Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for Philosophy (2019)



(w.e.f. June 2019)


The UGC has revised the pattern and scheme of exam from December 2018. The pattern of exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). Now, there are 50 MCQs in Paper 1 and 100 MCQs in Paper 2. Each question carries 2 marks without any NEGATIVE marking for wrong answer.

According to NEW SYLLABUS (June 2019 onwards) and new pattern (since Dec 2018), the exam would be Online Mode. 

The UGC NET exam would be computer based like bank PO, SSC exam. the Paper 2 will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true/false and assertion-reasoning type etc.


The New Syllabus of Philosophy for UGC NET Exam June 2019 onward will be as follows:


Unit – 1: Classical Indian: Epistemology and Metaphysics

  • Vedic and Upaniṣadic: Ṛta – the cosmic order, the divine and the human realms; the centrality of the institution of yajῆa (sacrifice), theories of creation Ātman – Self ( and not – self ), Jāgrat, Svapna, Susupti and turiya, Brahmaṇ.
  • Cārvāka : Pratyakṣa as the only pramāṇa, critique of anumāna and śabda, Consciousness as epi-phenomenon.
  • Jainism : Concept of reality – sat, dravya, guṇa, paryāya, Jiva, ajiva, anekāntavāda, syādvāda and nayavāda; theory of knowledge.
  • Buddhism : Four Noble Truths, Āstangika Mārga, Distinction between Brahmiṇic and Śraminic traditions. Pratityasamutpāda, kṣaṇabhahgavāda, anātmavāda. Schools of Buddhism : Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Yogacāra, Mādhyamika and Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Nyāya : Pramā and apramā, Theories of pramāṇa: pratyakṣa, anumāna, upamana, śabda. Hetvabhāsa. Concept of God. Debate between Buddhism and Nyāya about Pramāṇa-Vyavasthā and Pramāṇa Samplava. Anyathākhyati.
  • Vaiśeṣika : Concept of padārtha and its kinds, Asatkāryavāda, Kinds of Kāraṇa: samavāyi, asamavāyi, and nimitta kāraṇa, paramaṇukaraṇavāda.
  • Sāṃkhya : Satkāryavāda, prakṛti and its evolutes, arguments for the existence of prakṛti, nature of puruṣa, arguments for the existence and plurality of puruṣa, relationship between puruṣa and prakṛti, atheism.
  • Yoga : Pataῆjali’s Theory of Pramāṇa, concept of ćitta and ćitta – vṛtti, stages of ćitt-bhumi, the role of God in Yoga.
  • Purva – Mimāṃsā : Pramāṇyavāda: Svatah-pramāṇyavāda and Paratah-pramāṇyavada, Śruti and its importance, classification of śruti-vākyas, vidhi, niṣedha and arthavāda, dharma, bhāvanā, śabda-nityavāda, Jāti, śaktivada; Kumārila and Prabhākara Schools of Mimāṃsa and their major points of difference, triputi – samvit, jῆatatā, abhāva and anupalabdhi, anvitadbhidhanavāda, abhihitanvayavāda, Theories of error: Akhyāti, Viparitakhyāti, atheism.
  • Vedānta:
  • Advaita : Brahmaṇ, relation between Brahmaṇ and Ātman, three grades of sattā, Adhyāsa, māya, Jiva, Vivartavāda, Anirvachniya-khyāti.
  • Viśiṣtādvaita : Saguṇa Brahmaṇ, refutation of māya, aprthaksiddhi pariṇāmavāda, Jiva, bhakti and prapatti, Brahma-Pariṇāmavāda, Sat-khyāti.
  • Dvaita : Rejection of nirguṇa brahmaṇ and māya, bheda and sāksi, bhakti.
  • Dvaitavaita: Concept of Jῆānaswaroop, kinds of inanimate
  • Sudhadvaita: Concept of Avikrta-pariṇāmavāda.

Unit-2 : Classical Western: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern : Epistemology and Metaphysics

Pre-Socratic Philosophers: Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenies, Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus,
The Sophists and Socrates
Plato and Aristotle:
 Plato – Theory of knowledge, knowledge and opinion, theory of Ideas, the method of dialectic, soul and God.
 Aristotle – Classification of the sciences, the theoretical, the practical and the productive, logic as an organon, critique of Plato’s theory of Ideas, theory of causation, form and matter, potentiality and actuality, soul and God.
Medieval Philosophy:
 St. Augustine: Problem of Evil.
 St. Anselm: Ontological argument.
 St. Thomas Aquinas: Faith and Reason, Essence and Existence, the Existence of God.
Modern Western Philosophy:
 Descartes : Conception of method , Criteria of truth, doubt and methodological scepticism, cogito ergo sum, innate ideas, Cartesian dualism: mind and matter, proofs for the existence of God, interactionism.
 Spinoza : Substance, Attribute and Mode, the concept of ‘God or Nature’, Intellectual love of God, parallelism, pantheism, three orders of knowing.
 Leibnitz : Monadology, truths of reason and fact, innateness of ideas, proofs for the existence of God, principles of non – contradiction, sufficient reason and identity of indiscernibles, the doctrine of pre -established harmony, problem of freedom.
 Locke : Ideas and their classification, refutation of innate ideas, theory of substance, distinction between primary and secondary qualities, theory of knowledge, three grades of knowledge.
 Berkeley : Rejection of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, immaterialism, critique of abstract ideas, esse est percipi, the problem of solipcism; God and self.
 Hume : Impressions and ideas, knowledge concerning relations of ideas and knowledge concerning matters of fact, induction and causality, the external world and the self, personal identity, rejection of metaphysics, scepticism, reason and the passions.
 Kant : The critical philosophy, classification of judgements, possibility of synthetic a priori judgements, the Copernican revolution, forms of sensibility, categories of understanding, the metaphysical and the transcendental deduction of the categories, phenomenon and noumenon, the Ideas of Reason – soul, God and world as a whole, rejection of speculative metaphysics.
 Hegel : The conception of Geist (spirit), the dialectical method, concepts of being, non – being and becoming, absolute idealism, Freedom.

Unit – 3 : Indian Ethics

• Concept of Purusārtha, Śreyas and Preyas
• Varṇāshrama, Dharma, Sādhāraṇa Dharma
• Ṛna and yajῆa, Concept of duty
• Karma-yoga, Sthitprajῆa, Svadharma, Lokasaṃgraha
• Apurva and Adṛṣta
• Sādhya-Sādhana, Itikartavyata
• Law of Karma: ethical implications
• Ṛta and Satya
• Yoga-kśema
• Astānga Yoga
• Jainism: Samvara-nirjarā, Tri-ratṇa, Panch-vrata.
• Buddhism: Upāya-Kaushal, Brahma-vihāra: matri, karuṇā, muditā, upeksha, bodhi-sattva
• Carvaka’s Hedonism

Unit – 4 : Western 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, Mean and ends, Maxims.
• Utilitarianism: principle of utility, problem of sanction and justification of morality, kinds of utilitarianism, Moral theories of Bentham, J. S. Mill, Sidgwick
• Theories of Punishment
• Ethical cognitivism and non-cognitivism: Emotivism, Prescriptivism, Descriptivism

Unit- 5 : Contemporary Indian Philosophy

Vivekananda: Practical Vedanta, Universal Religion, Religious Experience, Religious Rituals
Sri Aurobindo: Evolution, mind and supermind, Integral Yoga
Iqbal: Self, God, man and superman, Intellect and Intuition
Tagore: Religion of man, ideas on education, Concept of Nationalism
K. C. Bhattacharyya: Swaraj in ideas, Concept of Philosophy, subject as Freedom, the doctrine of Maya.
Radhakrishnan: Intellect and intuition, the Idealist view of life, concept of Universal Religion, Hindu view of life.
J. Krishnamurti: Conception of thought, Freedom from the known, analysis of self, Choiceless awareness
Gandhi: Truth, Non-violence, satyagraha, swaraj, critique of modern civilization.
Ambedkar: Annihilation of caste, philosophy of Hinduism, Neo-Buddhism
D.D. Upadhyaya: Integral Humanism, Advaita Vedanta, Purusartha
Narayana Guru: the spiritual freedom and social equality, one caste, one religion, one God.
Tiruvallur: Tirukkural
Jyotiba Phule: Critical understanding of Caste-system.
M.N.Roy: Radical Humanism, Materialism
Maulana Azad: Humanism

Unit-6 : Recent Western Philosophy

Analytic and Continental Philosophy:
Frege: Sense and Reference
Logical Positivism: Verification theory of meaning, Elimination of metaphysics, concept of Philosophy
Moore: Distinction between Sense and Reference, Refutation of Idealism, Defense of common-sense, Proof of an External World.
Russell: Logical Atomism, Definite Descriptions, Refutation of Idealism
Wittgenstein: Language and Reality, Facts and objects, names and propositions, the picture theory, critique of private language, meaning and use, forms of life, notion of philosophy, Wittgensteinian Fideism, On Certainty.
Gilbert Ryle: Systematically misleading expressions, category mistake, concept of mind, critique of Cartesian dualism
A. J. Ayer: The Problem of Knowledge
W.V.O. Quine: Two Dogmas of Empiricism
H.P. Grice and P.F. Strawson: In Defense of a dogma
Phenomenology and Existentialism:
Husserl: Phenomenological Method, Philosophy as a rigorous science, Intentionality, Phenomenological Reduction, Inter-subjectivity
Heidegger: The concept of Being (Dasein), Man as being in the world, critique of technological civilization
Kierkegaard: Subjectivity as Truth, Leap of faith
Sartre: Concept of Freedom, Bad-faith, Humanism
Morleau-Ponty: Perception, Embodied Consciousness
William James: Pragmatic Theories of Meaning and Truth, Varieties of Religious experience
John Dewey: Concept of Truth, Common-faith, education
Nietzsche: Critique of Enlightenment, Will to Power, Genealogy of Moral
Richard Rorty: Critique of representationalism, Against Epistemological method, Edifying Philosophy
Immanuel Levinas: Ethics as a first philosophy, Philosophy of ‘other’

Unit- 7 : Social and Political Philosophy: Indian

Mahabharata: Danda-niti, foundations, Rajdharma, Law and Governance, Narada’s Questions to King Yudhisthir
Kautilya: Sovereignty, Seven Pillars of State-craft, State, Society, Social-life, State administration, State economy, law and justice, internal security, welfare and external affairs
Kamandaki: Social order and State elements
Constitutional Morality, Secularism and Fundamental Rights
Constitutionalism, Total revolution, terrorism, Swadeshi, Satyagrah, Sarvodaya, Social Democracy, State Socialism, Affirmative Action, Social Justice
Social Institutions: Family, Marriage, property, education and religion

Unit- 8 : Social and Political Philosophy: Western
Plato: Ideal State and Justice
Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau: Social Contract Theory
Isaiah Berlin: Conceptions of Liberty
Bernard Williams: Idea of Equality
Liberalism: Rawls; Distributive justice, Nozick; Justice as Entitlement, Dworkin; Justice as equality; Amartya Sen: Global Justice, Freedom and Capability.
Marxism: Dialectical Materialism, Alienation, Critique of Capitalism, Doctrine of Class Struggle and Classless Society.
Communitarianism: Communitarian critique of liberal self, Universalism Vs. Particularism, Theory of Charles Taylor, MacIntyre, Michael Sandel
Multiculturalism: Charles Taylor; Politics of recognition, Will Kymlicka; conception of Minority Rights
Feminism: Basic Concepts: Patriarchy, misogyny, Gender, Theories of Feminism; Liberal, Socialist, radical and eco-feminism

Unit- 9 : Logic

Truth and Validity
Denotation and Connotation
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
Decision Procedures: Truth Table, Using Truth- Tables for testing the validity of arguments
Venn Diagram, informal and formal Fallacies
Proving Validity, Argument and Argument-form
Axiomatic System, Consistency, Completeness
Differences between Deductive and Inductive Logic

Unit- 10 : Applied Philosophy

What is applied Philosophy?
Philosophy of Technology; technology, dominance, power and social inequalities
Democratization of Technology
Public evaluation of science and technology
Ethical Implication of information technology, bio-technology, non-technology
Environmental Ethics: Nature as means or end, Aldo-Leopold; land-ethics, Arne Naess: Deep Ecology, Peter Singer; Animal Rights
Medical-Ethics: Surrogacy, Doctor-patient relationship, abortion, euthanasia, female-infanticide
Professional Ethics: Corporate Governance and ethical responsibility
Media Ethics: ethical issues in Privacy, cyber space, pornography, representation and differences-marginalization
Legal Ethics: law and morality, Legal Obligation, Authority and Validity of Law
Philosophical Counseling: Managing everyday problems


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