A great activity for everyone


By Jon Zajac

As someone who enjoys incorporating thoughtful icebreaker activities into events, I’ve found that Philosophy-themed “This or That” questions can be a great way to engage guests and stimulate meaningful conversation. By posing philosophical dilemmas and ethical quandaries, you can encourage your guests to reflect on their values, beliefs, and perspectives while also having fun.

How to incorporate Philosophy themed This or That questions

To incorporate Philosophy-themed “This or That” questions into your event, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a list of philosophical dilemmas or ethical quandaries that are relevant to the theme and goals of your event. You can find inspiration by researching different branches of philosophy, such as ethics, logic, metaphysics, or epistemology, and adapting them to a conversational format.

  2. Print out the questions on cards or display them on a screen or a poster board. Encourage your guests to form small groups of 3-5 people and take turns asking each other the questions. You can also create a rotation system where each group moves on to the next question after a set amount of time (e.g., 2-3 minutes).

  3. Make sure everyone has a chance to answer each question and listen actively to their responses. Encourage follow-up questions, comments, and discussions that build on the initial answers. You can also share your own insights and opinions about the questions to keep the conversation flowing.

  4. After everyone has had a chance to answer all the questions, gather your guests in a larger group and ask them to share their favorite or most surprising answers. You can also use this opportunity to highlight any commonalities or connections that emerged during the activity.

  5. Consider using some of the insights or stories that came up during the “This or That” icebreaker as a springboard for further conversations and activities throughout the day. For example, you could organize a debate based on one of the philosophical questions or create a workshop that explores related topics in more depth.

Ideas on different themes of questions

To keep your Philosophy-themed icebreaker questions diverse and engaging, you can explore different themes and categories that are relevant to philosophy. Here are some ideas:

  • Ethics: Ask questions related to moral dilemmas, ethical theories, and virtues (e.g., “What is more important in a person’s character: honesty or kindness?” or “Should we prioritize the needs of the individual or the community?”).

  • Logic: Ask questions that challenge your guests’ reasoning skills and critical thinking (e.g., “Is it ever possible to prove something beyond all doubt?” or “Are there any limits to human understanding and knowledge?”).

  • Metaphysics: Ask questions related to the nature of reality, existence, and consciousness (e.g., “What is the relationship between the mind and the body?” or “Is time an objective reality or a subjective construct?”).

  • Epistemology: Ask questions related to knowledge, truth, and belief (e.g., “Can we ever truly know anything with certainty?” or “How do we distinguish between opinion and fact?”).

  • Aesthetics: Ask questions related to beauty, art, and taste (e.g., “What is the role of art in society?” or “Is there an objective standard of beauty?”).

By incorporating these different themes of questions into your Philosophy-themed icebreaker activity, you can create a stimulating and engaging experience for your guests while also fostering a sense of curiosity and reflection. So why not give it a try and see how it can enhance your next event!

My favorite Philosophy themed This or That questions

  1. Existentialism or Stoicism?
  2. Kantianism or Utilitarianism?
  3. Epistemology or Ethics?
  4. Free Will or Determinism?
  5. Empiricism or Rationalism?
  6. Plato or Aristotle?
  7. Nihilism or Absurdism?
  8. Theism or Atheism?
  9. Relativism or Objectivism?
  10. Naturalism or Supernaturalism?
  11. Moral Realism or Moral Subjectivism?
  12. Deontology or Consequentialism?
  13. Humanism or Transhumanism?
  14. Taoism or Confucianism?
  15. Hedonism or Asceticism?
  16. Political Philosopher: John Locke or Thomas Hobbes?
  17. Solipsism or Social Constructivism?
  18. Phenomenology or Existential Phenomenology?
  19. Feminist Philosophy or Postcolonial Philosophy?
  20. Logical Positivism or Pragmatism?
  21. Free Speech or Hate Speech?
  22. Moral Responsibility or Moral Obligation?
  23. Aesthetics or Ontology?
  24. Hermeneutics or Semiotics?
  25. Critical Race Theory or Intersectionality?
  26. Husserl or Heidegger?
  27. Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius?
  28. Cognitivism or Non-Cognitivism?
  29. Fatalism or Compatiblism?
  30. Cultural Relativism or Universalism?
  31. Empathy or Compassion?
  32. Objective Reality or Subjective Reality?
  33. Intuitionism or Emotivism?
  34. Teleology or Deconstruction?
  35. Phenomenology or Structuralism?
  36. NOMA or Secularism?
  37. Epistemic Injustice or Testimonial Injustice?
  38. Pragmatism or Romanticism?
  39. Plato’s Forms or Aristotelian Substance?
  40. Postmodernism or Modernism?
  41. Kierkegaard or Nietzsche?
  42. Metaphysics or Epistemology?
  43. Reductionism or Holism?
  44. Idealism or Materialism?
  45. Rationalism or Irrationalism?
  46. Moral Absolutism or Moral Relativism?
  47. Deconstructivism or Constructivism?
  48. Categorical Imperative or Hypothetical Imperative?
  49. Moral Pluralism or Moral Objectivism?

About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.