There are mathematical structures with elements that cannot be distinguished by the properties they have within that structure. For instance within the field of complex numbers the two square roots of −1, i and −i, have the same algebraic properties in that field. So how do we distinguish between them? Imbedding the complex numbers in a bigger structure, the quaternions, allows us to algebraically tell them apart. But a similar problem appears for this larger structure. There seems to be always (...) a background and a context that we rely upon. Thus mathematicians naturally make use of Kantian intuition and references fixed by names and denotations. I argue that such features cannot be avoided. (shrink)
Are indices a purely linguistic, textual phenomenon or are linguistic indices a special case of a more general type of indexical signs? In comparing Carlo Ginzburg's restrictive view of indices and traces in particular with Peirce's general approach to indexical signs, this paper argues that Peirce's account of indexicality makes it possible to connect the sciences and the humanities by a flexible relational concept of the epistemic function of an identification that indexical experiences allows for. In this way Peirce's flexible (...) concept of indexicality allows us to connect e.g. the experience of a condensation trace of an electron in a cloud chamber with that of the trace of a deer in the snow. (shrink)
This article examines two Buddhist explanations of how a conceptual cognition, whose object is a universal, can give rise to activity that leads to a particular. In both theories, that of Dharmottara and that of Ratnakīrti, this activity is due to a kind of error. A detailed investigation of how this error happens shows that there were big differences in the two underlying epistemological models.
Dharmottara, one of the most outstanding commentators of Dharmakīrti, re-uses arguments in the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā, his broad commentary on Dharmakīrti’s Pramāṇaviniścaya, from his independent essay, the Kṣaṇabhaṅgasiddhi. By analyzing contents of re-used arguments in the Pramāṇaviniścayaṭīkā, this paper clarifies Dharmottara’s intention of paraphrasing his arguments in his commentarial work on Dharmakīrti. I argue that, in terms of content, such arguments are original and never fit into Dharmakīrti’s own system. It can be said that Dharmottara has a clear intention (...) to display his new innovations not only in his independent monograph, but also in his commentarial work. For Dharmottara, a commentary on Dharmakīrti is a better place than an independent monograph for showing off his advanced notions, since it is only in a commentary that his ideas can stand out directly against those of Dharmakīrti. In this sense, Dharmottara writes his commentary strategically. At the end of the article I discuss the significance of composing independent monographs or essays in the intellectual history of medieval India in the case of Dharmottara. (shrink)
This paper examines the role of doubt in the classification of inferential reasons in Dharmottara’s Nyāyabinduṭīkā, and in the works of his Nyāya rivals Keśavamiśra and Jayantabhaṭṭa. As deeply systematic thinkers, larger themes in these philosophers’ metaphysics directly determine the more local issues in epistemology and inferential theory, helping to explain, and show the significance of, the differences in their accounts of inferential reasons. For Keśava, an ontology which includes real universals allows for an externalist, reliabilist epistemology, on which (...) the conditions for a genuine inferential reason can be stated in an absolute manner. For Dharmottara, on the other hand, an ontology in which mentally constructed universals are imposed upon real particulars leads to greater dependency on the cognising agent, such that the triple conditions for the inferential reason are formulated in a cogniser-relative way. These differences lead to a more restrictive list of acceptable reasons on Dharmottara’s part, which excludes cases involving doubt. (shrink)
Vor allem die prophetischen Texte versteht er als dramatisch inszenierende Rede, deren Dramatik allerdings nicht von einer Aufführungspraxis abhängt. Der Titel "Gottes Wahrnehmungen" ist aber noch in einem andern Sinn zu verstehen.
A form of logic called relational and contextual reasoning is put forward as an improvement over other, more familiar types of logic. Developmental ideas are used to show how maturity ordinarily leads people away from binary (true/false) logic to systems of reasoning that are more subtle and better suited to making decisions in the face of ambiguity.