Philosophy for High School: What Are the 4 Questions?

What are the 4 questions of philosophy? Here are some basics about Philosophy for high school.

Philosophy for high school

Philosophy for high school

When my kids were entering the homeschool high school years, I firmly believed that they should study SOME philosophy. I knew that philosophers kind of run the world (just from the back side). They teach ideas, are advisors, are in think tanks, write books that influence influencers.

If my homeschool high schoolers could understand some basics of philosophy, they might become solid thinkers and culture creators. We scraped together the first iteration of History and Philosophy of the Western World. (Then when my oldest son got his PhD in Philosophy, he did some wonderful rewrites of the text- so it is philosophical hot stuff now.)

Dr. Tillman author
Dr. Micah Tillman

But our local homeschoolers wanted more, so Micah wrote Philosophy in 4 Questions. The teens loved it and we’re sharing it with you now. (Click for an excerpt from the text.)

What are those 4 Questions in philosophy for high school?

  1. What is there?
  2. How do we know?
  3. What do we do about it?
  4. Why?

What is there? Philosophers call this “Ontology”? In the Ontological section of Philosophy in 4 Questions, homeschool high schoolers find out how great philosophers like Aquinas, Kant, and Kierkegaard explain God’s existence. (Try saying “Kierkegaard” 3 times fast… sorry, off topic.)

How do we know? Philosophers call this “Epistemology”. In the Epistemology Section of Philosophy in 4 Questions, homeschool high schoolers will learn about the ideas of Empiricism, Rationalism, and other ideas. This is also the section where students will learn about Phenomenology (which is Micah’s particular branch of Philosophy, and Dallas Willard’s specialty, for those of you who are Willard fans). Teens will gain critical thinking skills for evaluating ideas.

Philosophy in Four Questions


What do we do about it? Philosophers call this “Ethics”. In the Ethics section of Philosophy in 4 Questions, homeschool high schoolers will learn about Virtue theory (simply put, the philosophy of thinking and behaving in order to create goodness). They will also take a look at philosophies like Utilitarianism and Hedonism and learn ways to evaluate those thoughts.

Why? The last section in Philosophy in 4 Questions talks about Value Theory? What gives meaning to life and why? Why should we behave well? Why should we help build a better culture? Homeschool high schoolers will learn about the ideas of “God and Good” and compare them to ideas of Humanism, Nihilism, Environmentalism as they develop their thinking skills. Philosophy for high school in Philosophy in 4 Questions

Each section has a set of application questions. (“How can you apply what you’re learning?”) At the end of Philosophy in 4 Questions is a guide for writing a short paper to consolidate learning. (Answer key is provided separately.)

Philosophy in 4 Questions covers heavy topics in a fun, light-hearted manner that teens love.

Download yours today.

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Philosophy for high school

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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