Booklist for Philosophy Optional For UPSC

We have spoken about how important optional subjects are for UPSC CSE. Today’s blog is also about one of the optional subjects. It is about the optional subject Philosophy. Philosophy is one of the optional subjects of UPSC CSE. 

Philosophy as an optional in UPSC focuses on issues related to history, the evolution of philosophy and its impact on Indian culture. In today’s blog, we will share with you the booklist for philosophy optional.

You can also read the blog, which speaks on why you should select Philosophy as the optional subject.

Optional For UPSC

  • An Introduction to Indian Philosophy by Satish Chandra Chatterjee
  • A Critical History of Western Philosophy: Greek, Medieval and Modern by Yakub Masih
  • A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy written by Chandra Dhar Sharma
  • Contemporary Indian Philosophy by Basant Kumar Lal
  • An Introduction to Political Theory 
  • Philosophy of Religion by John H Hick

UPSC Philosophy Optional Books

History & Problems of Philosophy

A History of Philosophy by Frank Thilly

Survey of Indian Philosophy

Indian Philosophy, A Counter Perspective by Dr Daya Krishna 

Indian Philosophy II Volume by Dr S. Radhakrishnan


Existentialism: A Reconstruction by David Cooper

Existentialism Is A Humanism by Jean-Paul

Indian Philosophy

An Introduction to Indian Philosophy- S Chatterjee

A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy- C Sharma

Western Philosophy

A History of Philosophy-Frank Thilly

A Critical History of Western Philosophy- Y Masih

Contemporary Western Philosophy- Dr B.K. Lal

Social-Political Philosophy

An Introduction to Political Theory written by O P Gauba

Philosophy of Religion

Introduction to Religious Philosophy By Y Masih

Philosophy of Religion by John H. Hick

Booklist For Philosophy Optional Papers 

Philosophy Optional for UPSC has two papers (paper I and Paper II) in UPSC Mains. Each is of 250 marks. Listing book list as per the papers

Paper I

  • Oxford Dictionary for Philosophy.
  • A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. MLBD -C. D. Sharma – 
  • A New History of Western Philosophy. OUP Oxford.- Anthony Kenny 
  • An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. Rupa Publishing. – Datta & Chatterjee 
  • A History of Philosophy From volume I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX & XI).-Copleston (relevant chapters only)


  • Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction.
  • Political Theory, An Introduction. Edited By Rajeev Bhargava & Ashok Acharya.
  • O. P. Gauba: Social & Political Philosophy.
  • John Hick: Philosophy of Religion.
  • Oxford Dictionary for politics.

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