Philosophy Optional Syllabus – UPSC Mains

Philosophy Optional 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
Cârvâka Theory of Knowledge; Rejection of Transcendent Entities
Jainism Theory of Reality; Saptabhaòginaya; Bondage and Liberation
Schools of Buddhism Pratîtyasamutpâda; Ksanikavada, Nairâtmyavâda
Nyâya- Vaiúesika Theory of Categories; Theory of Appearance; Theory of Pramâna; Self, Liberation; God; Proofs for the Existence of God; Theory of Causation; Atomistic Theory of Creation
Sâmkhya Prakrti; Purusa; Causation; Liberation
Yoga Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya
Mimâmsâ Theory of Knowledge
Schools of Vedânta Brahman; Îúvara; Âtman; Jiva; Jagat; Mâyâ; Avidyâ; Adhyâsa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda
Aurobindo Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga


Click Here – Book For Philosophy Optional Paper – 1

Philosophy Optional 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.


Click Here – Book For Philosophy Optional Paper – 2

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