Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 111–131 | Cite as

No Black Scorpion is Falling: An Onto-Epistemic Analysis of Absence

  • Nirmalya GuhaEmail author


An absence and its locus are the same ontological entity. But the cognition of the absence is different from the cognition of the locus. The cognitive difference is caused by a query followed by a cognitive process of introspection. The moment one perceptually knows y that contains only one thing, z, one is in a position to conclude that y contains the absence of any non-z. After having a query as to whether y has x one revisits one’s knowledge of y containing z and comes to know that x is absent from y. Thus the knowledge of the absence of x logically follows from the knowledge of y containing z through the mediation of a query. This analysis goes against the thesis according to which an absence is an irreducible entity that is to be known through senses, and is inspired by the Mīmāṃsā views, especially the Prābhākara views, on absence and its cognition.


Nyāya Bhāṭṭā Prābhākara Absence 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyPresidency UniversityKolkataIndia

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