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UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Philosophy PDF Download

Paper - I

History and Problems of Philosophy

  • Plato and Aristotle: Ideas; Substance; Form and Matter; Causation; Actuality and Potentiality. 
  • Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz): Cartesian Method and Certain Knowledge; Substance; God; Mind-Body Dualism; Determinism and Freedom. 
  • Empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume): Theory of Knowledge; Substance and Qualities; Self and God; Scepticism. 
  • Kant: Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments; Space and Time; Categories; Ideas of Reason; Antinomies; Critique of Proofs for the Existence of God 
  • Hegel: Dialectical Method; Absolute Idealism 
  • Moore, Russell and Early Wittgenstein: Defence of Commonsense; Refutation of Idealism; Logical Atomism; Logical Constructions; Incomplete Symbols; Picture Theory of Meaning; Saying and Showing. 
  • Logical Positivism: Verification Theory of Meaning; Rejection of Metaphysics; Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions. 
  • Later Wittgenstein: Meaning and Use; Language- games; Critique of Private Language. 
  • Phenomenology (Husserl): Method; Theory of Essences; Avoidance of Psychologism. 
  • Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger): Existence and Essence; Choice, Responsibility and Authentic Existence; Being-in-the –world and Temporality. 
  • Quine and Strawson: Critique of Empiricism; Theory of Basic Particulars and Persons. 
  • Carvaka: Theory of Knowledge; Rejection of Transcendent Entities. 
  • Jainism: Theory of Reality; Saptabhaòginaya; Bondage and Liberation. 
  • Schools of Buddhism: Pratîtyasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada 
  • Nyaya- Vaiúesika: Theory of Categories; Theory of Appearance; Theory of Pramana; Self, Liberation; God; Proofs for the Existence of God; Theory of Causation; Atomistic Theory of Creation. 
  • Samkhya: Prakrti; Purusa; Causation; Liberation 
  • Yoga: Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya. 
  • Mimamsa: Theory of Knowledge 
  • Schools of Vedanta: Brahman; Îúvara; Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avidya; Adhyasa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda 
  • Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga.

Paper - II

Socio-Political Philosophy

  • Social and Political Ideals: Equality, Justice, Liberty.
  • Sovereignty: Austin, Bodin, Laski, Kautilya.
  • Individual and State: Rights; Duties and Accountability
  • Forms of Government: Monarchy; Theocracy and Democracy.
  • Political Ideologies: Anarchism; Marxism and Socialism
  • Humanism; Secularism; Multiculturalism.
  • Crime and Punishment: Corruption, Mass Violence, Genocide, Capital Punishment.
  • Development and Social Progress.
  • Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights; Empowernment.
  • Caste Discrimination: Gandhi and Ambedkar

Philosophy of Religion

  • Notions of God: Attributes; Relation to Man and the World. (Indian and Western).
  • Proofs for the Existence of God and their Critique (Indian and Western).
  • Problem of Evil.
  • Soul: Immortality; Rebirth and Liberation.
  • Reason, Revelation and Faith.
  • Religious Experience: Nature and Object (Indian and Western).
  • Religion without God.
  • Religion and Morality.
  • Religious Pluralism and the Problem of Absolute Truth.
  • Nature of Religious Language: Analogical and Symbolic; Cognitivist and Noncognitive.
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FAQs on UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Philosophy

1. What is the syllabus for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy?
Ans. The syllabus for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy includes topics such as Indian Philosophy, Western Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ethics, and Social and Political Philosophy. It covers various philosophical theories, thinkers, and their contributions in these areas.
2. How many papers are there in the UPSC optional subject Philosophy?
Ans. There are two papers in the UPSC optional subject Philosophy. Paper I focuses on Indian Philosophy and Western Philosophy, while Paper II covers Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ethics, and Social and Political Philosophy.
3. What are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the UPSC optional subject Philosophy?
Ans. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the UPSC optional subject Philosophy may include topics such as the nature of knowledge, the concept of reality, morality and ethics, social and political philosophy, and the relationship between faith and reason. These questions aim to test the candidate's understanding of philosophical concepts and their ability to critically analyze and evaluate arguments.
4. How can I prepare for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy?
Ans. To prepare for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy, candidates should start by thoroughly studying the syllabus and understanding the key concepts and theories. They should also read and analyze the works of important philosophers and thinkers in both Indian and Western Philosophy. Regular practice of answer writing and solving previous years' question papers is also essential to enhance their analytical and writing skills.
5. Are there any recommended books or study materials for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy?
Ans. Yes, there are several recommended books and study materials for the UPSC optional subject Philosophy. Some popular choices include "A Critical History of Western Philosophy" by Y. Masih, "Indian Philosophy" by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, "An Introduction to Indian Philosophy" by S. N. Dasgupta, and "Ethics" by G. E. Moore. It is also advisable to refer to UPSC recommended books and study materials provided by reputable coaching institutes for a comprehensive preparation.
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