Some question starters I’ve found helpful

Here are some phrases to get you started if you are interested in a particular subject but having trouble coming up with juicy questions to ask. For instance, if we just finished reading Harold and the Purple Crayon, and I wanted to get metaphysical, I might ask “Is it possible to create a new world using just words and pictures?” Of course, any question is then naturally followed up with why/why nothow, or how can we tell? Remember, in order to be a philosophical question, it has to be something that you can’t find the answer to in a book or an encyclopedia. Have fun!"What is reality?" "Is truth relative?"

Metaphysical (about reality)

  • “What is … ?”
  • “What is the difference between _____ and _____?”
  • “Is it possible that/to … ?”
  • “Is there anything bigger/smaller than _____?”
  • “How does ____ work?”
  • “When/where does _____ begin/end?”

Epistemological (about knowledge)

  • “How do we know that …. ?”
  • “Can we know that … ?”
  • “How can we tell if ….?”
  • “What would we know if we knew that ___ ?”
  • “Can everyone know … ?”
  • “How could we learn more about __ ?”

Ethical (about morality, right and wrong)

  • “Is it okay to … ?”
  • “Is _______ ever right?” Or, “Is _____ ever wrong?”
  • “Is _______ always right?” Or, “Is _____ always wrong?”
  • “What are our obligations to _____ ?”
  • “What is the best …?”
  • “What is the best way to …. ?”
  • “Should we … ?” or “Why should we … ?”
  • “Why is ___ a problem?”

Aesthetic (about beauty and taste)

  • “What is the most beautiful ___ ?”
  • “How can we tell if ___ is beautiful?”
  • “Is there a difference between beauty and __ ?”
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