UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus : Philosophy Optional
PAPER - I
History and Problems of Philosophy:
1. Plato and Aristotle: Ideas; Substance;
Form and Matter; Causation; Actuality and Potentiality.
2. Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz):
Cartesian Method and Certain Knowledge; Substance; God; Mind-Body
Dualism; Determinism and Freedom.
3. Empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume):
Theory of Knowledge; Substance and Qualities; Self and God; Scepticism.
4. Kant: Possibility of Synthetic a
priori Judgments; Space and Time; Categories; Ideas of Reason; Antinomies;
Critique of Proofs for the Existence of God
5. Hegel: Dialectical Method; Absolute
6. Moore, Russell and Early Wittgenstein:
Defence of Commonsense; Refutation of Idealism; Logical Atomism; Logical
Constructions; Incomplete Symbols; Picture Theory of Meaning; Saying and
7. Logical Positivism: Verification
Theory of Meaning; Rejection of Metaphysics; Linguistic Theory of Necessary
8. Later Wittgenstein: Meaning and Use;
Language- games; Critique of Private Language.
9. Phenomenology (Husserl): Method;
Theory of Essences; Avoidance of Psychologism.
10. Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger):
Existence and Essence; Choice, Responsibility and Authentic
Existence; Being-in-the –world and Temporality.
11. Quine and Strawson: Critique of
Empiricism; Theory of Basic Particulars and Persons.
12. Carvaka : Theory of Knowledge;
Rejection of Transcendent Entities.
13. Jainism: Theory of Reality;
Saptabhaòginaya; Bondage and Liberation.
14. Schools of Buddhism:
Pratîtyasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada
15. 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.
16. Samkhya: Prakrti; Purusa; Causation;
17. Yoga: Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas;
18. Mimamsa: Theory of Knowledge
19. Schools of Vedanta: Brahman; Îúvara;
Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avidya; Adhyasa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda
20. Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution;
PAPER – II
- 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
- Development and Social Progress.
- Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights;
- Caste Discrimination: Gandhi and Ambedkar
Philosophy of Religion:
- Notions of God: Attributes; Relation to Man and the World. (Indian and
- 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