In this article an attempt is made to detect what could have been the dialectical reasons that impelled the Cārvāka thinker Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa to revise and reformulate the classical materialistic concept of cognition. If indeed according to ancient Cārvākas, cognition is an attribute entirely dependent on the physical body, for Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa cognition is an independent principle that, of course, needs the presence of a human body for manifesting itself. Therefore, he seems to describe cognition according to a double ontology: it is (...) both a principle and a characteristic, both independent and dependent. Two philosophical contexts – Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya – are here taken into account as possible anti-Cārvāka fault-finding points of view that spured Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa to reconsider the Cārvāka perspective. Although we do not have so much textual material on this particular aspect of the ancient and medieval philosophical debate in India, it nonetheless can be supposed that Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa’s reformulation of the concept of cognition was a tentative response to the Vaiśeṣika idea that cognition is not an attribute of the body, rather of the mind (which is here supposed to be eternal), and to the Naiyāyika perspective according to which cognition would be an attribute of an everlasting self. In the case of the Nyāya school, fortunately we have at our disposal the criticism put forward by Vātsyāyana against the materialistic conception of cognition during this time. By examining some Vātsyāyana’s objections, we will see that Udbhaṭabhaṭṭa’s idea of cognition really seems to have the aspect of a consistent answer to them, from a renewed materialistic point of view. (shrink)
The technical term “ tarka ” in the Nyāya tradition is the object of the present investigation. Diverse texts including Buddhist ones exhibit a negative estimation of activities using tarka . In contrast, more often than not, later treatises dealing with logico-epistemic problems, especially certain Naiyāyika works, identify the methodological peculiarity of Nyāya with tarka . Such an ambivalent attitude toward tarka can be understood in a coherent way if the essential features of tarka that gave rise to it can (...) be grasped. Starting from the Nyāyasūtra 1.1.40 and the explanation given in the Nyāyabhāṣya on it, the present researcher sorted out three characteristic features of tarka in the early Nyāya tradition. These three features focus on the main feature of tarka : namely, reflective analysis without requiring further factual information on the object of investigation. Based on this, the present researcher critically reviewed what promoted an understanding of tarka as a reductio ad absurdum argument or an a priori reasoning. Furthermore, certain passages from the Nyāyamañjarī , Nyāyakalikā , and Tarkasaṅgraha were examined to demonstrate that the present researcher’s interpretative understanding of tarka was adequate for explaining the usage of this term in a broad sense, with positive connotations. (shrink)
In this article an attempt is made to detect what could have been the dialectical reasons that impelled the Cār-vāka thinker Udbhatabhatta to revise and reformulate the classical materialistic concept of cognition. If indeed according to ancient Cārvākas cognition is an attribute entirely dependent on the physical body, for Udbhatabhatta cognition is an independent principle that, of course, needs the presence of a human body to manifest itself and for this very reason it is said to be a peculiarity of (...) the body. Therefore, Udbhatabhatta seems to de-scribe the cognizing faculty according to a double ontology: it is both a principle and a characteristic, both inde-pendent and dependent. Two philosophical contexts—Vaisesika and Nyāya schools—are here taken into account as possible anti-Cārvāka fault-finding points of view that spured Udbhatabhatta to reconsider the Cārvāka per-spective. Although we do not have so much textual material on this particular aspect of the ancient and medieval philosophical debate in India, it nonetheless can be supposed that Udbhatabhatta’s reformulation of the concept of cognition was a tentative response to the Vaisesika idea that cognition is not an attribute of the body, rather of the mind (which is here supposed to be eternal), and to the Naiyāyika perspective according to which cognition would be an attribute of an everlasting self. In the case of the Nyāya school, fortunately we have at our disposal the criticism put forward by Vātsyāyana against the materialistic conception of cognition during this time. By examining some Vātsyāyana’s objections, it will emerge that Udbhatabhatta’s idea of cognition really seems to have the aspect of a consistent answer to them, from a renewed materialistic point of view. (shrink)
Over the last fifteen years, studies on Sanskrit intellectual history between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries have produced a body of scholarship that has fundamentally reshaped our understanding of the period. Yet, despite significant advances in the understanding of the social-historical circumstances of authors and disciplines as well as success in elucidating major features of intellectual thought, a main point of difficultly has been in combining both the intellectuality and sociality of Sanskrit scholars. By examining a debate within the discipline (...) of nyāya during the seventeenth century about how one cognizes the universal property ‘Brahman-ness ’ and by connecting it with a social debate that is found in available historical documents of the period, this essay attempts to combine the sociality of the Brahman scholarly community in Vārāṇasī with their intellectuality and offer a larger analysis of nyāya intellectual history for this period. The essay concludes by considering the ways in which the social world impinged upon nyāya argumentation and nyāya argumentation upon the social world. (shrink)
This article examines the emergence of the Nyāya distinction between vāda and jalpa as didactic-scientific and agonistic-sophistical forms of debate, respectively. Looking at the relevant sutras in Gautama’s Nyāya-sūtra (NS 1.2.1-3) in light of the earlier discussion of the types of debate in Caraka Saṃhitā 8, the article argues that certain ambiguities and obscurities in the former text can be explained on the hypothesis that the early Nyāya presupposed an agonistic understanding of vāda similar to what we find in Caraka.
In this case-study, I examine examples which fall within the five categories of the re-use of texts in the Nyāya Sūtra, Nyāya Bhāṣya, and Nyāya Vārttika and note the form of quoting and embedment. It is found that the re-use of texts is prominent and that the category and method of embedding the re-used passages varies from author to author. Gautama embeds the most interlanguage quotations without acknowledging his sources and Uddyotakara re-uses the most quotations and paraphrases while acknowledging his (...) sources. Vātsyāyana re-uses the most direct quotations but only acknowledges his sources about half the time. Each author re-uses textual material for two reasons: to demonstrate his authority in this field; and to support his own arguments and to critique objections and opposing theories. Differences crop up in the methodologies of Gautama, Vātsyāyana, and Uddyotakara as the concept of an authority shifts over time, as the body of literature grows, and as new objections and opponents arise. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the relevance of Indian epistemology and the philosophy of language to contemporary Western philosophy. Hence it discusses (1) how perceptual, inferential and verbal cognitions are related to the same object, (2) how to draw the distinction in meaning between transformationally equivalent sentences, such as ‘Brutus killed Caesar’ and ‘Caesar was killed by Brutus’, and (3) why the predicate-expression is to be considered as unsaturated but the subjectexpression as saturated. In order to answer these questions the Nyāya (...) philosophers have discussed the distinction between several pairs of terms, such as ‘subject–predicate’, ‘qualificand–qualifier’ and ‘the first term–the second term’. This paper also deals with the Nyāya conception of inference for others, and the interpretations of the premise called ‘upanaya’ (‘application’) or the cognition called ‘parāmarśa’ (‘operation’). (shrink)
The problem of induction : East and West -- The later Nyaya solution -- The method of generalization : Vyaptigrahopayah -- Counterfactual reasoning : Tarkah -- Universal based extraordinary perception : Samanyalaksanapratyaksa -- Earlier views of adjuncts : Upadhivadah -- The accepted view of adjuncts : Upadhivadasiddhantah -- Classification of adjuncts : Upadhivibhagah -- Sriharsa's Khandanakhandakhadyam on pervasion -- Selected passages from Prabhacandra's Prameyakamalamartanda on critique of pervasion and inference -- Selections from Dharmakirti's Nyayabindu on non-perception as a probans.
In this book, Phillips gives an overview of the contribution of Nyaya--the classical Indian school that defends an externalist position about knowledge as well as an internalist position about justification. Nyaya literature extends almost two thousand years and comprises hundreds of texts, and in this book, Phillips presents a useful overview of the under-studied system of thought. For the philosopher rather than the scholar of Sanskrit, the book makes a whole range of Nyaya positions and arguments accessible (...) to students of epistemology who are unfamiliar with classical Indian systems. (shrink)