answer writing strategy for philosophy, philosophy optional preparation strategy, importance of philosophy for UPSC, important books for philosophy, what is philosophy
Philosophy Preparation Strategy for UPSC CSE
Philosophy deals with the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
Philosophy is a combination of a static and dynamic subject. Some part of philosophy is static but some dynamic parts are also in philosophy. It is a famous subject for upsc case optional. Philosophy deals with the logical ability of a person. It can opt for students from any background.
So, our article will give you the details about philosophy and the preparation strategy for this subject.
So firstly we start with some benefits of choosing philosophy over other subjects.
- The first advantage is that philosophy has very short syllabus as compared other optional subjects.
- Candidates from any background can choose philosophy as their optional subject. You do not need a prior knowledge of the subject.
- The very relaxing benefit is philosophy does not include current affairs. So all the aspirants will have a relief from current affairs.
- This subject’s preparation does not need a lot of time, you can give only 2-3 months on this subject’s preparation.
- Mostly the papers of philosophy contain theory based questions. So it is an advantage for all the students who are good in writing.
- Studying philosophy will also help you in your Ethics paper.
- Studying philosophy will also help in Essay paper because many topics of this subjects will include the topics of essay-like democracy, secularism, corruption, religion etc.
Syllabus of Philosophy
The syllabus of Philosophy is divided into 4 sections:
This section includes different sections of philosophy like Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vedanta, Buddhism, Jainism etc.
This section includes Ancient Thinkers i.e. Plato & Aristotle, Modern i.e. rationalism, empiricism, Kant & Hegel and Contemporary i.e. Moore, logical positivism, quine, phenomenology etc.
Social Political Philosophy
This section includes social & political ideals, forms of government, humanism, individual & state, caste discrimination, development & social progress etc.
Philosophy of Religion
This section will have questions from notions of god, the problem of evil, religion, soul, revelation, nature of religious language, faith etc.
Strategy for Important Topics
- Identify the areas which are more scoring.
- Do read the past 5 years main examination question papers and find the most significant areas to focus.
- Go through the syllabus thoroughly and identify the areas which you are not familiar with.
- Try to practice writing answers before your exam day.
- Focus on Indian & Western Philosophy which includes theories like Patitya Samutpada. In Indian Philosophy the questions will be asked on substances, attributes and in Western Philosophy the questions will not be asked in a précised manner but include Thales to Sartre.
- Next focus on logic as philosophy tests your logical ability. In prelims, 30-35 questions were asked on logic. Questions will include quantification also which you can answer easily if you have already practiced.
- Philosophy also deals with ethics. It includes Indian & Western Ethics. Questions will be asked on Thales in Western Ethics.
Answer Writing Strategy
- You should start your introduction with some quotes or direct for long answers but always remember to give an introduction before you start writing on a specific topic. After the introduction, your general explanation will be followed by the correct & relevant definition.
- Then start explaining your answers. You should try to explain that topic in relation to other topics, it will make easy for a person to understand the topic. After linking your topic with some other things come back and focus on your topic.
- Try to draw as many diagrams as you can make. The chances of getting better score will be more if you will make more diagrams. Try to make a diagram for each question, so that the examiner will know that you have a knowledge about the topic.
- When you are ending your answer first try to conclude your points and the ending of your answer should be visionary. Your ending should include points related to the solution of that problem and in other words, end your answer with a positive thinking. If needed you can give examples also.
- Your answer should not be only in paragraphs or points, it should be a mixture of both. Start writing the paragraph and try to mention some points after each paragraph. You should write examples wherever possible, it will help people to relate it to the daily life and understand it better.
- When you are writing a short answer, don’t go for much content. Give the basic definition and some lines of the introduction of the topic and then start writing the core of your answer.
- To increase your writing ability, you should join some test series before the exam. This will give you an idea about the patterns of the questions asked in the exam and you can prepare yourself accordingly to it.
Books for Philosophy
We are going to mention some necessary or important books which will help you in your philosophy preparation. You can also buy the books online by clicking on the name of books.
A History of Philosophy by Frank Thilly
A Critical History of Western Philosophy by Y Masih
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by S Chatterjee
A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy by C Sharma
Social Political Philosophy
An Introduction to Political Theory by O P Gauba
Philosophy of Religion
Introduction to Religious Philosophy By Y Masih
Philosophy of Religion by John H. Hick
Questions Asked in Philosophy
- Discuss in the context of anarchy whether the freedom of an individual is consistent with the sovereignty of the state.
- Is caste discrimination a result of the superiority complex of a privileged class of the society or of religious rituals?
- Out of rights & duties, which one is prior to the other?
- Discuss the aspects of the fundamental distinction between democracy equality & the Marxian notion of equality.
- Critically evaluate whether the ideal of social progress gives a secondary significance to an individual’s freedom over his duties.
- Can you justify capital punishment for crimes like rape, murder & corruption?
- Does Marxism curb individual freedom in the name of protecting social justice?
- Is God necessary for religion?
- How do you define a non-theological concept of evil?
- Discuss whether the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is indispensable for a religion.
- Critically discuss the relationship of man with God in the yoga system of philosophy.
If you have any doubt or need guidance you can comment below, our team will try to answer it.