Sample Material of UPSC Mains Philosophy (Optional) Study Kit
Topic: Western Philosophy (Philosophy)
The Term Philosophy is derived from Philosophy and Sophia i.e. love and
wisdom or knowledge respectively. It literally means ‘Lover of Wisdom’
Etymologically it is derived so.
Many thinkers have defined philosophy in their own individual way. But
basically Philosophy is the intellectual (rational, logical) enquiry of the life
and the universe (vision or holistic, constructive, evaluative neutral,
PURPOSE OF PHILOSOPHY
Fundamental elements behind the life and Unin & its creation and their aim or
PLOBMELS IN PHILO.
Two problems regarding these elements:
(1) How many fundamental elements (FE) are there? (Numbers)
(2) What is the nature of these FE? (Nature)
(1) Monoism – only single element behind life and universe. Propagated by
SPINOZA and SHANKARACHARYA They are called Monocist.
(2) Dualism – Two types of basic element Propagated by DESCARTE and SANKHYA and
MADHWUCHARYA (3) Pluralism many types of basic element propagated by LEIBNIZ and
(1) Materialism – emphasizing on the material elements (body and not soul)
behind life and universe KARL MARY and CHARYAKA (CARVAKA)
(2) Spiritualism – People emphasising on conscious elements behind life and
universe. LIEBNIZ and SHANKARACHARYA (3) Dualism – People emphasising equally on
both material and conscious SANKHYA and DESCARTES
Thus Philosophy is the study (co structure study) of the beginning and end of
life and universe (Traditionally)
- In many religions HEAVEN is the highest end of life.
- But in Philosophy LIBERATION is the highest end of life.
- But in Humanism HUMAN WELFARE is the highest end of life.
But in wo Vedanta i.e. practical and scientific explanation of Vendanta.
Supporters are Arvinda, Tagore , Radha Krishna
Philosophical study of religious aspect is called Philosophy of religion
(Philosophical enquiry) (Science is related with is Philosophy is related with
OUGNI TO BE)
Why to take Philosophy as an optional?
- Short syllabus
- Only 500 pages
- Conceptual (Without studying the entire syllabus you can’t answer any
single question. (All interlinked question) (2009 pattern).
- Helpful in essay (No of topics in the syllabus all related to the
subject matter of essay)
- Common portions of Paper I & Paper II
TECHNICAL TERMS IN PHILOSOPHY
(1) EPISTOMOLOGY: Theory of knowledge. It is an important branch of
philosophy where we discuss the source of knowledge validity of knowledge nature
of know limit know etc. and relation between knower and knowable.
(2) METAPHYSICS: an important branch of philosophy where we discuss the no. of
fundamental stuff (FS) (minimum dualism pluralism) nature of FE (materialism
fundamental element spiritualism dualism) In Metaphysics we generally discuss
GOD SOUL, SUBSTANCE REALITY MATTER, WORLD etc.
(3) RATIONALISM: is an epistemological theory according To which reason is the
only source of valid knowledge recognition supporters are DESCARTES SPINOZA and
(4) EMPIRICISM: an important epistemological theory according To which
experience is the only source of valid knowledge LOCKE BERKELEY and HUME.
Q: Plato’s recollection theory of knowledge.
(5) INDUCTION: When we find universal conclusion from particular premises. Eg.
Ram is mortal. Mohan is mortal. Therefore all men are mortal on this his proceed
from particular to universal (science) Particular – Universal
(6) DEDUCTION: When we find particular conclusion on the basis of universal
premises. All men are mortal Ram is a main Therefore Ram is mortal. When
premises provide conclusive evidence of the truthfulness of its conclusion it is
Universal – Particular
We can always create doubt on inductive conc. Elusion (Science) because of
uncertainly but deduction can never be doubt upon (Maths) because of certainly
(7) JUDGEMENT CAN BE OF 3 TYPES (KNOWLEDGE)
- Always false (242 =5) CONTRADICTION (Maths)
- Sometimes true sometimes false (Rose is red)
CONTINGENT (SCIENCE): Existence is always based on experience. Religious
statements cannot be put under any category eg. God is omniponent.
(8) SUBJECTIVE: It depends on our self subjectivity is directly related with
different reference. Subjective verification.
(9) OBJECTIVE: It depends on something outside objective is directly related
to uniformity objective (public) verification.
(10) CAUSAL THEORY: It accepts the theory that every fact must have a cause.
It is the foundation of scientific belief.
Anything which doesn’t have a cause is considered as a miracle by religious
(11) MATERIAL: Material cause is that through which effect is constituted.
(12) EFFICIENT: Efficient cause is that which creates effect with the help of
material cause. It sets in motion or provides harmony to material cause and
creates the effect.
Eg: In a pot Made by day. Cray is the material cause and pother is the
efficient cause Material cause is always eminent with the object Efficient cause
is always outside the object. Q: What do eminent and transcendent mean in the
context of God? (2003M)
Eg: In the context of world. If God is the material cause he is eminent in
the world (he is present everywhere). Problem will be there be no different
between right or wrongs good or evil etc. If Lord is the efficient cause he is
always outside the universe. Problem will be there will be no fruits of our
deeds all will be evil.
(13) SIMPLE: Parties, Indivisible, Eternal (eg. Soul) Immortal.
(14) SUBSTANCE: Independent existence (metaphysically and epistemologically
both) For eg. God has been accepted as substance.
(15) REALISM: Knowable (object) exists outside and independently from knower.
We find the knower of object as it is.
(16) IDEALISM: From epistemological point view idealism indicates that
knowable (object) doesn’t exist outside and independently from knower (ourself).
When we pricier any object we come across many ideas about that object which
(ideas) come out of our brains. Thus if there are no ideas there doesn’t exist
any object (Eg. Berkley).
Q: To be is to percieved said by Berkley Explain (2009 M) (existence)
(17) UNIVERSAL: Common and essential quality of a particular thing or group
Eg. Manners Cowness.
(18) INFINITE REGRESS
Q: God is the first reason of things (2006 M)
It means to go infinite in finite continuance.
No final or ultimate cause.
(19) LAW OF KARMA: Good deeds good fruits
It is the backbone (cornet stone) of Indian philosophy.
It is universally accepted fact by all the religion.
It is one of the proofs of existence of God.
(Religion says so but there are practical contradictions (The explanation of
the cause of rebirth will explain these contradictions clearly)
Law of karma is the practical explanation of causal theory in the field of
Rebirth: To take birth again & again- Indian religion. But in Sematic
religion (i.e. Islam, Christianity, Jenes) resuesection (One more life) is to be
believed to happen.
(20) BONDAGE- It means presence of sufferings in life and presence of cycle
of birth and death. Ignorance is the main cause of bondage.
(21) LIBERATION: Universally it is accepted that it is the absence of
sufferings and stoppage of the cycle of birth and death, when we get away from
ignorance and becomes aware then we are liberated. body is the accidental
quality of one soul)
CREATION THEORY AND EVOLUTION THEORY
Q: Analyse the technological arguments of the proof of existence of God
(2009 m) (30)
System – purpose – concious creator
(22) Creation theory says that God is the creator of the world (Religious
person), (God is like absence landlord)
(23) Evolution theory says that evolution is the reason behind the creation
of world. (Scientific Person)
(24) DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIAN AND WESTERN PHILOSOPHY
(25) IDEALS- These are whatever is should be they are the aims of anybody’s
life, which (ideals) differentiate between right and wrong. They are something
what we want to actualise. Figure
(26) EXISTENCE- Existence can be of two types. Mental and real. Everything
which has existence has some space and time and thus it is limited and changable