UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Philosophy Optional 2018 Paper-II
Baljit Dhaka
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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Philosophy Optional 2018 Paper-II

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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Philosophy Optional 2018 Paper-II

Marks-250                                                                                                                                   Time: Three Hours

Question Paper Specific Instructions:

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • There are EIGHT questions divided into two sections.
  • A candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Questions no 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • The number of marks carried by a question /part is indicated against it.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.


Q1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks

(a) What is meant by liberal democracy? Does it require deeper principles for social cohesion to balance its own strong affirmation of individual rights? Give reasons from the Indian context. 10 marks

(b) Do you subscribe to the view that Indian cultural identity needs to integrate the principles of multi-culturalism and respect for the dignity of each person? Justify your answer. 10 marks

(c) It is said that the traditional hold of caste-based groups on Indian social behaviour has survived all attempts to build alternate identities. Discuss in the light of M.K. Gandhi. 10 marks

(d) Discuss Kautilya's concept of sovereignty in the light of Danda-neeti'. 10 marks

(e) What measures do you suggest to eradicate corruption in Indian democracy? 10 marks

Q2. (a) How far can liberty and equality be considered as distinctive features of democracy? Discuss. 20 marks

(b) Critically evaluate Laski's view on sovereignty as a satisfactory position in political theory. 15 marks

(c) Do you subscribe to the political ideology of Anarchists? Justify your answer. 15 marks

Q3.(a) What do you understand by multi-culturalism? How are globalization and multi-culturalism related? How does their relationship affect cultural changes? 20 marks

(b) ? Are Marxian Socialism and individual freedom consistent? Discuss critically. 15 marks

(c) What form of humanism do you approve as relevant in the present-day context? Discuss in detail. 15 marks

Q4.(a) “Human rights and human dignity would no longer be the product of a particular culture, rather a common human aspiration for an ideal world." Discuss. 20 marks

(b) How do you evaluate gender discrimination in the context of female foeticide? 15 marks

(c) Is feminism an ideology for empowerment or for equality? Discuss. 15 marks

Q5. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks

(a) In what sense is the secular use of language different from the religious use of language? Discuss. 10 marks

(b) How far is it plausible to argue that the anti-theistic religions' stand on the concept of rebirth is philosophically significant? 10 marks

(c) Can you justify religion without God? Support your answer. 10 marks

(d) Can one claim that there is an inter-relatedness between 'religiosity and 'immorality'? Discuss. 10 marks

(e) Is Hinduism polytheistic? Give reasons for your answer.10 marks

Q6.(a) Distinguish between Exclusivism, Inclusivism and Pluralism with regard to the conflicting truth-claims of different religions. 20 marks

(b) "Truth is one, yet people perceive differently." Critically evaluate by considering the present Indian context. 15 marks

(c) Does the concept of God entail the existence of God? Examine from the perspective of ontological argument. 15 marks

Q7.(a) The terms "Sacred' and 'Holy' have come to serve as generic names for the object of religion. Do you agree that one can have God as the object of religion? Discuss. 20 marks

(b) Critically examine Braithwaite's non-cognitive theory of religious language. 15 marks

(c) Evaluate the concept of Bhakti (Devotion) as a pathway to attain liberation. 15 marks

8.(a) Compare St. Thomas Aquinas' five ways of knowing God with the arguments of the Ny?ya School of Indian Philosophy for the existence of God. 20 marks

(b) Critically evaluate the Buddhistic arguments against the existence of God as the creator of the world. 15 marks

(c) Explain the significance of religious symbols as transcendent referent that mediates into the cultural, spatial and temporal world. 15 marks