UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus: Download Latest Syllabus PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : May 25th, 2022

The UPSC philosophy syllabus is focused on the topics, and problems related to the evolution and history of philosophy, and its influence on the culture of India. Philosophy is a popular optional subject as a chunk of it overlaps with other general studies and essay papers. In addition, the UPSC philosophy syllabus is static in nature so the candidates don’t have to prepare for the current affairs section for this subject. Furthermore, the UPSC philosophy optional syllabus is concise and resources are easily available for preparation.

However, the candidates must have a strong grip over the UPSC philosophy syllabus so they can come up with an effective preparation strategy and score big in this paper. Let’s explore the detailed UPSC philosophy optional syllabus below.

Table of Content

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus Overview

The topics included in the UPSC philosophy optional syllabus should be prepared thoroughly by studying previous year’s UPSC question papers and reading from relevant books. The candidates can also integrate their preparation for both the UPSC philosophy syllabus and the General studies of UPSC mains as there are some common topics between them. Check out the UPSC philosophy syllabus for both paper 1 and paper 2 below, and shape your preparation accordingly.

There will be two papers in the UPSC philosophy syllabus, Paper 1, and Paper 2. Each paper will be of 250 marks, and a total of 500 marks. Those who want to clear all three stages of the UPSC exam must take this paper seriously, and a large portion of their success depends on it.

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus 

Topics

UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus Paper 1

History and Problems of Philosophy

UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus Paper 2

  • Socio-Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion

Download UPSC Philosophy Syllabus PDF

Candidates can download the UPSC philosophy syllabus from the link given below, and take a printout of it to ensure every topic is covered properly. 

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus Paper 1

Paper 1 of the UPSC philosophy syllabus focuses on the history and problems of philosophy which is divided into subtopics. UPSC Philosophy Syllabus for paper 1 include topics related to thinkers such as Plato, Kant, etc.

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC Philosophy Syllabus Paper 2

Two major topics included in the UPSC philosophy syllabus are socio-political philosophy, and philosophy of religion

Socio Political Philosophy UPSC Syllabus

This is a part of paper 2 of IAS Philosophy optional. 

  • 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

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus- Preparation Tips

The UPSC philosophy syllabus is divided into four parts namely Indian Philosophy, Western Philosophy, Religious Philosophy, and Social-Political Philosophy. We have prepared a preparation strategy for each part.

  • Indian Philosophy and Western Philosophy- Both these topics are included in paper 1 of the UPSC philosophy syllabus. Following good books, and online resources would be helpful while preparing for this topic.
  • Social-political philosophy and religious philosophy- for preparing these topics, candidates need to refer to the Hindu editorials, and articles from monthly magazines. 
  • Practicing answer writing, and preparing notes for this subject would be a good addition to the preparation.
  • Refer to the answer of toppers and get a point of view of how the answers should be constructed.

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus- Books

Apart from strategic preparation, following good books is highly essential. Some of the highly recommended books to cover the UPSC philosophy syllabus are:

  • An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satishchandra Chatterjee
  • Contemporary Indian Philosophy by Basant Kumar Lal
  • An Introduction to Political Theory by O.P. Gauba
  • Philosophy of Religion by John H Hick
  • A Critical History of Western Philosophy: Greek, Medieval and Modern by Yakub Masih
  • A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy by Chandradhar Sharma

 

List of UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus
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UPSC Anthropology SyllabusUPSC Botany Syllabus
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UPSC Commerce and Accountancy SyllabusUPSC Economics Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering SyllabusUPSC English Literature Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Geology Syllabus
UPSC Hindi Literature SyllabusUPSC History Syllabus
UPSC Law SyllabusUPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Maths Optional SyllabusUPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Medical Science SyllabusUPSC CSAT Syllabus
UPSC Physics SyllabusUPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus
UPSC Psychology SyllabusUPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Science and Technology SyllabusUPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
UPSC Statistics SyllabusUPSC Zoology Syllabus

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UPSC Philosophy Optional Syllabus FAQs

  •  The UPSC philosophy optional syllabus has two papers namely paper 1 and paper 2. Paper 1 focuses on the History and Problems of Philosophy, while paper 2 talks about Socio-Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion

  • There is a chunk of the UPSC philosophy syllabus can be found in the UPSC mains syllabus for paper 4 (ethics). This is one of the reasons why it is one of the popular optional subjects for the UPSC exam

     

  • Candidates can download the UPSC philosophy syllabus from the official website of UPSC in the form of a notification. The direct link to download the UPSC syllabus for philosophy in both English and Hindi is mentioned here.

  • Yes, it is possible to cover both the UPSC philosophy syllabus and UPSC prelims syllabus simultaneously. You must cover the UPS prelims syllabus along with the mains and then shift your focus to only prelims a few months before the exam

  • Some of the highly recommended books for covering paper 1 of UPSC Philosophy syllabus are

    • An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satishchandra Chatterjee
    • Contemporary Indian Philosophy by Basant Kumar Lal
    • A Critical History of Western Philosophy: Greek, Medieval and Modern by Yakub Masih
    • A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy by Chandradhar Sharma
  • The UPSC philosophy syllabus is shorter, As compared to other optional syllabi. Additionally, the syllabus is precisely defined, and that’s why it has become a popular choice among aspirants.

  • Yes, with the right approach, guidance, and plan you will be able to cover the UPSC philosophy syllabus. Every year many candidates take optional that is completely irrelevant to their background and still score well in it.

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