Welcome to another insightful blog post in our ongoing series on UPSC Mains optional topics. Today, we delve into the profound realm of philosophy, focusing on the Crime and Punishment section. Aspirants who have chosen philosophy as their optional subject for the UPSC Mains examination often find themselves navigating through the depths of ethical and moral inquiries. To help you in your preparation, we’ve meticulously curated a comprehensive list of previous year questions spanning the decade from 2013 to 2023. These questions not only give you a glimpse into the examination’s evolving pattern but also provide a valuable insight into the philosophical underpinnings of crime, justice, and punishment. By exploring these questions, you’ll not only enhance your problem-solving skills but also develop a nuanced understanding of the role of philosophy in shaping societal norms and legal systems.
Philosophy, a subject that has been instrumental in shaping the very foundations of human society, often plays a crucial role in policy-making and legislation. When you choose philosophy as your optional subject, you are not merely preparing for an exam; you are preparing to engage with the fundamental questions that underpin our civilization. In this blog, we will explore questions that have probed the nature of crime, the principles of justice, and the ethics of punishment. Whether you’re a seasoned philosopher or just embarking on this intellectual journey, this collection of questions will serve as an invaluable resource, helping you unravel the intricate web of philosophical thought that surrounds crime and its consequences. So, let’s embark on this intellectual voyage together and unravel the philosophical dimensions of Crime and Punishment as explored in the UPSC Mains from 2013 to 2023.
Crime and Punishment Philosophy – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
1. Can you justify capital punishment for crimes like rape, murder and corruption ? Discuss (2017/15)
2. “The aim of punishment is to defend the moral law and to do justice to criminal.” Discuss.(2015/15)
3. Analyse the statement with reasons that “Power corrupts , absolute power corrupts absolutely”. (2014/20)
4. Which theory of punishment retributive or restorative , do your commend and why ? (2014/20)
5. Can we say that racial supremacy is the main reason for genocide ?Give reasons for your answer. (2014/10)
6. Does corruption have not only a moral dimension but also an economic dimension ? (2013/10)
7. What can be the causes of mass violence ? can mass violence be justified on moral ground ? Discuss (2012/30)
8. Can capital punishment be justified? Answer with reference to the theories of punishment. 2011 – 15 marks
9. If capital punishment is legally awarded, then no ethico-politico consideration should subvert it. Express your opinion for or against.2010 – 20 marks.
10. List the various sanctions permitting genocide and clearly bring out the ethical counter-arguments against it. 2010 – 20 marks.
11. “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. 2009 – 20 marks.
12. Is capital punishment in your view ethically justified? 2009 – 30marks.
13. “Punishment rules all creatures, punishment preserves them all.”2008 – 20 marks.
14. Consider why punishment is generally thought to require justification. In this context, give your critical and comparative account of the main theories of punishment. 2007 – 60 marks.
15. 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. 2006 –60 marks.
16. 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. 2004 – 60 marks.
17. Critically examine – “Retributive and deterrent theories of punishment are mutually complementary.” 2003 – 20 marks.
Q: What is the philosophical significance of the concept of crime and punishment?
A: Crime and punishment have deep-rooted philosophical implications, as they involve questions about justice, ethics, and societal norms. Philosophers have explored the moral justifications for punishing individuals who break the law and examined the impact of various punishment methods on society.
Q: How do different philosophical perspectives approach the idea of criminal behavior?
A: Philosophers often analyze criminal behavior from various ethical and moral standpoints. Some may focus on the psychological factors leading to criminal actions, while others explore the social, political, or economic aspects that contribute to criminal behavior.
Q: What are the key ethical dilemmas surrounding the death penalty and other severe forms of punishment?
A: The death penalty and other harsh punishments raise significant ethical questions. Philosophers debate issues related to the right to life, the potential for wrongful convictions, and the effectiveness of such punishments as deterrents to crime.
Q: How does the concept of retribution factor into the philosophy of punishment?
A: Retribution is a fundamental concept in the philosophy of punishment. It involves the idea that offenders should be punished in proportion to the harm they have caused, raising questions about the moral basis of retributive justice and whether it serves the greater good.
Q: What role does restorative justice play in the philosophy of crime and punishment?
A: Restorative justice is an alternative approach to traditional punitive justice systems. Philosophers explore the moral and practical aspects of restorative justice, which focuses on repairing harm, promoting reconciliation, and rehabilitating offenders while involving victims and the community in the process.
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