In this article an attempt is made to detect what could have been the dialectical reasons that impelled the Cārvāka thinker Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa to revise and reformulate the classical materialistic concept of cognition. If indeed according to ancient Cārvākas, cognition is an attribute entirely dependent on the physical body, for Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa cognition is an independent principle that, of course, needs the presence of a human body for manifesting itself. Therefore, he seems to describe cognition according to a double ontology: it is (...) both a principle and a characteristic, both independent and dependent. Two philosophical contexts – Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya – are here taken into account as possible anti-Cārvāka fault-finding points of view that spured Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa to reconsider the Cārvāka perspective. Although we do not have so much textual material on this particular aspect of the ancient and medieval philosophical debate in India, it nonetheless can be supposed that Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa’s reformulation of the concept of cognition was a tentative response to the Vaiśeṣika idea that cognition is not an attribute of the body, rather of the mind (which is here supposed to be eternal), and to the Naiyāyika perspective according to which cognition would be an attribute of an everlasting self. In the case of the Nyāya school, fortunately we have at our disposal the criticism put forward by Vātsyāyana against the materialistic conception of cognition during this time. By examining some Vātsyāyana’s objections, we will see that Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa’s idea of cognition really seems to have the aspect of a consistent answer to them, from a renewed materialistic point of view. (shrink)
The problem of induction : East and West -- The later Nyaya solution -- The method of generalization : Vyaptigrahopayah -- Counterfactual reasoning : Tarkah -- Universal based extraordinary perception : Samanyalaksanapratyaksa -- Earlier views of adjuncts : Upadhivadah -- The accepted view of adjuncts : Upadhivadasiddhantah -- Classification of adjuncts : Upadhivibhagah -- Sriharsa's Khandanakhandakhadyam on pervasion -- Selected passages from Prabhacandra's Prameyakamalamartanda on critique of pervasion and inference -- Selections from Dharmakirti's Nyayabindu on non-perception as a probans.
This paper elaborates upon various responses to the Problem of the One over the Many, in the service of two central goals. The first is to situate Huayan's mereology within the context of Buddhism's historical development, showing its continuity with a broader tradition of philosophizing about part-whole relations. The second goal is to highlight the way in which Huayan's mereology combines the virtues of the Nyāya-Vaisheshika and Indian Buddhist solutions to the Problem of the One over the Many while avoiding (...) their vices. (shrink)
Besides seeing a rabbit or seeing that the rabbit is grayish, do we also sometimes see barely just the particular animal (not as an animal or as anything) or the feature rabbitness or grayness? Such bare, nonverbalizable perception is called "indeterminate perception" (nirvikalpaka pratyakṣa) in Nyāya. Standard Nyāya postulates such pre-predicative bare perception in order to honor the rule that awareness of a qualified entity must be caused by awareness of the qualifier. After connecting this issue with the Western debate (...) concerning the "myth of the given," seven distinct arguments are presented showing that the very notion of such indeterminate perception is epistemically otiose and that the Nyāya theory of perception is better off without it. (shrink)
It has become commonplace in introductions to Indian philosophy to construe Plato’s discussion of forms (εἶδος/ἰδέα) and the treatment in Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika of universals ( sāmānya/jāti ) as addressing the same philosophical issue, albeit in somewhat different ways. While such a comparison of the similarities and differences has interest and value as an initial reconnaissance of what each says about common properties, an examination of the roles that universals play in the rest of their philosophical enquiries vitiates this commonplace. (...) This paper draws upon the primary texts to identify the following metaphysical, epistemological, semantic and soteriological roles that universals play in the philosophy of Plato and of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika: Metaphysical: causal of the existence of x Metaphysical: constitutive of the identity/essence of x Epistemological: cognitively causal (i.e. of the cognition of one over many) Epistemological: epistemically causal (i.e. of knowledge of x) Semantic: necessary condition of speech and reason Epistemological: vindicatory of induction (Nyāya only) Metaphysical: explanatory of causation (Nyāya only) Soteriological: cathartic contemplation (Plato only) These roles provide us with motivations or reasons to believe that universals exist. As we examine these motivations, we find pressures mounting against our assimilating Platonic forms and the universals of Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika in the discourse about common properties. It is especially when we appreciate the utterly different contribution that universals make in securing our highest welfare that we realize how Plato and the two sister schools are not so much talking somewhat differently about the same thing, but talking somewhat similarly about different things. This better understanding of this difference in these philosophies opens a route for our better understanding of their unique contributions in the ongoing dialogue of philosophy. (shrink)
It is commonly believed that the given consists of particulars cognized as such in perceptual experiences. Against this belief it is argued that perceptual cognition must be restricted to universal features. A Nyāya-Kantian argument is presented to reveal the incoherence in the very idea of a conception-free awareness of particulars. For the Naiyāyika philosophers and Kant, conceptualization is a necessary ingredient of perceptual experience, since perceptual cognition requires the possibility of recognition. From this it follows that perceptual cognition must be (...) restricted to universal features. This is surprising, for it rules out the possibility of knowledge of particulars. This counterintuitive consequence can be avoided by reconsidering our intuitive notion of knowledge of particulars. (shrink)
In classical India, debates over rational theology naturally become the occasion for fundamental questions about the scope and power of inference itself. This is well evinced in the classical proofs for God by the Hindu Nyāya tradition and the opposing arguments of classical Buddhists and Mīmāsā philosophers. This paper calls attention to, and provides analysis of, a number of key nodes in these debates, particularly questions of inferential boundaries and whether inductive reasoning has the power to support inferences to wholly (...) unique entities (like God). (shrink)
This article examines the emergence of the Nyāya distinction between vāda and jalpa as didactic-scientific and agonistic-sophistical forms of debate, respectively. Looking at the relevant sutras in Gautama’s Nyāya-sūtra (NS 1.2.1-3) in light of the earlier discussion of the types of debate in Caraka Saṃhitā 8, the article argues that certain ambiguities and obscurities in the former text can be explained on the hypothesis that the early Nyāya presupposed an agonistic understanding of vāda similar to what we find in Caraka.
Recent studies of Nyäya’s account of testimony have illustrated its anticipation of contemporary testimonial antireductionism, the position that testimony cannot be reduced to a more fundamental means of knowledge like inference or perception. This paper discusses another relevant but less discussed anticipation of current debate, involving the status of speaker belief in testimonial exchange. Is a speaker’s veridical apprehension of the content of his utterance a necessary condition on testimonial exchange? This was a source of much disputation among Indian epistemologists, (...) particularly Naiyäyikas (adherents of the Nyäya, or “Logic” school) and Mimamsakas(adherents of the Mimamsa, or “Exegete” school). (shrink)
The technical term “ tarka ” in the Nyāya tradition is the object of the present investigation. Diverse texts including Buddhist ones exhibit a negative estimation of activities using tarka . In contrast, more often than not, later treatises dealing with logico-epistemic problems, especially certain Naiyāyika works, identify the methodological peculiarity of Nyāya with tarka . Such an ambivalent attitude toward tarka can be understood in a coherent way if the essential features of tarka that gave rise to it can (...) be grasped. Starting from the Nyāyasūtra 1.1.40 and the explanation given in the Nyāyabhāṣya on it, the present researcher sorted out three characteristic features of tarka in the early Nyāya tradition. These three features focus on the main feature of tarka : namely, reflective analysis without requiring further factual information on the object of investigation. Based on this, the present researcher critically reviewed what promoted an understanding of tarka as a reductio ad absurdum argument or an a priori reasoning. Furthermore, certain passages from the Nyāyamañjarī , Nyāyakalikā , and Tarkasaṅgraha were examined to demonstrate that the present researcher’s interpretative understanding of tarka was adequate for explaining the usage of this term in a broad sense, with positive connotations. (shrink)
Philosophers affiliated with the Nyāya school of classical Indian philosophy developed an impressive species of realism. Nyāya philosophers defended direct realism in holding that we perceive bodies, not just their qualities or mental images of their qualities. This sort of realism has been out of favor for centuries in the West and faces a number of problems that the Nyāya knew and answered in a sophisticated way. Rather than focus on the Nyāya defense of direct realism, we focus on the (...) Nyāya defense of epistemological realism in order to explicate what Nyāya philosophers took to be implications of their view that we know something about the way things are in themselves. Specifically, we argue that the epistemological realism of the Nyāya philosophers commits them to a strong form of essentialism, which furthermore entails that substances exist and instantiate natural-kind universals. (shrink)
In the Categories Aristotle defined substance as that which is neither predicable of nor in another.1 In saying that a substance is not predicable of another, Aristotle meant to exclude genera and species from the category substance.2 A man is a substance but not man. In saying that a substance is not in another, Aristotle meant to exclude property particulars from the category. A man is a substance, not his color.3 The Categories treats substances as simples. Though a particular substance, (...) Bucephalus the horse, has parts, it is nevertheless a single entity in the category substance and, hence, incomplex in the way a black thing or a running man are not.4 Black things and runners are complex because .. (shrink)
From the early modern period, Western epistemologists have often been concerned with a rigorous notion of epistemic justification, epitomized in the work of Descartes: properly held beliefs require insulation from extreme skepticism. To the degree that veridical cognitive states may be indistinguishable from non-veridical states, apparently veridical states cannot enjoy high-grade positive epistemic status. Therefore, a good believer begins from what are taken to be neutral, subjective experiences and reasons outward—hopefully identifying the kinds of appearances that properly link up to (...) the world and those that do not. Good beliefs, beliefs that are justified (warranted, etc.), are those that a believer has .. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present the Nyya concept of number in the light of contemporary philosophy and to show that the Frege-Russell concept of number does not contradict the Nyya concept of number but rather supplements it.