, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 135–147

Transcendental Arguments and Practical Reason in Indian Philosophy


DOI: 10.1007/s10503-007-9078-3

Cite this article as:
Arnold, D. Argumentation (2008) 22: 135. doi:10.1007/s10503-007-9078-3


This paper examines some Indian philosophical arguments that are understandable as transcendental arguments—i.e., arguments whose conclusions cannot be denied without self-contradiction, insofar as the truth of the claim in question is a condition of the possibility even of any such denial. This raises the question of what kind of self-contradiction is involved—e.g., pragmatic self-contradiction, or the kind that goes with logical necessity. It is suggested that these arguments involve something like practical reason—indeed, that they just are arguments against the primacy of “theoretical reason.” This characterization illuminates a characteristically Indic appeal to ordinary language.


Transcendental argumentPractical reasonMadhyamaka BuddhismMīmāṃsāSelf-contradiction

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Divinity SchoolUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA