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Is There Anything Like Indian Logic? Anumāna, ‘Inference’ and Inference in the Critique of Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa

Abstract

The paper presents an analysis of the anumāna chapter of Jayarāśi’s Tattvôpaplava-siṁha and the nature of his criticism levelled against the anumāna model. The results of the analysis force us to revise our understanding of Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa as a sceptic. Instead, he emerges as a highly critical (materialist) philosopher. In addition, the nature of Jayarāśi’s criticism of the anumāna model allow us to conclude that anumāna should not be equated with inference, but rather is its limited subset, and may at best be rendered as ‘disputational inference’, ‘debational inference’ or even ‘dialogical inference’. Jayarāśi applies a range of logical laws which clearly represent patterns of what can be classified as a priori reasoning (if we grant that there could be a priori justification for our knowledge at all) and analytical justifications for knowledge, which were traditionally not reckoned sound. Against the backdrop of Jayarāśi’s criticism of anumāna, the paper also attempts to provide an explanation to why Indian philosophy and logic did not develop any concept of proper symbols and variables.

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Acknowledgements

Research work on the paper has been generously supported by the National Science Centre of Poland (Research Project ‘History of Classical Indian Philosophy: Buddhism, Scepticism and Materialism’, 2016/23/B/HS1/00536). I would like to extend my thanks to Brendan Gillon for his most invaluable comments on the paper.

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Balcerowicz, P. Is There Anything Like Indian Logic? Anumāna, ‘Inference’ and Inference in the Critique of Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa. J Indian Philos 47, 917–946 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-019-09400-6

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Keywords

  • Materialist
  • Scepticics
  • Inference
  • A priori reasoning
  • Analytic truths
  • Symbols
  • Grammar
  • Variable