There are two kinds of philosophy topic questions: one that is text based, and one that is problem focused. In text based questions, you need to consider a philosopher’s writing or literature about a certain topic. In the problem focused questions, you will be more directly addressing a philosophical issue without reference to any one philosopher’s texts. If your teacher has specified which one he or she wants you to do, then you have a head start. If you get to choose, then it might take some thinking and brainstorming to figure out what you want to do. Below there are quite a few good topics you can use. If you are doing a problem focused essay, pick any of these and run with it. If you need to do a text based paper, then use one of the ideas below to find a piece of literature and then stick to that particular writing for your references. The approaches are not so different that you could do either of them easily.
Here are some ways you can deal with text based questions. Look at the literature you are reading as one philosopher’s way of dealing with the issue he or she is discussing. That will be your topic, and in general, you are invited to engage with them, whether from a place of agreement or disagreement. If you were to sit down with this philosopher and have a chat, what would you talk about?
As far as problem focused questions go, you will need the aid of one or more texts in discussing the topic. You can have greater focus to your inquiry if you pick one or two pieces of writing to stick to for your references. You could even do a comparison of different philosophers’ ideas about the same problem, if they are similar or radically different.