GATE 2021 Exam Syllabus for Philosophy (XH-C4) 

Philosophy (XH-C4)

C4.1 Classical Indian Philosophy

C4.1.1 Orthodox Systems: Sānkhya- Puruṣa, Prakṛti, Guṇas, Satkāryavāda, Mokṣa (Kaivalya), Pramāṇas and Theory of Error, Yoga – Pramāṇas, Theory of Error, Iśvara, Citta, Kleśa, Aṣṭānga-yoga, Kaivalya (Mokṣa), Nyāya – Pramāṇas, Hetvābhāsa, Iśvara, Asatkāryavāda, Theory of Error, Navya-Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika – Parataḥprāmāṇya, Padārthas (categories), Theory of Atomism (paramāṇuvāda), Mīmāmsā – Dharma, Apūrva, Mokṣa, Pramāṇas (both in Kumārila and Prabhākara), Anyathākhyāti, and, Vedānta – Advaita (Adhyāsa, Brahman, Iśvara, Ātman, Jīva, Mokṣa, Viśiṣṭādvaita (Tattva-traya, Mokṣa, and Refutation of Māyāvāda), Dvaita, Dvaitādvaita, Śuddhādvaita, Pramāṇa in Advaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita.


C4.1.2 Heterodox Systems: Cārvāka – Pramāṇa, Indian marerislism and Hedonism, Jainism- Pramāṇas, Syādvāda, Anekāntavāda, Padārtha (categories), Jīva and Ajīva, Mokṣa, Mahāvrata, Aṇuvrata, and, Buddhism – Ti-piṭaka, Sarvāstivāda, Sautrāntika, Mādhyamika, Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda, Pañca-skandha, Anityavāda, Anātmavāda, Doctrine of Momentariness, Doctrine of Dependent Origination, Pramānas, Doctrine of Two Truths, Doctrine of Tri-kāya, Ṣaḍ-pāramitās, Brahmavihāras, Pāñcaśīla, and Bodhisattva Ideal, and Upāyakauśalya.


C4.1.3 Upaniṣads, Bhagavadgītā, and Dharmaśāstras: Philosophy of the Upaniṣads – Pure Monism, Brahmam and Ātman, Pañca-kośa, Parā-vidyā and Aparā-vidyā, Meaning of Dharma, Ṛta, Purusārtha, Śreyas and Preyas, Varṇāśrama-dharma, Dharma- Svadharma and Sādhāraṇa Dharma, Ṛna, Yajña, Karma-yoga, Sthitaprajña, Lokasaṃgraha, and Law of Karma.

C4.1.4 Kāṣmira Śaivism, Śaivasiddhānta, Vīra Śaivism, Śāktism and Vaiṣṇavism: Kāṣmīra Śaivism – Pratyābhijña school, Śiva and Śakti, and Conception of Kriyā, Śaivasiddhānta – God (pati) and Divine Power (śakti), Proofs for God’s Existence, Bondage and Liberation, Vīra Śaivism – Philosophical basis of Vīra Śaivism, Śāktism – Philosophical basis of Śāktism, and Vaiṣṇavism – Philosophical basis of Vaiṣṇavism.


C4.2 Contemporary Indian Philosophy

C4.2.1 Vivekananda: Notion of God, Freedom and Karma, Nature of Soul/self, Practical Vedanta, and Universal Religion. Aurobindo: World Process – Involution and Evolution, Four Theories of Existence, The Supermind, Integral Yoga, and Gnostic Being. Iqbal: Nature of Intuition, Nature of Self, and Notion of God. Tagore: Humanism and Nature of Man, Notion of Religion, and Nationalism. K. C. Bhattacharyya: Concept of Absolute and Its Alternative Forms, and Notion Subjectivity and Freedom. Radhakrishnan: Nature of Ultimate Reality, Religious Experience, Intellect and Intuition, Hindu View of Life. J. Krishnamurti: Notion of Freedom, Choiceless Awareness, Truth is a Pathless Land, and Notion of Education. Gandhi: Notion of Truth, Non-violence, Satyagraha, Swaraj, and Trusteeship. Ambedkar: Annihilation of Caste, Neo-Buddhism, Democracy, and Natural Rights and Law. M. N. Roy: Radical Humanism and Materialism.


C4.3 Classical and Modern Western Philosophy

C4.3.1 Metaphysics: Pre-Socratic Philosophy of Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenies, Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus. Metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle: The question of Being (to on/ousia): Being as Idea in Plato’s Phaedo, Republic and the Sophist, Being as synthesis of hyle [matter] and morphe [form] in Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Physics. Problem of evil and existence of God in St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas Aquinas Metaphysics in Modern Philosophy: Substance, Mind-Body Dualism, Attribute, Parallelism, Pre-established harmony, the existence of God, Problem of Solipsism, Self and Personal Identity, Rejection of Metaphysics, Phenomena and Noumena, Transcendental Deduction of Categories, Being and Becoming, Absolute Idealism


C4.3.2 Epistemology: Plato and Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge, Doxa, Episteme, and Sophia, Method of Dialectics, Theoretical and Practical Reason, Theory of Causation, Descarte’s Method of Doubt, cogito ergo sum, Innate Ideas and its refutation, Principle of Non- contradiction, Sufficient Reason, and Identity of Indiscernible, Locke’s Three Grades of Knowledge, Berkeley’s Critique of Abstract Ideas, Hume’s Impressions and Ideas, Induction and Causality, Kant’s Copernican Revolution, Forms of Sensibility, Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments. Hegel’s Dialectics, Spirit, and Absolute Idealism.


C4.3.3 Ethics: Concepts of Good, Right, Justice, Duty, Obligation, Cardinal Virtues, Eudaemonism; Intuition as explained in Teleological and Deontological Theories; Egoism, Altruism, Universalism, Subjectivism, Cultural Relativism, Super-naturalism, Ethical realism and Intuitionism, Kant’s moral theory, Postulates of Morality, Good-will, Categorical Imperative, Duty, Means and ends, Maxims; Utilitarianism: Principle of Utility, Problem of Sanction and Justification of Morality, Moral theories of Bentham, J. S. Mill, Sidgwick; Theories of Punishment; Ethical Cognitivism and Non-cognitivism, Emotivism, Prescriptivism, Descriptivism.


Important links


C4.3.4 Social and Political Philosophy: Plato’s theory of Justice and State, Aristotle’s definition of State and Political Naturalism; Classical Liberalism and Social Contract Theory (Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke); Marx’s Dialectical Materialism, Alienation, and critique of Capitalism.


C4.3.5 Logic: Truth and Validity, Nature of Propositions, Categorical Syllogism, Laws of Thought Classification of Propositions Square of Opposition, Truth-Functions and Propositional Logic, Quantification and Rules of Quantification; Symbolic Logic: Use of symbols; Truth Table for testing the validity of arguments; Differences between Deductive and Inductive Logic, Causality and Mill’s Method.


C4.4 Contemporary Western Philosophy

C4.4.1 Frege’s Sense and Reference; Logical Positivism’s Verification theory of meaning, Elimination of Metaphysics; Moore’s Distinction between Sense and Reference, Defense of common-sense, Proof of an External World; Russell’s Logical Atomism, Definite Descriptions, Refutation of Idealism; Wittgenstein on Language and Reality, the Picture Theory, critique of private language, Meaning and Use, Forms of life; Gilbert Ryle on Systematically Misleading Expressions, critique of Cartesian dualism; W.V.O. Quine’s Two Dogmas of Empiricism; P.F. Strawson’s concept of Person; Husserl’s Phenomenological Method, Philosophy as a rigorous science, Intentionality, Phenomenological Reduction, Inter-subjectivity; Heidegger’s concept of Being (Dasein), Being in the world; Sartre’s Concept of Freedom, Bad-faith, Humanism; Merleau-Ponty on Perception, Embodied Consciousness; William James’s Pragmatic Theories of Meaning and Truth, Varieties of Religious experience; John Dewey on Pragmatist  pistemology with focus on Inquiry, fallibilism and Experience, Education; Nietzsche on the Critique of Enlightenment, Will to Power, Genealogy of Moral; Richard Rorty’s Critique of Representationalism, Against Epistemological method, Edifying Philosophy, Levinas: Ethics as a first philosophy, Philosophy of ‘other’; Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, Principle of Justice; Nozick’s critique of Rawls, Libertarianism: Charles Taylor’s Communitarianism, critique of the Liberal Self, Politics of recognition; Martha Nussbaum’s Liberal Feminism and Capability Approach; Simone de Beauvoir on Situated Freedom and Ethics of Ambiguity; Code and Harding on Situated Knowledge and Strong and Weak Objectivity; Gilligan and Noddings on Ethics of Care, Debate between Care and Justice.