IAS PHILOSOPHY 2022 OPTIONAL PAPER 1 CIVIL SERVICE MAIN SOLVED Q4 , Q5, Q6
PHILOSOPHY (Paper I)
Time Allowed : Three Hours Maximum Marks : 250
4. (a) How does Soren Kierkegaard define the notion of 'subjectivity' ? Explain it with reference to three stages of existence as propounded by him.
Answer- Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet, was one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century. He is known for his concept of "subjectivity," which is central to his philosophy.
According to Kierkegaard, subjectivity is the starting point of all philosophical inquiry, and it is through subjective reflection that one can achieve a true understanding of oneself and the world. He believed that there are three stages of existence that one must go through in order to achieve this understanding: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious.
The Aesthetic Stage: In the aesthetic stage, the individual is driven by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Life is viewed as a series of experiences to be enjoyed, and the individual seeks to maximize his or her own pleasure. This stage is characterized by a lack of commitment and a lack of responsibility, as the individual is only concerned with his or her own needs and desires.
The Ethical Stage: In the ethical stage, the individual begins to recognize the importance of moral responsibility and the need to live a meaningful life. The individual is guided by ethical principles and is concerned with the well-being of others as well as his or her own. This stage is characterized by a sense of duty and a commitment to ethical principles.
The Religious Stage: In the religious stage, the individual transcends the limitations of the ethical stage and enters into a relationship with the divine. The individual recognizes the importance of faith and the need to surrender oneself to a higher power. This stage is characterized by a sense of awe and a recognition of the limits of human knowledge.
In summary, Kierkegaard's concept of subjectivity is grounded in the idea that true understanding of oneself and the world can only be achieved through subjective reflection. The three stages of existence represent a progression from a focus on individual pleasure to a recognition of the importance of ethical responsibility and finally to a relationship with the divine. Through this progression, the individual can achieve a true understanding of oneself and the world. 4. (b) How does Rene Descartes explain the notion of certainty with reference to knowledge of the self ? Critically discuss the way it differs from the knowledge of the world.
Answer- Rene Descartes, a French philosopher of the seventeenth century, is known for his contribution to epistemology and metaphysics. Descartes attempted to create a new foundation for knowledge by rejecting previous philosophical traditions and focusing on skepticism. In his philosophical work, Descartes developed a method of doubt and proposed that knowledge of the self is the only knowledge that can be certain. Descartes argued that the only knowledge that can be considered certain is that which is clear and distinct. According to him, we cannot be certain about the external world because our senses can deceive us, and we cannot be certain about the existence of God because our reasoning can be flawed. However, Descartes believed that we can be certain about the existence of our self because we are thinking beings. He argued that even if an evil demon were to deceive us about everything else, we could not doubt our own existence, since the very act of doubting proves that we exist. In his famous quote "Cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"), Descartes claimed that the very act of thinking proves the existence of the self. He argued that the self is a thinking thing that is distinct from the body, and that the mind and body are separate substances. Descartes believed that the mind or soul is immortal, while the body is mortal and subject to decay. In contrast to the knowledge of the self, Descartes claimed that our knowledge of the external world is uncertain. He believed that our senses can deceive us and that our knowledge of the external world is based on probabilities. According to Descartes, knowledge of the external world can only be attained through reason and mathematics, which are more reliable than our senses. Descartes argued that our senses can be fooled by illusions, dreams, and hallucinations, and therefore cannot be trusted as a source of knowledge. Descartes' distinction between knowledge of the self and knowledge of the external world has been a subject of criticism. Critics argue that Descartes' method of doubt is too extreme, and that it leads to skepticism about all knowledge. Critics also question the validity of Descartes' claim that the self is a thinking thing that is distinct from the body, and argue that the mind and body are closely interconnected. In conclusion, Descartes' notion of certainty is based on the idea that clear and distinct knowledge is certain, and that knowledge of the self is the only knowledge that can be considered certain. He argued that the self is a thinking thing that is distinct from the body, and that the mind and body are separate substances. Descartes' view on knowledge of the self differs from his view on knowledge of the external world, which he believed to be uncertain due to the fallibility of our senses. However, his distinction between these two types of knowledge has been criticized, and his method of doubt has been regarded as too extreme. 4. (c) Why and how does John Locke refute the innate ideas ? Elucidate the nature and source of knowledge in Locke's epistemology.
Answer- John Locke was an English philosopher who lived in the 17th century and is known for his contributions to the fields of epistemology, political philosophy, and social theory. One of Locke's most important contributions to philosophy was his refutation of the concept of innate ideas, which were commonly held by the philosophers of his time. Locke argued against the notion of innate ideas, which suggests that certain ideas or knowledge are present in the mind from birth, independent of experience. According to Locke, there is no such thing as innate knowledge, and all knowledge is derived from experience. He believed that the mind is like a blank slate (tabula rasa) at birth and that all knowledge comes from experience and observation. Locke claimed that all ideas are derived from two sources: sensation and reflection. Sensation refers to the information we receive through our senses, such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Reflection, on the other hand, refers to the internal process of our mind that involves our ability to think, reason, and imagine. In Locke's view, sensation and reflection work together to create all of our ideas. The mind receives sensory information through our senses, and then it reflects on this information to form ideas. For example, when we see an apple, our mind receives sensory information about its color, shape, and texture. Then, we reflect on this information and form the idea of an apple. Locke's theory of knowledge is often referred to as empiricism, which emphasizes the role of experience and observation in the acquisition of knowledge. According to Locke, knowledge is not innate, but rather it is acquired through experience and observation. He believed that the mind is passive in the acquisition of knowledge and that all knowledge comes from experience. In summary, Locke refuted the concept of innate ideas, arguing that all knowledge is derived from experience and observation. He believed that the mind is like a blank slate at birth, and that all ideas are derived from two sources: sensation and reflection. Locke's epistemology emphasizes the role of experience and observation in the acquisition of knowledge and is often referred to as empiricism SECTION B
5.(a) Examine and evaluate the proofs given by Sarhkhya philosophy to prove the existence of Purusa.
Answer- Sankhya philosophy is a school of Indian philosophy that dates back to around the 3rd century BCE. It is one of the oldest philosophical systems in India and is based on the dualistic principle of purusha and prakriti. Purusha is the pure consciousness or the self, while prakriti is the material world or the phenomenal universe.
Sankhya philosophy provides various proofs to establish the existence of purusha. Here are some of the main proofs:
The argument from experience: This argument is based on the idea that we have a direct experience of purusha. According to Sankhya philosophy, purusha is the witness consciousness that is present in all of us. It is the part of us that observes our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Since we have direct experience of our own consciousness, Sankhya philosophy argues that purusha exists.
The argument from inference: This argument is based on the principle of causality. According to Sankhya philosophy, the world is the effect of a cause, and that cause must be purusha. The material world is constantly changing, and since it cannot be the cause of itself, there must be an unchanging cause that is responsible for it. Sankhya philosophy argues that this cause is purusha.
The argument from analogy: This argument is based on the analogy between the self and a lamp. Just as a lamp illuminates objects without being affected by them, purusha illuminates the material world without being affected by it. Just as we can see objects by the light of a lamp, we can experience the material world by the light of purusha. Therefore, just as we infer the existence of a lamp from the light it gives, Sankhya philosophy argues that we can infer the existence of purusha from the illumination it provides.
While these arguments provide some insight into the nature of purusha, they are not without their limitations. Some criticisms of these arguments include:
The argument from experience assumes that we have a direct experience of purusha. However, it is difficult to prove that our experience of consciousness is actually the experience of purusha and not just a function of the brain or nervous system.
The argument from inference assumes that the material world must have a cause that is different from itself. However, it is possible that the material world is self-caused, or that it is part of an infinite regress of causes.
The argument from analogy assumes that the analogy between the self and a lamp is valid. However, it is unclear whether this analogy accurately reflects the relationship between purusha and the material world.
Overall, while these arguments provide some insight into the existence of purusha, they are not conclusive and have been subject to criticism over the years. 5.(b) What is the ontological status of Samanya, according to VaiSesika Philosophy ? Critically examine.
Answer- According to Vaiśeṣika philosophy, samanya refers to the universal or general category or concept that is common to a group of particular objects or individuals. For example, the samanya or universal concept of "cow" is applicable to all individual cows that exist.
The ontological status of samanya in Vaiśeṣika philosophy is that it is considered a real entity or substance (dravya). The Vaiśeṣika school posits that there are nine categories of reality, and samanya is included as one of them. It is considered a non-physical, abstract substance that exists independently of the particular objects or individuals that exemplify it.
Critics of Vaiśeṣika philosophy have raised objections to the ontological status of samanya as a substance. One argument is that the concept of samanya is merely a mental construct or abstraction that does not have an independent existence outside of the mind. Another objection is that the samanya of an object is not a separate entity but is inherent in the object itself.
Furthermore, other schools of Indian philosophy, such as Advaita Vedanta, reject the notion of a separate substance for samanya, arguing that it is merely an aspect or quality of the individual objects themselves. According to Advaita Vedanta, the ultimate reality (Brahman) is non-dual and all-encompassing, and there are no separate substances or entities that exist independently of it.
In conclusion, the Vaiśeṣika philosophy considers samanya as a real substance or entity, which is independent of the particular objects that exemplify it. However, this view is not universally accepted, and critics have raised objections to the ontological status of samanya as a separate substance.
5. (c) Discuss the nature and different stages of Samadhi as per Patanjala yoga and
examine the role of Igvara in it.
Answer- Samadhi is a state of deep meditative absorption where the individual self merges with the divine or universal consciousness. According to Patanjala yoga, there are eight stages of Samadhi, known as Ashtanga Yoga. These stages represent different levels of consciousness and spiritual progress.
Yama: The first stage of Samadhi is Yama, which refers to ethical principles or moral restraints. It includes five principles: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness.
Niyama: The second stage of Samadhi is Niyama, which refers to personal disciplines. It includes five principles: cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender to a higher power.
Asana: The third stage of Samadhi is Asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures. It is believed that a stable and comfortable physical posture helps the mind to concentrate.
Pranayama: The fourth stage of Samadhi is Pranayama, which refers to the control of breath. It is believed that by regulating the breath, the mind can be focused and the life force energy can be balanced.
Pratyahara: The fifth stage of Samadhi is Pratyahara, which refers to the withdrawal of the senses from external stimuli. It is believed that by withdrawing the senses, the mind can be turned inward and focused on the object of meditation.
Dharana: The sixth stage of Samadhi is Dharana, which refers to concentration. It is believed that by focusing the mind on a single point or object, the mind can be trained to be more stable and focused.
Dhyana: The seventh stage of Samadhi is Dhyana, which refers to meditation. It is believed that by meditating on the object of concentration, the mind can be completely absorbed in it.
Samadhi: The final stage of Samadhi is Samadhi itself, which refers to a state of complete absorption in the object of meditation. It is believed that in this state, the individual self merges with the universal consciousness.
The concept of Isvara (or Ishvara) is an important aspect of Patanjala yoga, and it plays a crucial role in the practice of Samadhi. Isvara refers to a higher power, often translated as God or the Divine. It is believed that by surrendering to Isvara, the practitioner can overcome the obstacles that prevent them from reaching Samadhi. In the context of Samadhi, Isvara is seen as the object of meditation. The practitioner focuses on Isvara, allowing the mind to become absorbed in the divine consciousness. Isvara is also believed to provide guidance and support to the practitioner on their spiritual journey, helping them to overcome the obstacles and distractions that can arise during the practice of Samadhi. Overall, the practice of Samadhi in Patanjala yoga involves a gradual progression through the eight stages, each building on the previous one. The role of Isvara is to provide guidance, support, and a focal point for meditation, helping the practitioner to reach the ultimate goal of merging with the universal consciousness. 5. (d) How does Jaina view of Karma bear upon their soteriology ? Critically discuss.
Answer- Jainism is a religion that emphasizes the idea of karma and its impact on the soul's journey towards liberation, known as moksha. The Jain view of karma is quite distinct from that of other Indian religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and has a significant influence on their soteriology, or the theory of salvation. In this essay, I will discuss the Jain view of karma and its impact on their soteriology, while also offering a critical evaluation of this perspective. According to Jainism, karma is a fundamental force that governs the universe and affects all living beings, including humans. Karma is considered a subtle, non-physical substance that adheres to the soul, or jiva, through thoughts, words, and actions. The accumulation of karma can lead to rebirths in different forms of existence, including humans, animals, and even plants. Jainism teaches that karma can be either good or bad, and its accumulation determines the soul's destiny. The Jain view of karma has a significant impact on their soteriology. Jainism teaches that the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve liberation, known as moksha, from the cycle of birth and death. To achieve this, one must eliminate all karmic attachments and attain a state of complete purity and detachment, known as kevala jnana. This state of enlightenment is achieved through the practice of ethical and ascetic disciplines, including non-violence, truthfulness, celibacy, and renunciation. The Jain view of karma and its emphasis on the ethical and ascetic disciplines required for moksha have several strengths. Firstly, it encourages individuals to take responsibility for their actions, thoughts, and speech, and emphasizes the importance of ethical behavior. Secondly, it stresses the need for self-control, renunciation, and detachment from worldly desires, which can lead to a more peaceful and contented life. Thirdly, it provides a clear and structured path towards spiritual progress and liberation, offering guidance and support to those seeking enlightenment. However, there are also some limitations to the Jain view of karma and its soteriology. One criticism is that it may be overly focused on individual salvation, neglecting the importance of social and environmental concerns. The emphasis on individual effort and discipline may also lead to a narrow and exclusive understanding of spirituality, ignoring the importance of community and collective action. Additionally, the rigorous ethical and ascetic disciplines required for moksha may be difficult or even impossible for some individuals to follow, leading to feelings of guilt or inadequacy. In conclusion, the Jain view of karma and its impact on their soteriology is a distinctive and compelling perspective on the nature of human existence and spiritual progress. The emphasis on ethical behavior, self-control, and detachment from worldly desires provides a clear and structured path towards enlightenment. However, it is also important to recognize the limitations of this perspective, including its potential neglect of social and environmental concerns and the challenges of following the rigorous disciplines required for moksha. 5. (e) Do you agree with the view that `Vivartavada is the logical development of Parinamavada' ? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Answer- Vivartavada and Parinamavada are two schools of thought in Indian philosophy that provide different perspectives on the nature of reality and the relationship between the material and spiritual worlds. Parinamavada, also known as the theory of transformation, asserts that the universe and all its contents are constantly changing and evolving. Vivartavada, on the other hand, posits that the material world is an illusion or a mere appearance, and the ultimate reality lies beyond it. The view that Vivartavada is the logical development of Parinamavada is a matter of debate among scholars of Indian philosophy. Some argue that Vivartavada represents a higher and more refined understanding of the nature of reality, building upon the insights of Parinamavada. Others contend that the two schools of thought are fundamentally different and incompatible. One argument in favor of the view that Vivartavada is the logical development of Parinamavada is based on the idea of causation. Parinamavada asserts that everything in the universe is subject to causation, and every effect is the result of a prior cause. Vivartavada, on the other hand, posits that causation is an illusion and that the material world is a mere appearance that arises from the ultimate reality, which is pure consciousness or Brahman. According to this argument, Vivartavada provides a more refined understanding of causation, going beyond the limitations of Parinamavada. Another argument in favor of the view is based on the idea of epistemology. Parinamavada asserts that knowledge arises from the perception of the changing world, while Vivartavada holds that true knowledge can only be attained through direct perception of the ultimate reality. According to this argument, Vivartavada represents a higher and more refined understanding of knowledge, building upon the limitations of Parinamavada. However, there are also arguments against the view that Vivartavada is the logical development of Parinamavada. One argument is based on the idea of consistency. Parinamavada and Vivartavada provide fundamentally different perspectives on the nature of reality, and it is not clear how they can be reconciled. According to this argument, the two schools of thought are not logically compatible, and one cannot be seen as the logical development of the other. In conclusion, the question of whether Vivartavada is the logical development of Parinamavada is a matter of debate among scholars of Indian philosophy. While there are arguments in favor of this view, there are also arguments against it, and the relationship between the two schools of thought remains a topic of discussion and exploration. 6. (a)How compatible is Buddhist theory of momentariness with their theory of Karma ? In this regard how do Buddhists respond to objections raised by their opponents ? Critically discuss. Answer- The Buddhist theory of momentariness and the theory of karma are two fundamental concepts in Buddhist philosophy that have been the subject of much debate and discussion over the years. The theory of momentariness asserts that all phenomena, including mental states and physical objects, arise and pass away in an instant, without any permanent existence. The theory of karma, on the other hand, posits that all actions have consequences, both in this life and in future lives. At first glance, the Buddhist theory of momentariness and the theory of karma may seem incompatible, as the latter assumes a continuity of identity and causality that appears to contradict the former's emphasis on impermanence and constant change. However, Buddhist scholars have proposed several ways of reconciling these seemingly conflicting ideas. One way Buddhist philosophers reconcile the theory of momentariness with the theory of karma is by understanding karma as a series of discrete mental states, rather than as a continuous and unchanging entity. According to this view, each moment of consciousness generates its own karmic potential, which may or may not be realized in subsequent moments of consciousness. Another way Buddhist philosophers reconcile the two theories is by distinguishing between two types of karma: manifest and latent. Manifest karma refers to the immediate effects of past actions, while latent karma refers to the potential effects that may arise in the future. According to this view, the impermanence of phenomena does not affect the continuity of latent karmic potential, which can continue to generate effects over multiple lifetimes. In response to objections raised by opponents of the Buddhist theory of karma, Buddhist scholars have argued that karma should not be understood as a deterministic or fatalistic doctrine. Rather, they argue that karma is subject to change and modification, and that individuals have the power to influence their own karma through their actions and intentions. Additionally, they argue that the effects of karma are not predetermined or absolute, but are subject to a variety of factors, including the influence of other karmic potentials and the individual's own efforts to cultivate wisdom and compassion. In conclusion, while the Buddhist theory of momentariness and the theory of karma may initially appear incompatible, Buddhist scholars have proposed several ways of reconciling these ideas. By understanding karma as a series of discrete mental states, and by distinguishing between manifest and latent karma, Buddhists have sought to maintain the continuity of karmic potential while acknowledging the impermanence and constant change of all phenomena. Furthermore, by emphasizing the role of individual agency and the influence of other factors on the effects of karma, Buddhists have responded to objections raised by opponents of their doctrine.
6.(b) How do Mimarnsakas refute the Nyaya view that Implication (arthapatti) is reducible to Inference (anumana) and establish Implication as an independent means of valid knowledge (pramana) ? Critically discuss.
Answer- Mimamsa is a school of Indian philosophy that focuses on the interpretation and analysis of the Vedas, and it has a different perspective on arthapatti or implication than Nyaya. Nyaya, another school of Indian philosophy, considers implication as a form of inference, but Mimamsa refutes this view and establishes implication as an independent means of valid knowledge.
According to Nyaya, implication is reducible to inference, which means that we can infer the existence of an unperceived object by observing its effects. For example, if we see smoke, we can infer the existence of fire, even if we do not see the fire directly. Nyaya argues that arthapatti is just a special type of inference, where we infer the existence of a previously unknown fact from the contradiction between two known facts.
Mimamsa refutes this view by arguing that arthapatti is an independent means of valid knowledge, separate from inference. Mimamsa claims that there are certain statements that cannot be proven or disproven by inference alone, and we must rely on implication to establish their truth. These statements are called vyapti or universal relations, which are essential for the proper interpretation of Vedic injunctions.
For example, the Vedic injunction "one who desires heaven should perform the horse sacrifice" cannot be proven by inference alone. We cannot observe a direct causal relationship between performing the horse sacrifice and attaining heaven. However, we can establish the validity of this injunction through implication, by inferring the existence of a universal relation between performing the horse sacrifice and attaining heaven.
Mimamsa also argues that inference and implication have different epistemological roles. Inference is a means of establishing the existence of an unknown object, while implication is a means of establishing the validity of a statement. Implication is essential for understanding the meaning of Vedic injunctions, which cannot be established by inference alone.
In conclusion, Mimamsa refutes the Nyaya view that implication is reducible to inference and establishes implication as an independent means of valid knowledge. Mimamsa argues that implication is essential for the interpretation of Vedic injunctions and the establishment of universal relations, which cannot be established by inference alone. Mimamsa's view of implication highlights the importance of language and meaning in the acquisition of knowledge and the interpretation of texts.