The idea to work on this topic was come to my mind when I came across Masaaki Hattori’s comment that Dinnaga has accepted Bhartrhari’s views regarding the meaning of a sentence although their theories of word meaning are completely different from each other. According to Bhartrhari, in all phenomenal entities there are two elements viz. jati and vyakti; jati refers to the real element and vyakti to the unreal. Vyakti suffer changes, whereas jati remains constant. Again according to him the real unit of language is a sentence, and not words or letters, because only a sentence conveys one full idea of the speaker. It’s meaning is also an instantaneous flash of pratibha or intuition, which has no parts. Dinnaga, on the other hand did not accept the reality of word‐ meaning,but maintained that words deal directly with conceptual images or vikalpas, which are purely subjective constructions of the mind, and therefore there can be no direct connection between words and external objects. The function of a word in a sentence is similar to the function of an inferential mark in the process of inference and it indicates its object through the exclusion of other things. Thus, there seems to be some contradictions in Dinnaga’s views on sentence meaning. But I think Dinnaga did not accept Bhartrhari’s views in toto. He could not possibly have done so. There is, however, a resemblance between Dinnaga and Bhartrhari in that each accepted that the primary unit of linguistic meaning is the entire sentence; the meaning of an individual word is abstracted from the whole meaning of the sentence. It is only in that respect that the two philosophers can be said to have roughly the same theory of sentential meaning.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI wcp22200824668
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