UPSC MAINS OPTIONAL SUBJECT: PHILOSOPHY PAPER 2 TOPIC WISE UPSC QUESTIONS

philosophers

PHILOSOPHY PAPER 2 TOPIC WISE UPSC QUESTIONS

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SYLLABUS

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS

Socio-Political Philosophy Social and Political Ideals: Equality, Justice, Liberty.·       2000: J S Mill on Liberty  (20 marks)

·       2001 : Some thinkers distinguish between two mutually irreducible senses of freedom, namely negative freedom and positive freedom. Explain  and critically consider the distinction. (60 marks.)

·       2001 : Consider the following argument – “Justice means getting what one deserves. A person who contributes more to society deserves more than a person who contributes less to society. The only fair way to determine how much a person has contributed to society is to let people as a whole decide through free market. Therefore, free market is the only way to attain justice.” Would you agree with above point of view? Defend your answer. (60 marks.)

·       2002 : What is meant by justice? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for its availability? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2002 : Critically examine – “The concept of equality as a political ideal.” (20 marks.)

·       2003 : Critically examine – “Freedom as liberation from samsara.” (20 marks.)

·       2003 : Critically examine – “Freedom from” and “Freedom to” are mutually exclusive. (20 marks.)

·       2004: Despite their self-proclaimed commitment to the ideal of individual of freedom, this ideal is one of the most contentious issues between socialism and liberalism. Why? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2004: Critically examine – “Unless the ideal of equality is embedded within a broader theory of politics and society, it can be given no specific content.” (20 marks.)

·       2007 : According to some liberal political thinkers, social and economic inequalities can be justified only if they work to the advantage of the least advantaged members of the society. Is this view consistent with the liberalism’s cardinal advocacy of individual freedom? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2007 : Negative freedom can perhaps ensure freedom to choose, but without any credible assurance for its actual fulfillment. (20 marks.)

·       2007: Free market economy is the only way to attain social justice. (20 marks.)

·       2008 : “Justice is treating equals as equals and unequals as unequals.” (20 marks.)

·       2009 : Comment on the relationship between equality and freedom. (30 marks.)

·       2010 : Discuss the nature of relationship between liberty and equality. (15 marks.)

·       2011 : Which principle of justice can, in your view, be most helpful in addressing the issues related to caste discrimination and why? (20 marks)

·       2011: Can issue relating to gender discrimination be me by the conception of justice as fairness? Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2011 : The Fundamental idea of the conception of justice is fairness. Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2013 : How is Amartya Sen’s approach to justice is different from that of Rawls ? (20 marks)

·       2013 : What is meant by ‘justice’ as fairness ? Explain the basic tenets of Rawls’ theory of justice . (15 marks)

·       2013 : Explain evaluate Aristotle’s concept of justice. (15 marks)

·       2014 : Discuss Amartya Sen’s principle of Niti as critique of Nyaya. (15 marks)

·       2015 : “Equality will be of no value without fraternity and liberty.” Discuss.(15 marks)

·       2015: “Equality does not mean treating everyone equal”. Discuss.( 10 marks)

·       2016: b) A well-ordered society, according to Rawls, is effectively regulated by a public conception of justice. Do you agree? Give reasons.(10 marks)

·       2016: Q.2) a) Is Liberty a positive and equal opportunity of self-realization? Discuss.(15 marks)

·       2017: Q4.(a) Evaluate the concept of social development as rooted in ethical principles against the concept of social progress being based on economic and political ideals. (20 marks)

·       2016: (b) What will be the authority and acceptance of the absolute ethical values in the non-theological system of social practices ? Discuss. (15 marks)

·       2017: (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)

·       2018: Q2. (a) How far can liberty and equality be considered as distinctive features of democracy? Discuss. (20 marks)

Sovereignty: Austin, Bodin, Laski, Kautilya.·       2006 : Explain the notion of sovereignty. Critically consider in this context the claim that sovereignty is illimitable and logically indivisible. (60 marks.)

·       2008 : Critically examine Kautilya’s saptang theory of sovereign state. (20 marks.)

·       2009 : Compare Bodin’s and Austin’s views on sovereignty. (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Does Bodin’s theory of sovereignty float in the air? Critically examine. (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Why did Kautilya think that sovereignty is hierarchical? Explain. (15 marks.)

·       2011: Compare and contrast Kautilya’s Saptanga Theory of the Sovereign State with Bodin’s theory of Sovereignty. (15 marks)

·       2012 : Who amongst Austin , Bodin and Laski is the most consistent in his analysis of the concept of sovereignty ? (12 marks)

·       2014 : Explain the significance of John Austin’s theory of sovereignty. How does it differ from that of Hobbes ? (10 marks)

·       2015 : Expain Harol Laski’s critique of sovereignity.( 10 marks)

·       2016: a) ”Sovereignty is the supreme power over citizens and subjects, unrestrained by law.” Discuss. (10 marks)

·       2016: b) On what grounds does Laski criticize Austin’s concept of sovereignty?(15 marks)

·       2017: (c) Discuss whether Kautilya’s concept of sovereignty turns into a despotic rule. How far is it comparable to Bodin’s concept ? Discuss. (15 marks)

·       2018: (d) Discuss Kautilya’s concept of sovereignty in the light of Danda-neeti’. (10 marks)

·       2018: (b) Critically evaluate Laski’s view on sovereignty as a satisfactory position in political theory.(15 marks)

Individual and State: Rights; Duties and Accountability.·       2000: Are the claims of the State and the Individual really mutually conflicting? Discuss. (60 marks)

·       2005 : Critically examine – “State is the actuality of concrete freedom”. (20 marks.)

·       2006 : Critically examine – “The conception of a good political order rests upon an objectively true account of human nature.” (20 marks.)

·       2008 : Do rights necessarily imply corresponding obligations? To whom does one primarily own obligations – individuals or state? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2009 : “Rights and duties are complementary.” Explain. (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Which type of individual according to you can contribute more to strengthen the state – a liberalist or a socialist? (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Does accountability necessarily contribute to moral perfection? Offer your views. (15 marks.)

·       2011 : Can the conception of ‘rights’ of citizens be sustained in a society characterized by caste discrimination? Discuss.( 20 marks)

·       2011 : Discuss Kant’s distinction between duties of perfect and imperfect obligation.( 20 marks)

·       2011 : Can citizens have rights without duties? Discuss with examples. (20 marks)

·       2012 : Can we dissociate rights of citizens from their duties. (12 marks)

·       2013 : What is the significance of including duties of citizens in the Indian constitution ? (10 marks)

·       2014 : “All human rights are centered on individual rights.” Discuss.(20 marks)

·       2015 : How are individual and group rights reconciled in democracy? Explain .( 10 marks)

·       2016: d) Evaluate the statement that all human beings have certain unalienable rights.(10 marks)

·       2016: c)”The right of free speech implies the genuine independence of the judiciary and its complete separation from the executive.” Evaluate. (20 marks)

·       2016: Q.3) Is the State an agency for expressing the will of the ruling classes? Examine. (20 marks)

·       2017: (d) Out of rights and duties, which one is prior to the other ? Discuss in the context of accountability. (10 marks)

·       2017: (b) Critically evaluate whether the ideal of social progress gives a secondary significance to an individual’s freedom over his duties. (15 marks)

Forms of Government: Monarchy; Theocracy and Democracy.·       2001 : Critically examine – “The idea of democracy is paradoxical.” (20marks.)

·       2002 : Do you think that democracy is the best form of government? Is there any scope of “beyond democracy”? In this context, analyze the notion of meritocracy. (60 marks.)

·       2004: Critically examine – The concept of democracy is an essentially contested concept. (20 marks.)

·       2005: Political democracy is hollow unless accompanied with power in the area of economics. (20 marks.)

·       2006 : Critically examine – democracy which treats everybody’s opinion equally is inefficient in determining the right thing to do. (20 marks.)

·       2007 : Critically examine – democracy that gives equal weight to everyone’s opinion is inefficient in determining the right or wrong thing to do. (20 marks.)

·       2008 : Democratic government claims to be promoting the principles of political philosophy of democracy. (20 marks.)

·       2009 : Is theocracy an outdated ideology? Discuss. (30 marks.)

·       2009 : Define monarchy. Is it ethically justified? (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Is majority rule meaningfully reflected in present-day democratic governments? Substantiate your answer with suitable examples? (20 marks.)

·       2011 : In a Democracy does a citizen ever have the moral right to break a law? Discuss citizens right to civil disobedience. (15 marks)

·       2012 : Democracy ,committed to treating everybody equally , is ineffective as a system of government . (12 marks)

·       2013 : Does the combination of democracy and socialism lead to a more equitable society ? (10 marks)

·       2013 : Is a democratic government better than a benevolent dictatorship? Give reasons for your answer . (20 marks)

·       2013 : Is a democratic government able to represent the interest of minority groups ? (15 marks)

·       2013: What is meant by democracy ? What are various forms of democratic governments ? (15 marks)

·       2014: In what sense is democracy better form of government than theocracy ? (15 marks)

·       2015: Evaluate the nature o and functions of parliamentary democracy.(20 marks)

·       2015: Is civil disobedience in a democratic state justifiable? Discuss.( 10 marks)

·       2017: (b) Discuss whether a blending of monarchy with democracy is conceivable to avoid their undesirable defects for making the governance better for citizens and State. (10 marks)

·       2017: (e) Discuss the different aspects of the fundamental distinction between democratic equality and the Marxian notion of equality.(10 marks)

Political Ideologies: Anarchism; Marxism and Socialism.·       2000: Point out thee doctrinal differences between Socialism and Marxism. (60 marks)

·       2006 : Describe your understanding of socialism. Must it be defined in normative terms of a set of values and ideals which socialists seek to realize, or in descriptive terms of the specific economic and political institutions of socialist society? Can the tension between the two be adequately resolved? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2006 : Critically examine – ‘Acceptance of the authority of the state is inconsistent with the highest duty of mankind, “the duty to act autonomously”’ (Robert Paul Wolff). (20 marks.)

·       2007 : Describe your understanding of socialism. Must it be defined in normative terms of a set of values and ideals which socialists seek to realize, or in descriptive terms of the specific economic and political institutions of socialist society? Can the tension between the two be adequately resolved? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2007 : Critically examine – ‘Acceptance of the authority of the state is inconsistent with the highest duty of mankind, “the duty to act autonomously”’ (Robert Paul Wolff). (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Which type of socialism, according to you, is superior – utopian or democratic? Why? (20 marks.)

·       2011 : Is Democratic Socialism a contradiction in terms? Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2011 : Can it be said that Socialism is a weaker version of Marxism? Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2011 : What are the basic differences between Marxism and Socialism? (20 marks)

·       2012 : Political ideology of Anarchism. (12 marks)

·       2016: c) “Socialism itself is the fulfillment of democracy.” Analyse.(10 marks)

·       2017: (a) Discuss in the context of anarchy whether the freedom of an individual is consistent with the sovereignty of the State. (10 marks)

·       2017: Q3. (a) Does Marxism curb individual freedom in the name of protecting social justice ? Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2018: (c) Do you subscribe to the political ideology of Anarchists? Justify your answer. (15 marks)

·       2018: (b) । Are Marxian Socialism and individual freedom consistent ? Discuss critically. (15 marks)

Humanism; Secularism; Multiculturalism.·       2000: Secularism in Indian Context (20 marks)

·       2005 : What is humanism? What are its different kinds? In what way if any is M. N. Roy’s radical humanism different from Marxism? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2006 : Critically examine – “Christian humanism is a contradiction in terms.” (20 marks.)

·       2008 : Is multiculturalism a boon or a bane? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2009 : Is secularism analogous to atheism? Examine in Indian context. (30 marks.)

·       2011 : The Term ‘multi-culturalism’ has been used in both a descriptive and a normative sense. Discuss. (15 marks)

·       2012 : What is multiculturalism ? Can it be impediment for development and progress ? Discuss . (20 marks)

·       2012: In what ways is humanism different Marxism ? Discuss . (20 marks)

·       2012 : “ Secularism in Indian context is not a rejection of religion but fellowship of religions.” Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2013 : Does the idea of equal respect to all religion provide a viable and consistent state policy ? (10 marks)

·       2014 : How do we distinguish liberal humanism and Marxist humanism ? (10 marks)

·       2014 : How does multiculturalism redefine liberal notions like identity,freedom and equality and reformulate its assumptions ?( 10 marks)

·       2014: Explain descriptive and normative perspectives on multiculturalism. (15 marks)

·       2015 : How is religious nationalism a threat to secular society? Explain.( 20 marks)

·       2015 : Is multiculturalism a need of global society?Discuss.( 15 marks)

·       2016 : b) Can we consider “Freedom from domination” as one of the justifications for multiculturalism? Give reasons for your answer.( 15 marks)

·       2017: Q2.(a) Do you agree with the view that secularism as a western ideal is redundant in the Indian context ? Discuss in the context of the multicultural Indian society.(20 marks)

·       2018: (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)

·       2018: 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)

·       2018: (c) What form of humanism do you approve as relevant in the present day context ? Discuss in detail. (15 marks)

·       2018: 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)

Crime and Punishment: Corruption, Mass Violence, Genocide, Capital Punishment.·       2000: Retributive Theory of Punishment (20 marks)

·       2003 : Critically examine – “Retributive and deterrent theories of punishment are mutually complementary.” (20 marks.)

·       2004 : Discuss the notion of punishment. Consider in this context the importance and implications of the principle of proportionality of punishment which requires that severity of punishment be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime. (60 marks.)

·       2006 : Describe the tension between consequentialist and retributivist theory of punishments. Discuss critically in this context the view that argues that since no existing penal system for crime-prevention has adequate justification, state punishment cannot be justified; and therefore, it should be completely abolished. (60 marks.)

·       2007: Consider why punishment is generally thought to require justification. In this context, give your critical and comparative account of the main theories of punishment. (60 marks.)

·       2008 : “Punishment rules all creatures, punishment preserves them all.” (20 marks.)

·       2009 : Is capital punishment in your view ethically justified? (30 marks.)

·       2009 : “You are not punished for stealing the sheep, but you are punished so that no sheep is stolen.” Discuss as to which theory of punishment this statement belongs. (20 marks.)

·       2010: List the various sanctions permitting genocide and clearly bring out the ethical counter-arguments against it. (20 marks.)

·       2010 : If capital punishment is legally awarded, then no ethico-politico consideration should subvert it. Express your opinion for or against. (20 marks.)

·       2011: Can capital punishment be justified? Answer with reference to the theories of punishment. (15 marks)

·       2012 : What can be the causes of mass violence ? can mass violence be justified on moral ground ? Discuss (30 marks)

·       2013 : Does corruption have not only a moral dimension but also an economic dimension ? (10 marks)

·       2014 : Can we say that racial supremacy is the main reason for genocide ? Give reasons for your answer. (10 marks)

·       2014 : Which theory of punishment retributive or restorative , do you recommend and why ? (20 marks)

·       2014 : Analyse the statement with reasons that “ Power corrupts , absolute power corrupts absolutely”. (20 marks)

·       2015: “The aim of punishment is to defend the moral law and to do justice to criminal.”Discuss.(15 marks)

·       2016: e) “The goal in punishing should be to reform the individual.” Comment.(10 marks)

·       2017: (b) Can you justify capital punishment for crimes like rape, murder and corruption ? Discuss. (15 marks)

·       2017: (c) Will a severe punishment for crimes against women change the mind-set of society ? Justify your position. (15 marks)

·       2018: (e) What measures do you suggest to eradicate corruption in Indian democracy? (10 marks)

Development and Social Progress.·       2000: Concept of Sustainable Development  (20 marks)

·       2005 : What do you understand by progress? Have human beings made progress in all fields of their activity? Discuss. (60 marks.)

·       2010 : Is social progress possible without humanism? Examine. (15 marks.)

·       2014 : By eliminating alienation can we bring social progress ? (15 marks)

·       2015 : “Inequitable development leads to socialconflicts rather than social progress.”Explain.(10 marks)

·       2016: c) Is it possible to measure social progress independent of economic development? Discuss. (15 marks)

Gender Discrimination: Female Foeticide, Land and Property Rights; Empowerment.·       2000: The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. Comment. (60 marks)

·       2001 : Critically examine – “The cause of gender inequality is entirely biological.” (20 marks)

·       2002 : Critically examine – “Gender equality: meaning and need.” (20 marks)

·       2003 : What, in your view, is the source(s) of gender inequality? Is it primarily rooted in human biology? In what way, if at all? Can this inequality be bridged? Explain and defend your position on these issues. (20 marks)

·       2004 : Critically examine – “Gender equality can be realized only within a socialist regime.” (20 marks)

·       2005 : Critically examine – “sex is the biological category whereas gender is a culturally shaped expression of sexual difference.” (20 marks.)

·       2009 : Examine the land and property rights of women in India. How far do they contribute to empower women? (60 marks.)

·       2010 : Can only the political empowerment of women wipe out gender discrimination in a male-dominated Indian society? (20 marks.)

·       2010 : Does the right to property bring economic disparity and threat human fraternity? Discuss. (20 marks.)

·       2012 : “Denial of access and inheritance of land and property to women is denial of their fundamental as human.” Discuss (20 marks)

·       2012 : Is there any necessary connection between social progress and protection against female foeticide ?  Discuss. (20 marks)

·       2012 : Woman empowerment and social justice. (12 marks)

·       2013: Why is adequate representation of women in political institution important in this context ? (20 marks)

·       2013 : Is economic independence essential for equality between men and women ? (15 marks)

·       2013 : What do you understand by ‘gender equality’ and why is it important ? (15 marks)

·       2014 : “One is not born woman , but she becomes a woman.Critically comment on it. (15 marks)

·       2015: Does economic empowerment of women eliminate gender discrimination? Discuss.( 15 marks)

·       2015: What does gender discrimination mean? Is not a violation of equality and social justice? Discuss.( 15 marks)

·       2016: b) Do you agree that women become empowered through collective reflection and decision-making? Discuss.(15 marks)

·       2017: (c) Is empowerment of women a sufficient means to their equal rights to land, property and divorce ? Discuss in the context of religious sanctions. (15 marks)

·       2018: (b) How do you evaluate gender discrimination in the context of female foeticide? (15 marks)

·       2018: (c) Is feminism an ideology for empowerment or for equality ? Discuss. (15 marks)

Caste Discrimination: Gandhi and Ambedkar

 

·         2008 : Discuss the impact of caste-discrimination – affirmative or otherwise on the harmony of the society as a whole. (60 marks.)

·         2010 : “Caste is not a sin, but caste-discrimination is.” As a concerned citizen, comment critically on this statement. (20 marks.)

·         2012 : What were Gandhi’s views on varna and jati ? Critically discuss Ambedkar’s disagreement with Gandhi’s treatment of varna.(30 marks)

·         2013: Is there any impact of caste discrimination on democracy in Indian context ? (10 marks)

·         2014 : If caste discrimination has any continuity and hierarchy which principle of justice can dissolve this problem ? (10 marks)

·         2014 : What are the basic differences between Gandhi and Ambedkar regarding caste discrimination ? (15 marks)

·         2015 : “Man must grow materially as well as spiritually.” Evaluate this statement of Ambedkar.( 15 marks)

·         2015 : Evaluate Ambedkar’s critique of caste system.( 20 marks)

·     2016: Q.4) a) “To me the female sex is not the weaker sex. It is the nobler of the two evaluate this statement of Gandhi” (15 marks)

·     2016: c) How did Ambedkar analyse the caste system from the historical and social perspectives? Explain.(20 marks)

·     2017: (c) Is caste discrimination a result of the superiority complex of a privileged class of the society or of religious rituals ? Discuss with reference to the views propounded by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. (10 marks)

·     2017: (b) How far do Marx, Gandhi and Amartya Sen agree and disagree on the concept of justice in the Indian democracy ? Discuss. (15 marks)

·     2018: (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)

Philosophy of Religion: Notions of God: Attributes; Relation to Man and the World. (Indian and Western).·         2000: Impersonality Concept of God (20 marks)

·         2002 : Impersonalistic conception of God. (20 marks)

·         2003: What do the immanence and transcendence mean in talking about God? Is God really immanent or transcendent? (20 marks)

·         2003 : Is God dead (Nietzsche) or living (faithful people)?  (20 marks)

·         2004 : “If God is omniscient, then humans are not free.” (20 marks)

·         2006 : The difference between impersonalistic and naturalistic conception of God. Critical notes. (20 marks.)

·         2006 : Traditionally omnipotence has been seen as one of the attributes of God. But, according to some critic, the notion of omnipotent being is paradoxical. In response some theist has tried to resolve thealleged paradox. Describe the paradox and explain the attempt to resolve it. (60 marks)

·         2007 : Traditionally omnipotence has been seen as one of the attributes of God. But, according to some critic, the notion of omnipotent being is paradoxical. In response some theist has tried to resolve the alleged paradox. Describe the paradox and explain the attempt to resolve it. (60 marks)

·         2007 : God is not the subject to the law of logic. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2008 : Can deism be satisfactory theory in the context of God of grace and devotion? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2008: Comment on the statement – “Religion only promised, but never fulfilled the promise.” (30 marks)

·         2009 : “To be man is to strive to be God.” Discuss. (30 marks)

·         2011 : “Religion is not just false, it is harmful.” Discuss. (15 marks)

·         2011 : Discuss the salient features of traditional orthodox religion. (15 marks)

·         2012 : Explain the distinction between deism and theism . (20 marks)

·         2013 : Is god indispensible for religion ?( 10 marks)

·     2014: Elucidate the status of man in the realm of between immanence and transcendence. (20 marks)

·         2015: Write a critical note on the attributes of God.(10 marks)

·         2016: a) Critically discuss the view that ‘modern sensibility and total obedience to a despotic God’ do not go hand in hand.(10 marks)

·         2016: b) Compare and contrast the relation of man to the world in the oriental religions. (20 marks)

·         2016: c) Show how the attributes of immanence and transcendence of God go with omnipresence and infinitude. (15 marks)

·         2016: c) “The natural would is as complexly and manifestly designed as a watch”. Evaluate. (15 marks)

·         2016: (e) Critically discuss the relationship of man with God in the Yoga system of philosophy. (10 marks)

·         2017: Q8.(a) Can a religious person take an elastic view about religious ideals, principles and practices, etc. which are supposed to be eternal ? Will it make the religion progressive or will it demolish its authority ? Discuss critically. (20 marks)

·         2018: (c) Evaluate the concept of Bhakti (Devotion) as a pathway to attain liberation. (15 marks)

Proofs for the Existence of God and their Critique (Indian and Western).·         2000:Discuss traditional proofs for the existence of God and give your own criticism on each. (60 marks)

·         2002 : Ontological proof for the existence of God. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2003 : Do any of these received proofs for the existence of God succeed in proving God’s existence? Discuss. In this context, critically consider especially the cosmological argument. (60 marks)

·         2003 : Is the ontological argument for the existence of God really invalid? Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2004 : Some theists question the relevancy of proofs and arguments for theistic beliefs. Believers in their view are not irrational for want of proof for their belief in God because proofs are neither necessary nor sufficient for religious life. Would you agree with such a view? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2005 : “If God exists only in someone’s mind, the greatest conceivable being is not after all the greatest conceivable being.” Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2005 : “God is the first reason of things.” Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2006 : State and evaluate the cosmological argument for the existence of God. What are its two forms? What is the difference between a dependent being and self-existent being? Why is the self-existent being theo-centric? Can the nature itself be conceived as self-existent being? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2007 : State and evaluate the cosmological argument for the existence of God. What are its two forms? What is the difference between a dependent being and self-existent being? Why is the self-existent being theo-centric? Can the nature itself be conceived as self-existent being? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2008 : Different versions of ontological arguments and Kant’s critique of these arguments. Critical note. (20 marks)

·         2009 : Analyse the teleological argument as a proof for the existence of God. (30 marks)

·         2009 : Critically examine the causal argument as a proof for the existence of God. (20 marks)

·         2010 : Human mind is such that it naturally observes order in nature. Given this can one use arguments from design for the existence of God? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2010 : If each and every argument has to take that its premises are true, would the causal argument for the existence of God as the first cause be different from assuming that it is true? Argue in favour of your position. (20 marks)

·         2010 : Is contingent argument for the existence of God anything more than a logical exercise? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011 : Why is a proof for the existence of God necessary for the growth of a religion? Discuss. (15 marks)

·     2012: Can God’s existence be proved with cogent and convincing rational arguments ? (12 marks)

·         2013: Critically evaluate three main objections against the argument from design for the existence of god . (20 marks)

·     2013: Discuss two main objections against this argument . Are theist able to answer these satisfactorily. (15 marks)

·         2013: State and elucidate cosmological argument for the existence of god in Western and Indian philosophy . (15 marks)

·         2014: Can it self-contradictory to accept the idea of God but deny the existence of God ?(15 marks)

·         2014: Discuss the ontological argument for the existence of God ,and show its merits and demerits. (15 marks)

·         2015: Examine the ontological and cosmological arguments in favour of existence of God.( 15 marks)

·         2015: Examine the Nyaya arguments in favour of the existence of God.( 20 marks)

·         2015: Is existence of Goda necessary condition for the survival of religion? Explain.(10 marks)

·     2012: c) “It would be self-contradictory to say that the most perfect conceivable being lacks the attribute of existence.” Analyse. (15 marks)

·     2017: (c) Compare and contrast the different forms of cosmological argument for (15 marks)

·     2017: (b) What is a non-theological concept of God ? How is it different from a theological concept of God ? Discuss with arguments. (15 marks)

·     2018: (c) Does the concept of God entail the existence of God ? Examine from the perspective of ontological argument. (15 marks)

·     2018: 8.(a) Compare St. Thomas Aquinas’ five ways of knowing God with the arguments of the Nyāya School of Indian Philosophy for the existence of God. (20 marks)

·     2018: (b) Critically evaluate the Buddhistic arguments against the existence of God as the creator of the world. (15 marks)

The problem of Evil.·         2004 : Describe the problem of evil. Some theologicians utilise the free-will argument to resolve this problem. How? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2005 : “The problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the imperfect world with the goodness of God.” Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2007 : “God permitted evil to exist in order to bring about greater good, Adam’s fall was felix culpa (happy sin).” – Leibnitz. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2008 : How can a theist resolve the problem of evil? Does evil not tell upon omnipotence and omniscience of God? Can God be thought of as imperfect and powerless in this regard? Discuss critically for and against the two possible opposite views and justify your own position. (60 marks)

·         2009 : If evil and sufferings are the real experiences of individual self, what role do they play in realising self-transcendence? (20 marks)

·         2010 : “The problem of evil arises when we attribute infinite knowledge, power and goodness to God acknowledging the fact of innocent persons’ suffering. One cannot be mistaken about one’s own experience and suffering is an experience. Hence, God cannot have at least one of the three attributes; infinite knowledge, power and goodness.” Evaluate this argument. (15 marks)

·         2012 : “God permitted suffering to discipline the human being .” (12 marks)

·         2013 : Do theist succeed in explaining the natural evil in the world as a necessary counterpart to good ? (10 marks)

·         2014 : Is evil reconcilable with the benevolent God ?( 20 marks)

·         2015 : Do you think that evil is a bitter pill which no theist can swallow? Discuss.( 15 marks)

·         2015 : Is Godthe cause of natural evil? Explain.( 10 marks)

·     2016: Q.8) a) “If God is all-powerful, God must wish to abolish all evils, but moral and natural evils are rampant in the world.” How would a theist react to this? (20 marks)

·     2017: (b) How do you define a non-theological concept of evil ? Explain. (10 marks)

·     2017: Q6.(a) Is there an essential difference between the concept of Liberation in theological and non-theological approaches to life ? Discuss.(20 marks)

Soul: Immortality; Rebirth and Liberation.·         2000: Immortality of Soul  (20 marks)

·         2000: Elaborate the nature of Liberation according to Advaita Vedanta. (60 marks)

·         2002 : What is meant by immortality of soul? Analyse the argument of the Bhagvad Gita in this regard. (60 marks)

·         2002 : Advaita Vedanta theory of jivanmukti. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2003 : Can the results of a finite action of an individual (karma) determine the nature of the immortal soul (atman)? Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2004 : Relation between religion and salvation. Critical notes.(20 marks)

·         2005 : What do you understand by liberation? Is it possible for one to be liberated in this very life? If it is, what are the characteristics of a liberated person? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2005 : Is Christian doctrine of the immortality of soul compatible with the Gita’s doctrine of atman? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2005 : Without some conception of immortality, religion has no meaning. Critically examine. (20 marks)

·         2006 : Explain the doctrine of the law of karma. Is it compatible with the freedom of will? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2006 : Without some conception of immortality, religion has no meaning. Critically examine. (20 marks)

·         2007 : Explain the doctrine of the law of karma. Is it compatible with the freedom of will? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2007 : Without some conception of immortality, religion has no meaning. Critically examine. (20 marks)

·         2008 : Possibility of rational understanding of immortality and liberation. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2009 : Explain why man has a desire for immortality. (30 marks)

·         2010 : If ignorance is the cause of suffering, knowledge should remove suffering. What is the notion of knowledge which a liberated person acquires? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2010 : Distinguish between Indian concept of jivatma and Plato’s concept of soul. (20 marks)

·     2010: Why is grace of God needed for liberation? Discuss with an example. (20 marks)

·         2010: What sort of criteria can one provide for identifying rebirth as opposed to birth? Discuss. (15 marks)

·         2011: Can Buddhism, because of its doctrine of ‘anatta’, be regarded as a religion or not? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011: Is a belief in rebirth and reincarnation possible without a belief in the immortality of the soul? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011: Is a belief in the immortality of the soul a necessary precondition for religion? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2012: Are rebirth and liberation analogous concepts ? Explain (12 marks)

·         2013: Is there anything else other than human efforts which may be conducive to attainment of liberation ? (10 marks)

·         2014: Compare and contrast the concept of liberation according to ‘Advait’ and ‘Visishtadvait’. (15 marks)

·         2014: What are the arguments given in favour of immortality of soul ? (10 marks)

·         2014: How do you justify rebirth with or without the soul ? (10 marks)

·         2015: What is liberation?Briefly discuss the ways to attain it as outlined in the system of Vedanta.(20 marks)

·         2015: “Immortality means absence of karma and rebirth.” Discuss.( 15 marks)

·         2016: d) Buddhism disbelieves in the immortality of soul, but accepts the phenomenon of rebirth. Examine. (10 marks)

·     2017: (d) Discuss whether the doctrine of immortality of soul is indispensable for a religion.(10 marks)

·     2018: (b) How far is it plausible to argue that the anti-theistic religions’ stand on the concept of rebirth is philosophically significant ? (10 marks)

·     2018: (d) Can one claim that there is an inter-relatedness between ‘religiosity and ‘immorality’? Discuss. (10 marks)

Reason, Revelation, and Faith.·         2000: Reason and Revelation (20 marks)

·         2002 : Point out the relative importance of reason and revelation in religion. Are the two compatible? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2006: Explain the notion of revelation. Does revelation stand in need of confirmation? Discuss and also explain the difference or similarity between revelation and shruti. (60 marks)

·         2006 : “Religious faith consists of a set of profoundly unfalsifiable assumptions that govern all of a person’s other beliefs.” (R. M. Hare). Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2008 : Discuss the role of reason, revelation and faith in the sphere of religion. Are they compatible? If not, how to resolve their apparent inconsistency? (60 marks)

·         2012: The concept of revelation is essentially opposed to religious pluralism . Do you agree ? Give reasons for your answer. (30 marks)

·         2013 : Is religious faith opposed to reason ? (10 marks)

·         2014 : Can reason be used to justify faith ? (15 marks)

·         2015 : Can revelation be justified by reason? Discuss(15 marks)

·         2015: Do reason and faith go together? Discuss.( 10 marks)

·     2016: e) Faith means human awareness of God; but it cannot be irrational. Analyse. (10 marks)

·     2017: (c) Discuss whether the voluntarist’s theories of faith are adequate. (15 marks)

Religious Experience: Nature and Object (Indian and Western).·         2000:State and explain the chief doctrines of Mysticism. (60 marks)

·         2005 : “Mysticism is the power of spiritual access to domains of knowledge closed off to ordinary thought.” Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2006 : The difference between numinous and mystical experience. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2007 : The difference between numinous and mystical experience. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2009 : Explain the nature of religious experience. Can this experience be validated? (20 marks)

·         2010 : If religious experience is unique, what makes it an experience? How is this experience logically different from the experience of loneliness, happiness, etc.? (20 marks)

·         2012 : What is the object of religious experience ? Is it empirical or trans-empirical ? Explain in detail . (30 marks)

·         2013 : Can mystical experience be regarded as valid source of knowledge ? (20 marks)

·         2013 : Is mystical experience open to different interpretations? (15 marks)

·         2013 : What is the nature of mystical experience? (15 marks)

·         2014 : Discuss the conflicting nature of religious experience with special reference to Buddhism and Jainism. (15 marks)

·         2015 : Explain the nature of mysticism Hinduism and Islam.(15 marks)

·     2016: b) “World-religion is a spiritualistic and humanistic composite.” Evaluate. (10 marks)

·     2016: Q.7)  a) State and evaluate the nature and validity of myself experience. (20 marks)

·     2018: (e) Is Hinduism poly-theistic ? Give reasons for your answer. (10 marks)

Religion without God.·         2002 : Religion without God. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2003 : When a religion is defined as relegare, is Buddhism or Jainism a religion? What are the criteria for an organisation to be called a religion? Should there be a transcendental reality in a religion? Discuss. (60 marks)

·         2005 : Can atheism be a religion? Discuss.(60 marks).

·         2010 : What is the central concept in a religion without God? Discuss. (15 marks)

·         2012 : Is the idea of immortality of soul utopian or it is realizable ? Discuss (20 marks)

·     2017: (c) Is God necessary for religion ? Justify your answer. (10 marks)

·     2018: (c) Can you justify religion without God ? Support your answer. (10 marks)

·     2018: 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)

Religion and Morality.·         2000: Religion and Morality (20 marks)

·         2002 : Religion without morality is empty and morality without religion is blind. Do you agree with this contention? Give reasons in support of your view. (60 marks)

·         2003 : Are God and religion necessary presuppositions of morality? Elucidate your answer following Kant. Also consider critically in this context the possible grounds of morality following atheists. (60 marks)

·         2004: Secular ethics cannot satisfactorily answer the question – “Why should I be moral all the time?” (20 marks)

·         2006 : Distinguish between religious and secular ethics. Discuss in this context the view that holds that secular ethics are superior to religious ethics because religious ethics are essentially based on rules without decisive regard for consequences whereas secular ethics as their best aim at producing the best over-all consequences. (60 marks)

·         2008 : Proprietary of religion without morality. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2010 : If morality has to follow from religion, can there a rational justification for moral actions? Discuss. (15 marks)

·         2011 : Examine the view that the foundation of morality is possible only in a religious framework. (15 marks)

·         2012 : “ I can be moral without being religious, but I cannot be religious without being moral.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer . (20 marks )

·         2012 : “ If God does not exist then why one should one be moral all the time ?” Discuss (20 marks)

·         2013 : Is religious consistent with individual freedom ? (10 marks)

·         2014: How far can religious morality incorporate individual freedom ? (20 marks)

·         2015 : “An atheist may be better man than a religious person bereft of moral values.”Discuss.( 15 marks)

·         2015 : Is morality necessarily based on religion? Discuss.( 10 marks)

·     2016: b) “Moral principles function better when they remain independent and unconnected with religion” Discuss. (15 marks)

·     2017: (a) Does a committed religious person go against social morality ? Discuss from the moral perspective. (10 marks)

Religious Pluralism and the Problem of Absolute Truth.·         2004 : What is the central issue in the debate between religious pluralist and religious exclusivist? Discuss in this context the arguments they advance in support of their views. (60 marks)

·         2008 : In a pluralistic society, how can religious pluralism be practised? Point out distinction among (a) sarvadharmasamanvaya (b) sarvadharmasambhava (c) sarvadharmasadbhava. (60 marks)

·         2009 : Can the God of religion be identified with the absolute of philosophy? (30 marks)

·         2009 : “There are no whole truths, all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truth that plays the devil.” Discuss. (30 marks)

·         2010 : The fact that different religions originated at different places and in different centuries prove that plurality of religion is a fact. How correct would it be to say that all religions are essentially the same? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011 : Examine the view that, religious doctrines are not ‘quasi-scientific’ doctrines but represent a form of life. (20 marks)

·         2011 : Are religious doctrines and debates verifiable? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011 : Is William James right in holding that religious disputes are like conflicts in aesthetic appreciation? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011: How can religious conflicts about truth be resolved? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011: Does the notion of absolute truth give rise to intolerance and religious conflicts? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2011 : Explain the notion of truth as “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti” (Truth is one, the learned interpret it differently.) (20 marks)

·         2012 : Do the concept of Ishvara and Brahman signify the same reality in Advait Vedanta ? (12 marks)

·         2012 : Can the notion of absolute truth be justified on rational grounds ? (12 marks)

·         2014 : On what grounds , dichotomy between ‘is’ and ‘ought’ can either be justified or rejected ? (10 marks)

·         2014 : If God is regarded as ‘one’ , will it give rise to religious conflicts ? (10 marks)

·     2014: Can pluralist perspective vindicate Absolute Truth ? (10 marks)

·     2016: c) Is Religious absolutism a threat to Religious pluralism? Discuss. (10 marks)

·     2016: Q.6)  a) The content of revelation is a body of truths expressed in statements or propositions. But it cannot be against. Reason. Discuss. (15 marks)

·     2017: (b) Does religion guarantee the absolute truth? Discuss in the context of religious pluralism. (15 marks)

·     2018:Q6.(a) Distinguish between Exclusivism, Inclusivism and Pluralism with regard to the conflicting truth-claims of different religions. (20 marks)

·     2018: (b) “Truth is one, yet people perceive differently.” Critically evaluate by considering the present Indian context. (15 marks)

Nature of Religious Language: Analogical and Symbolic; Cognitivist and Noncognitive.

 

·         2004 : “Man’s ultimate concern must be expressed symbolically because symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate.” – Paul Tillich. Critical notes. (20 marks)

·         2009 : Is religious language symbolic? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2010 : Religious language is dependent on natural language for an analogy and a symbol of work. Why not treat religious language as a specialised language like telegraphic language? Discuss. (20 marks)

·         2012 : Discuss the cognitivist account of the nature of religious language . (20 marks)

·         2012 : Analyse Paul Tillich’s statement that “ symbolic language alone is able to express the ultimate.” (20 marks)

·         2013 : Do cognitivist provide cogent answer to the objection based on falsifiablity ? (20 marks)

·         2013 : Can religious language can said to be verifiable ? (15 marks)

·         2013: What is meant by saying that religious is non-cognitive ? (15 marks)

·         2014 : How do you formulate religious language as non-cognitive ? (15 marks)

·         2015 : How can religious language be verified?Is it correct to say that religious language is verified because it can not be falsified? Discuss.(20 marks)

·     2016 : b) Among the different views of religious language, which one is more satisfactory and why? (15 marks)          

·     2017: Q7. (a) Is not the language of analogies more confusing and the language of symbols more unintelligible ? Evaluate it in the case of a religious language. (20 marks)

·     2017: (c) In order to make expressions of religious experiences communicable, what kind of language needs to be constructed and used ? Explain. (15 marks)

·     2018: (a) In what sense is the secular use of language different from the religious use of language ? Discuss. (10 marks)

·     2018: (b) Critically examine Braithwaite’s non-cognitive theory of religious language. (15 marks)

·     2018: (c) Explain the significance of religious symbols as transcendent referent that mediates into the cultural, spatial and temporal world. (15 marks)

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