View Full Version : Philosophy brainstorm

03-18-2010, 05:20 PM
Not sure if anyone remembers a while back, but at one point I was almost ignorant enough to major in philosophy. Thank you to the guys that told me to - I interrupt this sentence to announce that there is a godawful Led Zeppelin cover band playing in the parking lot outside of my dorms right now. No good times, only bad. - stfu and pick something useful, which I did in accounting.

Right now I am taking Philosophy 1000, which focuses on Western Philosophy starting with the Greeks. My final is a 2500 word paper about any philosophical subject I choose, where I compare and contrast famous philosphers' views and draw my own conclusions about the subject.

I am thinking of doing morality, but I have a feeling the teacher gets about 100 papers every semester on morality because it is such a common subject among college students. I like to keep things fresh, so I am looking for something that would be easy to research, but that most people wouldn't think to write about.

Anyone have some good leads for a potential paper? I'm not asking you to do my homework for me, just to point me in some directions I might not have thought to look into.

Thanks in advance.

03-18-2010, 05:36 PM
I've found the subject of the development of rhetoric, Plato's opposition to it, its separation from philosophical matters, and its various incarnations throughout time and cultures to be interesting, and fairly fertile ground for that sort of thing, if it strikes your interest.

If you have access to it in a nearby library, I'd highly recommend checking out The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin. It's the second book in a trilogy about the development of civilization, and this one focuses more on the arts and culture through a huge range of topics. There are quite a few large chunks about philosophy that might help spark some inspiration for you. In addition, it and its prequel (The Discoverers) are incredibly good books, very readable, very informative, and well-balanced with a lot of interesting stuff. I'd highly recommend them for general reading, too.

03-18-2010, 06:07 PM
do Symposium and how it relates to today!

03-18-2010, 07:29 PM
I would do Plato's allegory of the cave, and compare Winston Churchill's "Democracy is the worst form of government, until you consider it's alternatives" to it. If your teacher's a philosopher and not just a teacher, he'll most likely love it. I know my psychology teacher loves to debate about that kind of stuff.

Just my 2 cents.

Boxy Brown
03-18-2010, 07:36 PM
Aesthetics. I doubt anyone writes about that. Consider Plato's symposium and republic, specifically the sections where he talks about art. Look at Kant, Plotinus and Augustine as well as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson and Burke. You can also take a look at Schiller and Schelling. Hume and Aristotle also talk about the subjective/objective nature of aesthetic judgment.

Good luck.

03-18-2010, 07:41 PM
I love physics philosophy so I would do Leibniz and Newton or Descartes (or someone else related). Though that's probably too overwhelming.

Another random idea, though I forget which philosophers are involved, is the continuity of the soul with references to sci-fi ideas like cloning/teleportation (teleport the matter, teleport the body's information and die then reconstruct with new matter, and reconstruct without dying (like cloning)). I remember reading philosophers discussing things about this and the soul, but don't remember how extensive the materials were... if they were enough for a paper. Wouldn't be terribly hard though if you found their discussions.

Boxy Brown
03-18-2010, 07:51 PM
The philosopher's stone!

Do it!

Random Havoc
03-19-2010, 10:08 AM
I have always been interested in how the Enlightenment changed philosophy. The transition from religious dogma to human reason as the primary mechanism to mold society, liberating the individual from the restraints of custom or arbitrary authority, all backed up by a world view increasingly validated by science rather than by God, religion, or simply tradition.

It had a powerful effect on philosophy and it would be interesting to compare and contrast the before and after of that seminal point of history.

03-19-2010, 05:12 PM
...so I am looking for something that would be easy to research, but that most people wouldn't think to write about.

Subject: What These Bitches Want From A Nigga?