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Philosophy and Ethics Essay Topics

Here are some interesting philosophy paper topics and ethics essay topics for you. These topics are rather general and are not meant for students majoring in philosophy. Philosophy paper topics may be also created by choosing a theory or a philosopher and asking how justified its/his ideas are. Likewise, you may investigate any human practice from the viewpoint of how ethical it is, thus creating an ethics essay topic.  You can also take the historical perspective and claim that particular philosophical or ethical belief or conviction had rather positive or negative effect on its time.

1. Are people good or evil by nature?

2. Does free will exist? Should the notion of free will be reconsidered? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

3. Does the belief in God changes a person?

4. Is science compatible/incompatible with religion? (Consider creation and evolution in particular)

5. Argue for or against the utilitarianism.

6. Argue for or against psychological/ethical egoism.

7. Are morals relative to culture?

8. Do moral facts exist?

9. Should philosophers be invited to consider the future of development of technology?

10. Do moral rules enslave people? Can people violate moral rules to achieve a common good? Critically evaluate Machiavelli’s ideas.

11. What theory explaining the drivers of human behavior is the most convincing?

12. Is morality related to the level of education of a person?

13. The research shows people have inborn capacities, which largely determine educational attainment. Should this affect the educational system? Does this justify a class system?

14. Should genetic engineering humans be legal? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

15. Should euthanasia be legal?

16. Should abortion be legal?

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17. Can capital punishment be legal? Should a convict be allowed to decide whether to serve a life sentence or accept a death penalty?

18. Should personal use of drugs be legal?

19. Can mass surveillance be justified? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

20. Is cloning ethically permissible?

21. Is there a moral obligation to be honest?

22. Is it ethical to use drugs enhancing cognition? Is it compatible with the use of steroids in sports?

23. Can charity be considered a moral obligation? Should it be considered an obligation of the wealthy people?

24. Do developed countries have moral responsibility to address the issue of hunger in the world?

25. Do democratic states have moral right/moral obligation to overthrow/help overthrow dictatorship/eliminate oppression in some states?

26. Who should decide whether to place an elderly in the elderly center: an elderly person himself/herself, children, healthcare specialist?

27. Can a person be denied the place in the hall of fame, etc. for demonstrating low moral standards?

28. Should the wealthy countries assume responsibility for organ trafficking business in developing states? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

29. Should products manufactured with the use of child labor/in the conditions detrimental for people’s health bear a special notification?

30. Is there a moral duty to care for the environment? Should environment awareness be treated as a virtue?

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31. Is it ethical to have zoos and circuses?

32. Is it ethical to use animals’ fur and skin? Should fur industry be regulated/banned overall? Should free relationships be considered immoral?

33. Is it ethical to invest into operations for pets if people in the developing countries lack basic health care?

34. Is it ethical to use embryos in genetic engineering research? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

35. Is it ethical to produce “designer babies”? Review of credible sources on the topic. 

36. Should the state consider moral aspects of the policy when implementing it? What should overweight: morality or economic benefits?

37. Should people face legal responsibility for failing on the moral rules? (Consider if it is normal that people are punished for treason but not for cheating, what consequences the refusal to help can have).

38. Should patriotism be considered a virtue?

39. Should the violent and offensive content be removed from the Internet? Who should decide what content is offensive?

40. Has feminism as a movement achieved all its goals? Is there currently an equality between sexes?

41. The ethics of feminism. Consider both the equality and freedom issues and the traditional virtues of women. Is feminism somehow opposed to religion?

42. Should white Americans hold responsibility for the disadvantaged position of the black Americans?

43. Is ageism a real thing? How should it be tackled?

44. Are the existing policies adequately protecting people from discrimination?

45. Should hate speech in the Internet be censored? Should there be legal responsibility for hate speech?

46. Should the state be allowed to censor creative work of the artists: films, exhibitions, books, etc.?

47. What is the ethics behind Bitcoin: lower costs to end users or money laundering?

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