Most philosophy begins with a question. I'm wondering why certain questions provoke more profound thoughts than others. What characteristics do good questions share with each other? How can we go about finding worthy problems to seek solving?
For example, questions of ontology have led to much stimulating thought: What exists? How did it come to be? What does it mean to be?
Questions about the nature of the universe have led to great advances in scientific thought: Does this phenomena happen every time? Under what conditions would this hold? Is this possible?
Socratic questioning has brought us to the depths of the human soul, enabling us to examine the complex nature of the human mind and glean otherwise elusive truths: What makes you say that? Could you explain further? But what about...?
In the perennial book How to Solve It, mathematician George Pólya, lays out a framework for solving problems by a series of progressively penetrating questions:
- What are you asked to find or show?
- Can you restate the problem in your own words?
- Can you think of a picture or a diagram that might help you understand the problem?
- Is there enough information to enable you to find a solution?
- Do you understand all the words used in stating the problem?
- Do you need to ask a question to get the answer?
This has helped me solve many a perplexing problem in the past.
There is Stackexchange itself, which is a cornucopia of useful thought provoking information all driven around the asking of questions.
And lastly, there is the all time favorite of children everywhere: Why?