IAS Exam has one of the optional subjects as Philosophy. It has two papers (I & II), each of 250 marks summing up to 500 for the paper. Duration for each paper is 3 hours. It is easy to crack this optional subject for those who have a keen interest in Philosophy. Below we have provided the UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus for IAS Mains 2021. Download the complete syllabus PDF from here.
UPSC Philosophy Syllabus – 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; Skepticism.
- 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 Mehod; 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.
- Carvaka: Theory of Knowledge; Rejection of Transcendent Entities.
- Jainism: Theory of Reality; Saptabhaòginaya; Bondage and Liberation.
- Schools of Buddhism: Pratîtyasamutpada; Ksanikavada, Nairatmyavada
- 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.
- Samkhya: Prakrti; Purusa; Causation; Liberation
- Yoga: Citta; Cittavrtti; Klesas; Samadhi; Kaivalya.
- Mimamsa: Theory of Knowledge
- Schools of Vedanta: Brahman; Îúvara; Atman; Jiva; Jagat; Maya; Avidya; Adhyasa; Moksa; Aprthaksiddhi; Pancavidhabheda
- Aurobindo: Evolution, Involution; Integral Yoga.
UPSC Philosophy Syllabus – 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 Punishment.
- Development and Social Progress.
- Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights; Empowerment.
- 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.
UPSC Philosophy Syllabus 2021 – Download PDF