Buddhist Philosophy of Logic

In Emmanuel Steven Michael (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 320-330 (2013)
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Abstract

Logic in Buddhist Philosophy concerns the systematic study of anumāna (often translated as inference) as developed by Dignāga (480-540 c.e.) and Dharmakīti (600-660 c.e.). Buddhist logicians think of inference as an instrument of knowledge (pramāṇa) and, thus, logic is considered to constitute part of epistemology in the Buddhist tradition. According to the prevalent 20th and early 21st century ‘Western’ conception of logic, however, logical study is the formal study of arguments. If we understand the nature of logic to be formal, it is difficult to see what bearing logic has on knowledge. In this paper, by weaving together the main threads of thought that are salient in Dignāga’s and Dharmakīti’s texts, I shall re-conceive the nature of logic in the context of epistemology and demarcate the logical part of epistemology which can be recognised as logic. I shall demonstrate that we can recognise the logical significance of inference as understood by Buddhist logicians despite the fact that its logical significance lies within the context of knowledge.

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Koji Tanaka
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Buddhist Idealism.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2017 - In K. Pearce & T. Goldschmidt (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 178-199.
Buddhist Logic from a Global Perspective.Koji Tanaka - 2021 - In Inkeri Koskinen, David Ludwig, Zinhle Mncube, Luana Poliseli & Luis Reyes-Galindo (eds.), Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science. London: Routledge. pp. 274-285.
Buddhist Logic.Koji Tanaka - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
How Can Buddhists Prove That Non-Existent Things Do Not Exist?Koji Tanaka - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essay on the Metaphysics of Non-Existence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 82-96.

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What The Tortoise Said To Achilles.Lewis Carroll - 1895 - Mind 104 (416):691-693.
.Gilbert Harman - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Paraconsistent logic.Graham Priest - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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