Maharashtra State Eligibility Test
Syllabus & Sample Questions :
1. Classical Indian Philosophy
Vedic and Upanishad 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, svapna, susupti and turiya,
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, astangamarga, nirvana, madhyam
Schools of Buddhism : Vaibhasika, Sautrantika, Yogacara and
Nyaya : Prama and aprama, pramanya and apramanya; pramana :
pratyaks nirvikalpaka, savikalpaka,laukika and alaukika; anumana : anayavyatireka lingaparamarsa,
vyapti; classification : vyaptigrahopayas,
hetvabhasa upamana; sabda : Sakti, laksana, akanksa, yogyata,
sannidhi and tatparya concept of
God. arguments for the existence of God, adrsta nihsryeasa.
Vaisesika : Concepts of padartha, aravya, guna, karma, samanya,
samavaya visesa, abhava.
causation : Asatkaryavada, samavayi, asamavayi nimitte karana,
Samkhya : Satkaryavada, 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,
Yoga : Patanjali’s concept of citta and citta-vrtti,
eight-fold path of yoga the role of God in yoga
Sruti and its importance, atheism of purvamimamsa,
classification of srutivakyas, vidhi, nisedha and
arthavada, dharma, bhavana sabdanityavada, jatisaktivada
Kumarila and Prabhakara Schools of mimamsa and their major
points of difference, triputi-samvit
jnatata, abhava and anupalabdh anvitabhidhanavada,
Advaita-Rejection of difference : Adhyasa, maya, three grades of
satta, jiva jivanmukti, vivartavada
Visistadvaita : Saguna, Brahman, refutation of maya,
aprthaksiddh parinamavada, jiva, bhakti and
Dvaita-Rejection of nirguna brahman and maya, bheda and saksi,
2. 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
Ambedkar-Varna and the caste system, Neo-Buddhism.
3. Classical Western Philosophy
Early Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus
The Sophists and Socrates Plato-Theory of knowledge, knowledge (episteme) 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
St. Augustine-Problem of evil St. Anselm-Ontological argument
St. Thomas Aquinas-Faith and reason, essence and existence, the
existence of God.
4. Modern Western Philosophy
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,
Spinoza : Substance, Attribute and Mode, the concept of ‘God
or Nature’, the mind-body problem,
pantheism, three orders of knowing.
Leibniz : Monadology, truths of reason and truths of fact,
innaleness of all 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 and
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
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.
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.
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
Hegel : The conception of Geist (spirit), the dialectical
method, concepts of being, non-being andbecoming, absolute idealism.
Nietzsche : Critique of western culture, will to power
Moore : Refutation of idealism, defence of commonsense,
philosophy and analysis
Russell : Refutation of idealism, logic as the essence of
philosophy, logical atomism
Wittgenstein : language and reality, facts and objects, names
and propositions, the picture theory,
phiolosophy and language, meaning and use, forms of life.
Husserl : The Husserlian method, intentionality
Heidegger : Being and nothingness, man as being-in-the-world,
critique of technological civilization
Logical Positivism : The verifiability theory of meaning, the
verification principle, rejection of metaphysics,
unity of science
C. S. Peirce and William James : Pragmatic theories of meaning
G. Ryle : Systematically misleading expressions, category
mistake, concept of mind, critique of
Definition of knowledge
Ways of knowing
Theories of error
Theories of truth
Belief and scepticism
Problem of induction
Concept of Pratyaksa in Ny ya.
Concept of Pratyaksa in Buddhism.
Concept of Pratyaksa in S mkara Ved nta.
Nature and kinds of Anum na.
Definition and Nature of Vy pti.
Hetv bh sas.
Ethical cognitivism and non-cognitivism
Ethical realism and intuitionism
Kant’s moral theory
Kinds of utilitarianism
Human rights and social disparities
Truth-functions and prepositional logic
Quantification and rules of quantification
Argument and argument-form
Axiomatic system, consistency, completeness
Paper-III (B) (Elective/ 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;
Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity
(3) tribal religions of India)
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, worldviews (Weltanschaunngen) in religions, immortality, the doctrine of
incarnation and prophethood,
religions hermeneutics, religion and moral social values,
religion and secular society.
General :The linguistic turn and the conception of philosophy
Semantics : Frege’s distinction between sense and reference,
concepts and objects, related problems and their proposed solutions : (a) identity, (b)
negative existential, (c) indirect speech, (d) prepositional attitudes, the meaning and role of singular
terms : (a) Proper names, (b) definite descriptions, (c) demonstratives and other indexicals;
the relation between meaning and truth, holistic and atomistic approach to meaning, what is a
theory of meaning ? 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 acquaintance 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, situated ness and interpretation
[This covers vendata philosophy with special reference to five
main acharyas viz. Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhava, Nimbarka and Vallabha, The purpose is to test the
candidare’s acquaintence with vedanta philosophy in its rich and divergent forms]Sources, general features, similarities and differences, Brahman
: Definition and interpretations, distinction between saguna and nirguna and its relevance in the formation of
different schools of vedanta, my Its nature, agruments for and against m y tman : Its nature,
relation between atm n and Brahman; jiva; interpretation of m h v kyas, e.g. tat tvam asi, moksa :
Nature and types, marga or s dhan , roles played by j na, karma and bhakti, different conceptions of
bhakti, theories of causation, Brahman as the cause different conceptions of bhakti, theories
of causation, Brahman as the cause of the world : Different interpretations, pram , pram nas,
special role played by sabda pram na and intuition (saksatkara/aparoksanubhuti), theories of khy tis
[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 : Dharma. 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.
Sample Question: Papers -I
1. Which of the following pairs is acceptable to the Carvaka ?
(A) Pratyaksa and Anumana
(B) Air and Water
(C) Fire and Ether
(D) Sabda and Anumna
2. The concept of manahparyaya pertains to?
(A) Jain Metaphysics
(B) Jain Epistemology
(C) Buddhist Metaphysics
(D) Yoga Metaphysics
3. Identify the coherent combination?
(A) atmavada madhyamapratipad, pratityasamutpada.
(B) anatmavada, nityavada, madhyamapratipad.
(C) madhyamapratipad, anatmavada, ksanikavada.
(D) madhyamapratipad, nityavada, ksanikavada.