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WHAT IS philosophy of questions

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The philosophy of questions examines questions and questioning from all angles, using a philosophical lens. Fundamental questions in this field include:


  • What is a question.

  • Why do we ask questions.

  • What makes a question good or bad.


The philosophy of questions asks these questions and many more. Simply put, it is the philosophical study of questions.

Given how familiar and ubiquitous questions are, it is surprising to find that the philosophical study of questions is relatively new. Few philosophers throughout history have asked what a question is, and fewer still have wondered or theorised about the value or significance of questions in our lives. This is one reason why the philosophy of questions is an especially exciting field of study. 

Why study questions

Right now, we live in an answer-oriented world - a world that is dominated by the search for answers. Answers to everyday questions, which we find at our fingertips with astonishing speed, and answers to our greatest social, political and scientific questions. 


There is nothing wrong with answers. But we also need to pay attention to the questions. Because, if we don't ask good questions, we will end up with answers that we don't need or want. An answer-oriented world will get us nowhere, if we don't start by asking the right questions.  

Questions matter not only because they get us answers but because they determine the answers that we get. 

Many people understand this, but few take it seriously enough to spend time thinking about the questions we are already asking, and reaching for new ones. The philosophy of questions aims to do this. It aims to move us, just a little, towards a more question-oriented world.

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