Perceptual, Reflective, and Speculative Doubt

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 45:77-98 (2021)
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Abstract

In this paper I present the distinction between perceptual, reflective, and speculative doubt by engaging with the work of early naiyāyikas. I argue that the definition of the causes of doubt offered by Gautama Akṣapāda in the Nyāya-Sūtra, and commented upon by later naiyāyikas leads to a distinction between perceptual and reflective doubt, but not to a notion of speculative doubt. I then move on to critically assess J.N. Mohanty’s comparison of Descartes’s method of doubt with the Nyāya theory of doubt through the lens of Janet Broughton’s work on Descartes’s Method of Doubt.

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Anand Vaidya
San Jose State University

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