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NTA (UGC) NET June-December 2021 Syllabus for Philosophy

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NTA (UGC) NET Philosophy Syllabus 2012

Code No. 03

Subject: Philosophy


  • There will be two question papers, Paper II and NTA (UGC) NET Paper III.
  • Paper II will consist of 50 questions worth 2 mark each.
  • Paper III will consist of 75 questions worth 2 mark each.


Classical Indian Philosophy

  • Vedic and Upanisadic world-views: Rta-the cosmic order, the divine and the human realms; the centrality of the institution of yajna (sacrifice) , the concept of rna-duty/obligation; theories of creation Atman-Self (and not-self) , Jagrat, jagrat, susupti and turlya, Brahman, sreyas and preyas
  • Karma, samsara, moksa.
  • Carvaka: Pratyaksa as the only pramana, critique of anumana and sabda, rejection of non-material entities and of dharma and moksa.
  • Jainism: Concept of reality-sat, dravya, guna, paryaya, Jiva, ajiva, anekantavada, syadvada and nayavada; theory of knowledge; bondage and liberation.
  • Buddhism: Four noble truths, astahgamarga. Nirvana, madhyam pratipad, pratityasamutpada, ksanabhahgavada, ahatmavada.
  • Schools of Buddhism: Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Yogacara and Madhyamika.
  • Nyaya: Prama and apramd, pramanya and apramanya; pramdna: Pratyaksa nirvikalpaka, savikalpaka, laukika and alaukika; anurndna lanvayavyatireka, lingapardmarsa uydptx.
  • Classification: Vyaptigrahopayas, hetvdbhasa, upamana.
  • Sabda: Sakti laksana, akanksa, yogyata, sannidhi and tatparya
  • concept of God, arguments for the existence of God, adrsta, nihsryeasa.
  • Vaisesika: Concepts of paddrtha, dravya, guna karma, sdmanya, samavaya, visesa, abhdua, causation: Asatkaryavada, samavayu asamavayi nimitta karana, paramdnuvada adrsta, nihsiryeas.
  • Samkhya: Satkaryavdda, prakrti and its evolutes, arguments for the existence of prakrti, nature of purusa, arguments for the existence and plurality of purusa relationship between purusa and prakrti, kaivalya, atheism.
  • Yoga: Patanjali՚s concept of citta and citta-vrtti, eight-fold path of yoga, the role of God in yoga.
  • Purva-Mimamsa: Sruti and its importance, atheism of purvajritinamsa, classification of srutivakyas, vidhi, nisedha and arthavada, dharma, bhavana, sabdanityavada, Jatisaktivada, Kumarila and Prabhakara Schools of mlmamsa and their major points of difference, triputi-samvit, jnatata, abhava and anupalabdhi, anvitdbhidhanavada, abihifdhvayavada
  • Vedanta.
  • Advaita-Rejection of difference: Adhyasa, maya, three grades of satta, Jiva, Jtvanmukti, Vivartavada.
  • Visispadvaita: Saguna Brahman, refutation of maya, aprthaksiddhi parindmavada, Jiva, bhakti and prapatti, Dvaita-Rejection of nirguna brahman and maya, bheda and saksi, bhakti.

Modern Indian Thinkers

  • Vivekananda-Practical Vedanta, Universal Religion.
  • Aurobindo-Evolution, Mind and Supermind, Integral Yoga.
  • Iqbal-Self, God, Man and Superman.
  • Tagore-Religion of Man, Ideas on Education.
  • K C Bhattacharyya-Concept of Philosophy, Subject as freedom, the Doctrine of Maya.
  • Radhakrishnan-Intellect and intuition, the idealist view of life.
  • J Krishnamurti-Freedom from the known, analysis of self.
  • Gandhi-Non-violence, Satyagraha, Swaraj, Critique of Modern Civilization.
  • Ambedkar-Varna and the caste system, Neo-Buddhism.

Classical Western Philosophy

  • Early Greek Philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus.
  • The Sophists and Socrates
  • Plato-Theory of knowledge, knowledge (episteiw) and opinion (doxa) , theory of Ideas, the method of dialectic, soul and God.
  • Aristotle-Classification of the sciences, the theoretical, the practical and the productive (theoria, praxis, techne) , 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

  • Rationalism:
    1. Descartes: Conception of method and the need for method in philosophy, clarity and distinctness as the criterion of truth, doubt and methodological scepticism, the cogito-intuition or inference? innate ideas, the ‘real’ distinction between mind and matter, role of God, proofs for the existence of God, mind-body interactionalism.
    2. Spinoza: Substance, Attribute and Mode, the concept of ‘God or Nature’ the mind-body problem, pantheism, three orders of knowing.
    3. Leibniz: Monadology, truths of reason and truths of fact, innateness of all ideas, proofs for the existence of God, principles of non-contradiction, sufficient reason and identity of indiscemibles, the doctrine of pre-established harmony, problem of freedom and philosophy.
  • Empiricism:
    1. Locke: Ideas and their classification, refutation of innate ideas, theory of knowledge, three grades of knowledge, theory of substance, distinction between primary and secondary qualities.
    2. Berkeley: Rejection of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, immaterialism, critique of abstract ideas, esse est percipi, the problem of solipsism; God and self.
    3. 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.
  • Critical Philosophy and After:
    1. 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, freedom and immortality, rejection of speculative metaphysics.
    2. Hegel: The conception of Geist (spirit) , the dialectical method, concepts of being, non-being and becoming, absolute idealism.
    3. Nietzsche: Critique of western culture, will to power.
    4. Moore: Refutation of idealism, defence of commonsense, philosophy and analysis.
    5. Russell: Refutation of idealism, logic as the essence of philosophy, logical atomism.
    6. Wittgenstein: Language and reality, facts and objects, names and propositions, the picture theory, philosophy and language, meaning and use, forms of life.
    7. Husserl: The Husserlian method, intentionality.
    8. Heidegger: Being and nothingness, man as being-in-the-world, critique of technological civilization.
    9. Logical Positivism: The verifiability theory of meaning, the verification principle, rejection of metaphysics, unity of science.
    10. C S Pierce and William James: Pragmatic theories of meaning and truth.
    11. G Ryle: Systematically misleading expressions, category mistake, concept of mind, critique of Cartesian dualism.

NTA (UGC) NET Paper III-A Core


  • Vyavaharika and Paramarthika Satta
  • Nitya and Anitya Dravya
  • Karanata
  • Akasa, Dik and Kala
  • Samanya and Sambandha
  • Cit, Acit and Atman


  • Appearance and Reality
  • Being and becoming
  • Causality, Space and Time
  • Matter, Mind and Self
  • Substance and Universals
  • The problem of personal identity


  • Prama
  • Kinds of Pramanas
  • Khyativada Pramanyavada
  • Anvitabhidhanavada and Abhihitanvayavada
  • Sabdagraha


  • Definition of Knowledge
  • Ways of knowing
  • Theories of Error
  • Theories of Truth
  • Belief and Scepticism
  • Problem of Induction


  • Concept of Pratyaksa in Nyaya
  • Concept of Pratyaksa in Buddhism
  • Concept of Pratyaksa in Samkara Vedanta
  • Nature and kinds of Anumana
  • Definition and Nature of Vyapti
  • Hetvabhasas


  • Rna and Rta Purusarthas, Svadharma
  • Varnadharma and Asramadharma
  • Niskamakarma and Lokasamgraha
  • Pancaslla and Triratnas
  • Brahmaviharas


  • Good, Right, Justice
  • Duty and Obligation
  • Cardinal Virtues
  • Eudaemonism
  • Freedom and Responsibility
  • Crime and Punishment


  • Ethical Cognitivism and non-cognitivism
  • Ethical realism and intuitionism
  • Kant՚s moral theory
  • Kinds of utilitarianism
  • Human rights and social disparities
  • Feminism


  • 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
  • Decision Procedures
  • Proving Validity
  • Argument and Argument-form
  • Axiomatic System, Consistency, Completeness

NTA (UGC) NET Paper III-B Elective or Optional


Candidates will be expected to be familiar with the main tenets and practices of the following groups of religions:

  1. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism
  2. Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  3. tribal religions of India
  4. Possibility and need of comparative religion, commonality and differences among religions, the nature of inter-religious dialogue and understanding, religious experience, modes of understanding the divine, the theory of liberation, the means for attaining liberation, the God-man relation in religions, world-views (Weltanschaunngen) in religions, immortality, the doctrine of incarnation and prophethood, religious hermeneutics, religion and moral social values, religion and secular society.


  1. General: The linguistic turn and the conception of philosophy.
  2. Semantics: Frege՚s distinction between sense and reference, concepts and objects, related problems and their proposed solutions:
    1. Identity
    2. Negative Existentials
    3. Indirect Speech
    4. Propositional Attitudes, the meaning and role of singular terms:
      1. Proper names
      2. definite descriptions
      3. demonstratives and other indexicals; the relation between meaning and truth, holistic and atomistic approach to meaning, what is a theory of meaning?
  3. Pragmatics: Meaning and use; speech acts [The above problem areas require candidate՚s familiarity with the works of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Austin, Quine, Strawson, Davidson, Dummett and Searle] .


  • The purpose here is to assess the candidate՚s acquaintence with the central concepts in phenomenology and hermeneutics
  • Phenomenology as an approach to the understanding of the human condition, consciousness and intentionality, phenomenology and solipsism, the life-world (Lebenswelt) , interpretation, understanding and the human sciences, the idea of the text, conflict of interpretation and the possibilities of agreement, culture, situatedness and interpretation.


  • This covers vedanta philosophy with special reference to five main acharyas viz. Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhava, Nimbarka and Vallabha, The purpose is to test the candidate՚s acquaintance with vedanta philosophy in its rich and divergent forms.
  • Sources, General Features, similarities and differences, Brahman: Definition and interpretations, distinction between saguna and nirguna arid its relevance in the formation of different schools of vedanta, maya. Its nature, arguments for and against mdya, atman: Its nature, relation between atman and Brahman; Jiva; interpretation of mahdvdkyas, e. g. Tat tvam asi.
  • Moksa: Nature and types, marga or sadhand, roles played by jnana, karma and bhakti, different conceptions of bhakti, theories of causation, Brahman as the cause of the world: Different interpretations, prama, pramanas, special role played by sabda pramdna and intuition (saksatkara/aparoksanubhuti, theories of khyatis) .


  • The intention here is to explore the availability of Gandhian ideas in the central debates in philosophy.
  • Conceptions of Knowledge, Truth and Love and their Relationship, Language, Understanding and Culture, Engagement with Tradition, Self, World and God, Woman, Sexuality and Brahmacharya, Moral Foundations of Good Life: Dharrna, Swaraj, Satyagraha and Ahimsa, Community and Fellowship; the Good Society: Statelessness, Trusteeship, Sarvodaya, Panchayati Raj, Religion, Tapasya, Service, Means-end Relationship, Gandhi and the Gandhians: Break, continuity and innovation.

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