Breaking the circle. Dharmakīrti's response to the charge of circularity against the apoha theory and its tibetan adaptation

Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (6):533-557 (2009)
Abstract
This paper examines the Buddhist’s answer to one of the most famous (and more intuitive) objections against the semantic theory of “exclusion” ( apoha ), namely, the charge of circularity. If the understanding of X is not reached positively, but X is understood via the exclusion of non-X, the Buddhist nominalist is facing a problem of circularity, for the understanding of X would depend on that of non-X, which, in turn, depends on that of X. I distinguish in this paper two strategies aiming at “breaking the circle”: (i) conceding the precedence of a positive understanding of X, from which a negative understanding (i.e., the understanding of “non-X”) is derived by contrast, and (ii) denying any precedence by proposing a simultaneous understanding of both X and non-X. I consider how these two options are articulated respectively by Dharmakīrti in his Pramāṇavārttika cum Svavṛtti and by one of his Tibetan interpreters, Sa skya Paṇḍita, and examine the requirements for their workability. I suggest that Sa skya Paṇḍita’s motivation to opt for an alternative solution has to do with his criticism of notions shared by his Tibetan predecessors, an outline of which is given in Appendix 1. In Appendix 2, I present the surprising use of the charge of circularity by an early Tibetan logician against his coreligionists.
Keywords Buddhism  Epistemology  Theory of language  Nominalism   apoha  Circularity  Dharmakīrti  Sa skya Paṇḍita
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,819
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Ernst Steinkellner (1977). Verse-Index of Dharmakīrti's Works: (Tibetan Versions). Arbeitskreis F. Tibetische U. Buddhistische Studien, Univ. Wien.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-11-11

Total downloads

21 ( #85,180 of 1,099,914 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #127,260 of 1,099,914 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.