UPSC » UPSC – Philosophy Syllabus

UPSC – Philosophy Syllabus


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. 
  1. Kant: Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments; Space and Time; Categories; Ideas of Reason;  Antinomies; Critique of Proofs for the Existence of God. 
  2. Hegel : Dialectical Method; Absolute Idealism. 
  3. Moore, Russell and Early Wittgenstein : Defence of Commonsense; Refutation of Idealism; Logical  Atomism; Logical Constructions; Incomplete Symbols; Picture Theory of Meaning; Sying and Showing. 
  4. Logical Positivism : Verification Theory of Meaning; Rejection of Metaphysics; Linguistic Theory of  Necessary Propositions. 
  5. Later Wittgenstein : Meaning and Use; Language-games; Critique of Private Language.
  6. Phenomenology (Husserl): Method; Theory of Essences; Avoidance of Psychologism. 
  7. Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sarte, Heidegger): Existence and Essence; Choice, Responsibility and  Authentic Existence; Being-in-the-world and Temporality. 
  8. Quine and Strawson : Critique of Empiricism; Theory of Basic Particulars and Persons.
  9. Carvaka : Theory of Knowlegde; Rejection of Transcendent Entities. 
  10. Jainism : Theory of Reality; Saptabhanginaya; Bondage and Liberation. 
  11. Schools of Buddhism : Prat Ityasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada. 
  12. 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. 
  13. Samkhya; Prakrit; Purusa; Causation; Liberation. 
  14. Yoga; Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya. 
  15. Mimamsa: Theory of Knowlegde. 
  16. Schools of Vedanta : Brahman; Isvara; Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avida; Adhyasa; Moksa;  Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda. 
  17. Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga. 


Socio-Political Philosophy 

  1. Social and Political ldeals : 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.