Introduction to Philosophy class term paper topics

Many freshmen are likely taking Introduction to Philosophy this semester. Here are some good research paper topics.

There are many good topics to cover on philosophy. (Credit: University of Chicago)

There are many good topics to cover on philosophy. (Credit: University of Chicago)

For your term paper you can write about unethical advertisements aimed at children, the philosophy of economic globalization, global human rights and the philosophy of climate change.

Unethical marketing of food to children

A pertinent topic is the rising obesity rate among children. A good research paper topic for your philosophy class is to discuss marketing tactics that get children to eat unhealthy fast food and snacks. In the article, “The Unethical Practices of Food Advertisements Targeted at Children: A Parental Viewpoint,” in the IUP Journal of Marketing Management published May 2012, author Garima Malik remarks how food advertising to children has considerable lack of responsibility or conscience. Advertisers are pushing calorie-dense, but nutrient-deficient food on children at a time when the World Health Organization reports that by 2015, 2.3 billion people in the world (or one-third the population) will be overweight. Statistically, children who are overweight become adults with health problems.

The philosophical debate arises when food producers and advertisers say they have a right to make a legal product and then market it to consumers. Yet nutritionists and sociologists say that advertising of junk food that’s high in fat, sugar and salt to children undermines the message of a healthy diet, and misinforms children on knowledge of food nutrition, purchasing behavior and consumption control. Malik commented: “Although it is the personal responsibility of consumers to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, government regulatory bodies, NGOs and the consumer forums also have a significant role to play in this regard.”

The philosophy of climate change

The planet’s climate is being altered and the scientists aren’t the only ones debating what to do about it. Philosophers are weighing in, asking questions like: What problems are we leaving to future generations to fix? Is it fair to force some populations and not others to make radical adjustments to adapt to climate change? Why is climate change such a divisive issue?

On the University of British Columbia website, the Faculty of Science department posted the article, “True, False, or Not Sure? Philosophy of Science in the 21st Century” May 25, 2010. They said in relation to climate change, “Taking action that proves ultimately not to be necessary would likely be much less costly than not taking necessary action. Reducing our footprint on this planet is in all probability a good idea even if the climate proved to be stable. … And no-one, not even the scientists, are disinterested, because we have nowhere else to go and children born now will have to live in the last decades of this century.”

Globalization and human rights

What responsibility does globalization have on the issue of human rights? In the 1980s, Russian professor Alexander N. Chumakov was one of the first to study the philosophy of globalization. Chumakov asserted that “the economic and political development of Western civilization led to globalization that, in turn, gave rise to global problems of modernity in the second half of the 20th century,” wrote William C. Gay in Philosophy of Globalization: Selected Articles, 2010. Considering the global issue of human rights, Gay added: “Chumakov maintains that morality and common law can become the main social regulators. … Human rights are values of primary importance. However, given the pervasiveness and complexity of global interdependence, he stresses that human rights should be defined more precisely and complemented by specification of adequate responsibilities.”

For more information, check out Questia’s library on Introduction to Philosophy. 

What are some other modern philosophical topics that would make good research paper topics?

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