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UPSC Civil Services Main Examination Syllabus - Philosophy

History and Problems of Philosophy


1. Plato : Theory of Ideas.

2. Aristotle : Form, Matter and causation.

3. Descartes : Cartesian Method and certain knowledge, God, Mind-Body Dualism.

4. Spinoza : Substance, Attributes and Modes, Pantheism; Bondage and Freedom.

5. Leibnitz : Monads; Theory of Perception God.

6. Locke : Theory of Knowledge, Rejection of Innate Ideas; substance and qualities.

7. Berkeley : Immaterialism, God, Criticism of representative Theory of Perception.

8. Hume : Theory of knowledge, Scepticism Self, Causality.

9. 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.

10. Hegel : Dialectical Method, Absolute Idealism.

11. Precursors of Linguistic Analysis : Moore (Defence of common sense, Reputaion of idealism), Russell (Theory of Descriptions).

12. Logical Atomism : Atomic Facts, Atomic sentences, Logical Constructions and Incomplete Symbols (Rusell), Distinction of saying and showing (Wittgenstein)

13. Logical Positivism : Verification theory and rejection of Metaphysics, Linguistic Theory of Necessary Propositions.

14. Phenomenology : Husserl.

15. Existentiaslism : Kierkegaard, Sartre.

16. Quine : Radical empiricism.

17. Strawson : theory of person.


1. Carvaka : Theory Knowledge, Materialism.

2. Jainism : Theory of Reality, Saptabhangi Naya, Bondage and Liberation.

3. Buddhism : Pratityasamutpada, Ksanikavýds, Ñairãtmyavãda, Schools of Buddhism, Sautrantika Theory of Pramana, Ideal of Bodhisattva.

4. Samkhya : Prakriti, Purusa, Theory of Causation, Liberation.

5. Naya-Vãisesika : Theory of Pramãna, Self, Liberation, God and Proofs of God’s Existence, Categories, Theory of Causation, Atomistic theory of Creation.

6. Mimãnsã : Theory of Knowledge.

7. Vedãnta : Schools of Vedãntã Sankara, Rãmãnuja, Madhva (Brahman, Isvara, Ãtman, Jiva, Jagat, Mãyã, Avidyã Adhyãsã, Moksã).


Socio-Political Philosophy

1. Political Ideals : Equality, Justice, Liberty.

2. Sovereignty (Austin, Boidin, Laski, Kautilya).

3. Individual and State.

4. Democracy; Concept and forms.

5. Socialism and Marxism.

6. Humanism.

7. Secularism.

8. Theories of punishment.

9. Co-existence and violence; Sarvoday.

10. Gender-Equality.

11. Scientific Temper and Progress.

12. Philosophy of Ecology.


Philosophy of Religion

1. Notions of God : Personalistic, Imparsonalistic, Naturalistic.

2. Prooofs of the Existence of God and their criticisms.

3. Immortality of Soul.

4. Liberation.

5. Problem of Evil.

6. Religious Knowledge : Reason, Revelation and Mysticism.

7. Religion without God.

8. Religion and Morality.