IB Philosophy Extended Essay Topics

Philosophy Extended Essay Topics

As an IB tutor with a profound appreciation for the nuanced realms of thought and reasoning, I am delighted to present a selection of thought-provoking topics for your Philosophy Extended Essay.

This collection is carefully curated to span the rich landscape of philosophical inquiry, offering students a pathway to explore topics that range from the existential questions of human existence to the logical frameworks of argumentation, and the ethical dilemmas of modern society.

List of IB Philosophy EE Topics

In my experience guiding students, I’ve seen how a thoughtfully chosen topic is more than an academic task; it’s a platform for students to engage deeply with the critical questions that have captivated thinkers for centuries.

This exploration is an invitation for students to craft a comprehensive and insightful narrative, showcasing their ability to dissect complex philosophical theories and articulate their reflections with depth and clarity.

1. Ethics and Morality

  1. Utilitarianism vs. Deontological Ethics: How do utilitarian and deontological ethical frameworks differ in their approach to human rights?
  2. The Ethics of Euthanasia: Is euthanasia morally justifiable under utilitarian principles?
  3. Virtue Ethics in Modern Society: How relevant is Aristotle’s concept of virtue ethics in contemporary society?
  4. Moral Implications of Artificial Intelligence: What are the ethical considerations of AI decision-making in healthcare?
  5. Environmental Ethics and Responsibility: How do environmental ethics influence our responsibility towards climate change?
  6. Ethical Consumerism: Is ethical consumerism an effective way to promote moral responsibility in corporations?
  7. The Morality of Capital Punishment: Can capital punishment be morally justified in a modern legal system?
  8. Ethics in Genetic Engineering: What are the ethical implications of genetic engineering in humans?
  9. Animal Rights and Ethical Treatment: How should ethical theories inform our treatment of animals in industries?
  10. The Ethics of War and Peace: What ethical principles should govern the conduct of war and conflict resolution?

2. Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness

  1. Dualism vs. Physicalism: How do dualism and physicalism explain the mind-body problem?
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness: Can artificial intelligence ever achieve a state of consciousness?
  3. The Nature of Self-Identity: How is self-identity formed and maintained?
  4. Free Will and Determinism: Is free will compatible with determinism?
  5. The Philosophy of Dreams: What do dreams reveal about the nature of consciousness?
  6. Memory and Personal Identity: How does memory contribute to the concept of personal identity?
  7. The Problem of Other Minds: How can we know that other minds, apart from our own, exist?
  8. Perception and Reality: How do our perceptions shape our understanding of reality?
  9. Consciousness and the Brain: What is the relationship between consciousness and brain activity?
  10. Philosophy of Emotions: How do emotions influence rational decision-making?

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3. Metaphysics and Epistemology

  1. The Concept of Time: How do different philosophical theories conceptualize time?
  2. The Nature of Reality: What is the fundamental nature of reality according to metaphysical idealism?
  3. Knowledge vs. Belief: What distinguishes knowledge from belief?
  4. The Theory of Forms by Plato: How does Plato’s theory of forms contribute to our understanding of reality?
  5. Existentialism and the Meaning of Life: How does existentialism address the question of life’s meaning?
  6. The Limits of Human Understanding: What are the limits of human understanding and knowledge?
  7. Causality and the Laws of Nature: How do philosophers understand causality in the natural world?
  8. Skepticism and Certainty: Is absolute certainty possible in human knowledge?
  9. The Philosophy of Language: How does language shape our understanding of reality?
  10. Reality and Simulation: Could we be living in a simulated reality, and what are the philosophical implications?

4. Social and Political Philosophy

  1. Justice and Fairness in Society: What is the most just way to distribute resources in society?
  2. The Social Contract Theory: How relevant is Rousseau’s social contract theory today?
  3. Liberty and Authority: What is the proper balance between individual liberty and state authority?
  4. Feminist Philosophy: How does feminist philosophy challenge traditional views of gender?
  5. Marxism and Class Struggle: How does Marxism explain the dynamics of class struggle in modern capitalism?
  6. Philosophy of Human Rights: What philosophical arguments underpin the concept of universal human rights?
  7. Multiculturalism and Cultural Relativism: How should societies approach the challenges of multiculturalism?
  8. Democracy and Its Critiques: What are the philosophical critiques of modern democratic systems?
  9. Philosophy of Law: How do philosophical principles apply to the interpretation and creation of laws?
  10. Global Justice and Ethics: How should global justice be pursued in an unequal world?

5. Philosophy of Religion

  1. The Existence of God: What are the major philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God?
  2. Religion and Morality: Does morality depend on religion, or can it be independent?
  3. The Problem of Evil: How do philosophers reconcile the existence of evil with an omnipotent, benevolent deity?
  4. Faith vs. Reason: What is the role of faith and reason in religious belief?
  5. Eastern vs. Western Religious Philosophies: How do Eastern and Western religious philosophies differ in their approach to spirituality?
  6. The Concept of the Soul: What are the different philosophical views on the existence and nature of the soul?
  7. Religious Pluralism: How can different religious truths coexist in a pluralistic society?
  8. Mysticism and Rationality: How does mysticism fit into the framework of rational philosophical inquiry?
  9. The Philosophy of Buddhism: What are the key philosophical teachings of Buddhism and their implications?
  10. Secularism and Religion in Society: How should secular societies approach the role of religion in public life?


As we bring this exploration of Philosophy Extended Essay topics to a close, I hope these suggestions have stimulated your intellectual curiosity and philosophical exploration. The journey of composing a Philosophy Extended Essay is an intricate tapestry of in-depth research, rigorous analysis, and a thoughtful synthesis of ideas.

As you sharpen your topic and advance your philosophical inquiry, consider this as your opportunity to contribute a unique perspective to the rich tradition of philosophical scholarship.

Your essay is your arena to demonstrate your dedication, your analytic depth, and your capacity to weave complex ideas into a coherent and insightful narrative.

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