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UPSC - Syllabus - Philosophy

Main Examination Syllabus - Subject : Philosophy

Paper-I (History and Problems of Philosophy)


  • Plato : Theory of Ideas.
  • Aristotle : Form, Matter and causation.
  • Descartes : Cartesian Method and certain knowledge, God, Mind-Body Dualism.
  • Spinoza : Substance, Attributes and Modes, Pantheism; Bondage and Freedom.
  • Leibnitz : Monads; Theory of Perception God.
  • Locke : Theory of Knowledge, Rejection of Innate Ideas; substance and qualities.
  • Berkeley : Immaterialism, God, Criticism of representative Theory of Perception.
  • Hume : Theory of knowledge, Scepticism Self, Causality.
  • Kant : Distinctions between synthetic and analytic judgements and between aprion and aposteriori judgements, Space, Time Categories, Possibility of Synthetic Apriori Judgements, Ideas of Reason and Antinomics; Criticism of the Proofs for the Existence God.
  • Hegel : Dialectical Method, Absolute Idealism.
  • Precursors of Linguistic Analysis : Moore (Defence of common sense, Reputaion of idealism), Russell (Theory of Descriptions).
  • Logical Atomism : Atomic Facts, Atomic sentences, Logical Constructions and Incomplete Symbols (Rusell), Distinction of saying and showing (Wittgenstein)
  • Logical Positivism : Verification theory and rejection of Metaphysics, Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions.
  • Phenomenology : Husserl.
  • Existentiaslism : Kierkegaard, Sartre.
  • Quine : Radical empiricism.
  • Strawson : theory of person.


  • Carvaka : Theory Knowledge, Materialism.
  • Jainism : Theory of Reality, Saptabhangi Naya, Bondage and Liberation.
  • Buddhism : Pratityasamutpada, Ksanikavyds, Nairatmyavada, Schools of Buddhism, Sautrantika Theory of Pramana, Ideal of Bodhisattva.
  • Samkhya : Prakriti, Purusa, Theory of Causation, Liberation.
  • Naya-Vaisesika : Theory of Pramana, Self, Liberation, God and Proofs of Godís Existence, Categories, Theory of Causation, Atomistic theory of Creation.
  • Mimansa : Theory of Knowledge.
  • Vedanta : Schools of Vedanta Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva (Brahman, Isvara, atman, Jiva, Jagat, Maya, Avidya Adhyasa, Moksa).


Section-A (Socio-Political Philosophy)

  • Political Ideals : Equality, Justice, Liberty.
  • Sovereignty (Austin, Boidin, Laski, Kautilya).
  • Individual and State.
  • Democracy; Concept and forms.
  • Socialism and Marxism.
  • Humanism.
  • Secularism.
  • Theories of punishment.
  • Co-existence and violence; Sarvoday.
  • Gender-Equality.
  • Scientific Temper and Progress.
  • Philosophy of Ecology.

Section-B (Philosophy of Religion)

  • Notions of God : Personalistic, Imparsonalistic, Naturalistic.
  • Prooofs of the Existence of God and their criticisms.
  • Immortality of Soul.
  • Liberation.
  • Problem of Evil.
  • Religious Knowledge : Reason, Revelation and Mysticism.
  • Religion without God.
  • Religion and Morality.

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