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Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 553–576 | Cite as

On the Argument of Infinite Regress in Proving Self-awareness

  • King Chung Lo
Article
  • 92 Downloads

Abstract

In PV 3.440ab and 473cd–474ab, Dharmakīrti raises the argument of infinite regress (anavasthiti) twice. The argument originates from the same argument stated by Dignāga in his Pramāṇasamuccaya 1.12ab1, in which the fault of infinite regress is called aniṣṭhā. In Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti 1.12b2, Dignāga presents another type of argument of infinite regress (anavasthā) driven by memory, which is elucidated by Dharmakīrtian commentators. The arguments were criticized by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa and Bhaṭṭa Jayanta and even more intensively so by two modern scholars, Jonardon Ganeri and Birgit Kellner. In this paper, I first examine the source of the arguments—Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti 1.12 and its translation, based on which I provide my interpretation of the two models of arguments of infinite regress. I then offer my response, according to Dharmakīrti and his commentators, to Ganeri’s and Kellner’s critiques. By doing so, I attempt to identify the essence of these arguments is and find out to what extent one can defend the infinite regress argument in Dignāga’s and Dharmakīrti’s theory.

Keywords

Buddhist epistemology Self-awareness Infinite regress Diganga Dharmakīrti 

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References

Abbreviations

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  7. PSt        Tibetan translation of Pramāṇasamuccaya of Dignāga.Google Scholar
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  9. PSV       Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti of Dignāga.Google Scholar
  10. PSVt      Tibetan translation of Pramāṇasamuccayavṛtti of Dignāga.Google Scholar
  11. PS(V)     Pramāṇasamuccaya and Vṛtti.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Indologie und ZentralasienwissenschaftenUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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