Journal of Indian Philosophy 47 (1):31-48 (2019)

In the tradition of Dharmakīrti, perception is, by definition, free from conceptual construction. Insofar as perception is thus, it lacks the nature of determining its object. Without identifying its object, how does perception lead one to a successful action? Perception in isolation would not be pramāṇa unless it is supplemented by perceptual judgement. This paper looks at how Dharamkīrti and his commentators offer solutions to the contradiction between perception’s foundational role and its seeming dependence on conceptual construction. The key point in their proposed solutions is the argument that perception is understood in accordance with two distinct perspectives of the moment and the continuum. Perception from the perspective of the moment has the activities of ‘grasping’ and ‘ascertaining’. The ‘grasping’ induces perceptual awareness to be possessed of the image of an object-moment; the ‘ascertaining’ identifies its object in the form of “this is something.” Perception from the perspective of the continuum, on the other hand, consists of a series of the first moment of sense perception and its subsequent moments of mental perception. It is a continuous process allowing one to attain or avoid a thing that s/he sees. The fulfilment of a purpose is achieved not through a perception-moment but through a perception-continuum. It is worthy stressing, however, that in a very strict sense, the perception-moment alone is ultimately real. Perception from the perspective of the moment is purely epistemological while perception from the perspective of the continuum is pragmatic.
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-018-9373-3
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Dharmakīrti's Theory of Truth.Shoryu Katsura - 1984 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 12 (3):215-235.

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