Indian Civil Services Syllabus - Philosophy

Detailed Preliminary and Main exam Syllabus for Philosophy- Optional are:

Preliminary Examination Paper I-  Section-A

Problems of Philosophy
1. Substance and Attributes : Aristole, Descartes, Locke, Berkeleys criticism, Nyaya-Viasesika, Buddhist criticism of Pudgala.
2. God, Soul and the World : Thomas Acquinas, St. Augustine, Spinoza, Descartes, Nyaya-Vaisesika, Sankara, Ramanuja.
3. Universals : Realism and Nominalism (Plato, Aristotle, Berkeleys criticism of abstract ideas, Nyay-Vaisesika, Buddhism).


4. Bases of Knowledge : Pramanavada in Carvaka, Nyaya-Vaisesika, Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta.
5. Truth and Error : Correspondence Theory, Coherence theory, Pragmatic Theory; Khyativada (Anyathakhyati, Akhyati, Anivacaniyakhyati).
6. Matter and Mind : Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Berkerley.


Section-B- Logic
1. Truth and Validity
2. Classification of sentences : Traditional and Modern.
3. Syllogism : Figures and Moods; Rules of Syllogism (General and special) validation by Venn Diagrames; Formal Fallacies.
4. Sentential Calculus : Symbolisation; Truth-Functions and their interdefinability; Truth Tables; Formal Proof.

Section-C- Ethics

1. Statement of fact and statement of value.
2. Right and Good; Teleology and Deontology.
3. Psychological Hedonism.
4. Utilitarianism (Bentham; J.S. Mill).
5. Kantian Ethics.
6. Problem of the freedom of will.
7. Moral Judgements : Descriptivism, Prescriptivism, Emotivism.
8. Niskamakarma : Sthitaprajna.
9. Jaina Ethics
10. Four Noble Truths and Eight fold path in Buddhism.
11. Gandhian Ethics : Satya, Ahimsa, Ends and Means.

Mains- Paper-I- 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 of 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 of 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).

Paper-II- Section-‘A’

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.

Section-‘B’- 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.


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