UPSC Philosophy Syllabus Demystified by Mitra IAS

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The UPSC Civil Services Examination is a prestigious and competitive journey that demands dedication and strategic preparation. Choosing the right optional subject is a crucial step in this journey. For many aspirants, “Philosophy” has emerged as a promising choice. In this blog, we will demystify the UPSC Philosophy syllabus, with guidance from Mitra IAS, to help you navigate this subject effectively.

Understanding the UPSC Philosophy Syllabus

The UPSC Philosophy syllabus is divided into two papers, each covering various themes and topics.

Paper I: Indian Philosophy

  1. Introduction: Nature and scope of philosophy, the relationship between philosophy and other disciplines.
  2. Anekantavada and Syadvada: The concept of Anekantavada and Syadvada in Jainism.
  3. Pratyaksha (Perception): Types of perception, Pramana (valid knowledge), the role of sense organs, and the nature of perception according to different Indian schools.
  4. Anumana (Inference): Types of inference, the Nyaya-Vaisheshika theory of inference, and other Indian theories.
  5. Upamana (Comparison) and Sabda (Verbal testimony): The nature and scope of Upamana and Sabda, the validity of verbal testimony, and its role in Indian philosophy.
  6. Abhava (Non-existence): The concept of Abhava, its types, and its significance in Indian philosophy.
  7. Pramanas: Examination of the Nyaya, Vaisheshika, and Buddhist views on perception, inference, comparison, and verbal testimony.
  8. Theory of Causation: Understanding causation in Nyaya-Vaisheshika and Buddhist philosophies.
  9. Self, Soul, and Liberation: The concepts of self (Atman), soul (Jiva), and moksha (liberation) in different Indian philosophies.
  10. Theory of Knowledge: Differences between the Indian schools regarding the nature and validity of knowledge.
  11. Proofs for the Existence of God: Arguments for the existence of God in Indian philosophy.

Paper II: Western Philosophy

  1. Renaissance: The Renaissance in Europe, its impact on Western philosophy, and key thinkers.
  2. Rise of Modern Science: The scientific revolution and its implications for philosophy.
  3. Empiricism: The empiricist tradition, with a focus on John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.
  4. Rationalism: The rationalist tradition, highlighting René Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.
  5. Idealism: The idealist tradition, with a special emphasis on the philosophy of Kant, Hegel, and Berkeley.
  6. Pragmatism: The development of pragmatism as a unique philosophical approach in America, particularly the works of Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.
  7. Existentialism: The existentialist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, covering thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.
  8. Phenomenology: The phenomenological approach to philosophy, focusing on the works of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.
  9. Logical Positivism: The rise and influence of logical positivism in the 20th century.
  10. The Later Wittgenstein: Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, focusing on language and meaning.

Demystifying the UPSC Philosophy Syllabus with Mitra IAS

Mitra IAS, with its experienced faculty and comprehensive study material, is here to demystify the UPSC Philosophy syllabus. Here’s how Mitra IAS can help you navigate the syllabus effectively:

Detailed Study Material: Mitra IAS provides meticulously curated study material, including books, notes, and online resources that cover all the topics in the UPSC Philosophy syllabus. This material is designed to provide a strong foundation for your preparation.

Expert Guidance: The faculty and mentors at Mitra IAS are experienced in the subject of Philosophy. They offer expert guidance, answer your queries, and provide valuable feedback on your answers. Their insights can significantly enhance your understanding of the syllabus.

Personalized Approach: Mitra IAS takes a personalized approach to your preparation. The mentors offer one-on-one guidance, addressing your specific doubts and needs. This tailored approach ensures that you receive the guidance and support you require.

Online Resources: In today’s digital age, Mitra IAS offers online resources such as webinars, discussion forums, and doubt-clearing sessions to cater to your diverse needs. These resources complement your preparation and keep you updated with the latest developments in the subject.

Proven Track Record: Mitra IAS has a proven track record of successful candidates who have secured top ranks in the UPSC examination with Philosophy as their optional subject. Their success stories attest to the effectiveness of Mitra IAS in guiding aspirants.


The UPSC Philosophy syllabus may seem extensive and complex at first glance, but with the guidance of Mitra IAS, it can be effectively demystified. Understanding the syllabus is the first step in your preparation journey. With dedicated study, expert guidance, and high-quality study material, you can master the topics and confidently tackle the UPSC Philosophy optional papers.


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