Philosophy Syllabus

Philosophy Syllabus for UPSC

Philosophy Optional Subject has 2 papers (paper I and paper II) in UPSC Mains. Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. After one clears IAS Prelims, he/she has to sit for UPSC Mains which has 9 subjective papers.

Find below the IAS Philosophy syllabus:

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus (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 Idealism.

6. Moore, Russell and Early Wittgenstein : Defence of Commonsense; Refutation of Idealism; Logical Atomism; Logical Constructions; incomplete Symbols; Picture Theory of Meaning; Sying and Showing.

7. Logical Positivism : Verification Theory of Meaning; Rejection of Metaphysics; Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions.

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, Sarte, 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 Knowlegde; Rejection of Transcendent Entities.

13. Jainism : Theory of Reality; Saptabhanginaya; Bondage and Liberation.

14. Schools of Buddhism : Prat Ityasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada.

15. Nyaya—Vaiesesika : 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; Prakrit; Purusa; Causation; Liberation.

17. Yoga; Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya.

18. Mimamsa: Theory of Knowlegde.

19. Schools of Vedanta : Brahman; Isvara; Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avida; Adhyasa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda.

20. Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga.

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus (Paper-II)

Sodo-Political Philosophy

1. Social and Political Ideals : Equality, Justice, Liberty.

2. Sovereignty : Austin, Bodin, Laski, Kautilya.

3. Individual and State : Rights; Duties and Accountability.

4. Forms of Government : Monarchy; Theocracy and Democracy.

5. Political Ideologies: Anarchism; Marxism and Socialism.

6. Humanism; Secularism; Multi-culturalism.

7. Crime and Punishment : Corruption, Mass Violence, Genocide, Capital Punishment.

8. Development and Social Progress.

9. Gender Discrimination : Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights; Empowerment.

10. Caste Discrimination : Gandhi and Ambedkar.

Philosophy of Religion

1. Notions of God : Attributes; Relation to Man and the World. (Indian and Western).

2. Proofs for the Existence of God and their Critique (Indian and Western).

3. Problem of Evil.

4. Soul : Immortality; Rebirth and Liberation.

5. Reason, Revelation and Faith.

6. Religious Experience : Nature and Object (Indian and Western).

7. Religion without God.

8. Religion and Morality.

9. Religious Pluralism and the Problem of Absolute Truth.

10. Nature of Religious Language : Analogical and Symbolic; Cognitivist and Non-. cognitive.

Philosophy optional should be prepared thoroughly if one has chosen it for the UPSC Mains by studying the previous years’ papers and also going through relevant books on Philosophy for UPSC. IAS aspirants can integrate their preparation for Philosophy optional with preparation for General Studies in Mains as there is an overlap in the syllabus of both.