UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus- Syllabus: Paper 1 and Paper 2

UPSC Exam is one of the toughest exams, with a total of 48 subjects as optional subjects. It is essential to choose the optional subject wisely.  This is because the combined score of the optional subject is 500 marks out of 1750 marks in the UPSC Main Examination.  The optional subject should be the one which is of the candidate’s interest. Philosophy is one of the preferred optional subjects because of its importance, as well as it has a standard syllabus with other papers. UPSC Philosophy Optional has a plus point that its syllabus does not change much. The Philosophy Optional syllabus is short and has plenty of options to prepare from.

Philosophy Optional Syllabus

UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus: Paper 1

The Philosophy Optional Syllabus of Paper 1 is given below in detail:

History and Problems relating to Philosophy1. Determinism, freedom, and Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), Cartesian method and specific knowledge, God, Substance, Mind-Body dualism.
2. Plato and Aristotle: Ideas, substance, form, and matter, causation, actuality, and potentiality
3. Kant: Space and time, the possibility of synthetic prior judgments, categories, antinomies, ideas of reason, critique of proofs for the existence of God.
4. Empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume): Theory of knowledge, self, god, substance and qualities, scepticism.
5. Logical positivism: Verification principle, linguistic theory of necessary propositions, rejection of metaphysics.
6. Hegel: Dialectical method, absolute idealism.
7. Later Wittgenstein: Meaning and use, critique of private language, language games.
8. Moore, Russell, and early Wittgenstein: Refutation of idealism, defense of common sense, logical atomism, incomplete symbols, logical constructions, saying and showing, picture theory of meaning
9. Quine and Strawson: A critique of empiricism theory of basic particulars and persons.
10. Phenomenology (Husserl): Method, avoidance of psychologism, theory of essences.
11. Jainism: Bondage and liberation, theory of reality, Saptabhanginaya
12. Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Sarte, Heidegger): Being in the world and temporality, existence and essence, choice, responsibility, and authentic existence.
13. Carvaka: Theory of knowledge, rejection of transcendent entities.
14.Samkhya: Causation, prakrit, liberation, purusa.
15. Schools of Buddhism: Ksanikavada, Prat Ityasamutpada, Nairatmyavada.
16.Yoga: Samadhi, citta, klesas, kaivalya, cittavrtti.
17. Mimamsa: Theory of knowledge.
18. Nyaya-Vaiesesika: Theory of causation, theory of categories, proofs for the existence of god, theory of appearance, self, liberation, theory of pramana, God, atomistic theory of creation.
19. Aurobindo: Integral yoga, evolution, involution.
20. Schools of Vedanta: Jagat, Moksa, Brahman, Avida, Isvara, Maya, Jiva, Adhyasa, Pancavidhabheda, Aprthaksiddhi, Atman.

UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus: Paper 2

The Philosophy Optional Syllabus of Paper 2 is given below in detail:

Philosophy of religion1. Religion and Morality
2. Soul; Immortality, Rebirth, and Liberation.
3. Notions of God: Attributes, Relation to man and the world. (Indian and Western)
4. Problem of evil.
5. Reason, Revelation, and Faith.
6. Religion without god.
7. Proofs for the existence of god and their critique. (Indian and Western)
8. Religious Experience: Nature and Object(Indian and Western)
9. Nature of religious language: Analogical and symbolic, cognitivist and non-cognitive
10. Religious Pluralism and the Problem of Absolute Truth.
Socio-Political Philosophy1. Individual and state: Duties and accountability,  rights.
2. Social and political ideals: Justice, equality, and liberty.
3. Humanism, Secularism, multi culturalism.
4. Forms of Government: Monarchy, Theocracy, and democracy.
5. Caste discrimination: Ambedkar and Gandhi.
6. Development and social progress.
7. Crime and Punishment: Mass violence, corruption, capital punishment, genocide.
8. Political Ideologies: Anarchism, Marxism, and Socialism.
9. Sovereignty: Austin, Laski, Bodin, Kautilya.
10. Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Empowerment, land and property rights.

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Preparation Strategy for UPSC Maths Optional For UPSC Main Exam

UPSC Philosophy Optional has a plus point that its syllabus does not change much. The Philosophy Optional syllabus is concise, and also there are plenty of resources for its preparation. UPSC Philosophy optional syllabus is divided into four parts – Indian, Western, Socio-Political, and Religious Philosophy. Few things which will help you in the preparation are as follows-

  1. Social-political and Religious Philosophy- These two subjects are there in Paper II of the Philosophy Optional Exam. The candidates can read articles as well as Hindi Editorials from monthly magazines such as Kurukshetra and Yojana. Hindu editorials frequently include discussion of major philosophical issues.
  2. Indian and Western Philosophy- These two subjects are there in Paper I of the Philosophy Optional Exam. There will be a total of 8 questions, out of which five have to be attempted, along with two questions that would be compulsory from each of these sub-parts of the paper. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satishchandra Chatterjee can be used for studying Indian Philosophy. You can also study Yakub Masih’s A Critical History of Western Philosophy: Greek, Medieval, and Modern for Western Philosophy.
  3. Proper writing practice- Presentation is critical in the UPSC Answer writing. Thus, practice more and more by writing answers in the best presentation possible and get them checked from mentors.
  4. Refer to answer copies of toppers- Candidates can refer to the answer sheets of toppers to get an idea of how to write in the exam and practice along the same lines.
  5. Practice mock tests and past year papers- Practise more and more mock tests and past year exams to avoid making mistakes in the exams.

Conclusion

We hope, this article will have given you the required information regarding the UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus for both the Papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2, the topics covered in the syllabus, the preparation strategy for the UPSC Philosophy Optional. For any queries, you can contact us at Oliveboard.

FAQ’s

How many marks do the optional subject have in UPSC  Main Exam?

The optional Subject carries 500 out of 1750 marks in the UPSC Main Exam.

How many subjects are there in the list of optional subjects for a candidate to select from?

There are 48 subjects in the list of optional subjects from which a candidate has to choose the optional subject.

Which book can be used to study Indian Philosophy in the UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus?

An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satishchandra Chatterjee can be used for studying Indian Philosophy.

Which book can be used to study Western Philosophy in the UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus?

Yakub Masih’s A Critical History of Western Philosophy: Greek, Medieval, and Modern can be used for studying Western Philosophy.


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