline for identifying the best way to manage the social spectrum. Political philosophy enables researchers to understand concepts such as democracy, freedom and justice. This strand of philosophy is also important for understanding questions concerning the legitimacy of the system of government and the most valuable manner in which to marry the concept of liberty and justice. These are a few potential topics that can be explored by students:
- What does Machiavelli think about the relationship between politics and morality?
- What are Augustine’s views about the difference between the City of God and the City of Man?
- What are the main implications of the Enlightenment period on the development of political philosophy?
- Can Kant be regarded as the father of modern political philosophy?
- Is Rawls’ distributive justice system a good way of marrying the principles of liberty and justice?
- In which way does post-structuralist thinking challenges the established views on political philosophy?
Postmodern philosophy arose in the latter part of the twentieth century as a response to established assumptions regarding the notion of identity, culture and history. Postmodernist thinkers deny the existence of objective knowledge and challenge the epistemic veracity of these established narratives and seek to overturn the grand narratives that have influenced the development of philosophical thinking. Here are a few topics that can be explored:
- What are the implications of Foucault’s concept of “governmentality”?
- What is the role of language in the creation of subjective reality according to postmodern philosophy?
- In which way does the configuration of metanarratives enable us to create a particular way of “knowing” the world?
- What are the main premises of Derrida’s deconstructionist philosophy?
- What is the link between idealism and postmodern philosophy?
- What is the predictive value of postmodern philosophy?