Indian Logic and Philosophy of Science: The Logic-Epistemology Link

  • Sundar SarukkaiEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 352)


There are many interesting themes in Indian logic which illustrate not just philosophical complexity and rigour but also their potential use in philosophy of science. Matilal describes Indian logic as the “systematic study of informal inference-patterns, the rules of debate, the identification of sound inference vis-à-vis sophistical argument, and similar topics.” An important task for Indian logicians was to critically understand which inferences are valid and what conditions they should obey in order to have certainty in inference. Thus, Indian logicians were deeply concerned about establishing a theory to know which inferential statements one could be certain about and the methodology to decide on their validity. The early Nyāya logic is exemplified by the five-step argument and there has been much discussion on whether it is equivalent to a syllogistic form.


Physical Concept Indian Philosopher Valid Sign Western Tradition Arbitrary Nature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Bhattacharyya, S. Doubt, Belief and Knowledge. New Delhi, ICPR, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buchler, J., editor. Philosophical Writings of Peirce. New York, NY: Dover, 1955.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cassirer, E. The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, The phenomenology of Knowledge (1929), Vol. 3. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1957.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferrari, M. The concept of symbol from Leibniz to Cassirer. In M. Ferrari and I.O. Stamatescu, editors, Symbol and Physical Knowledge. Berlin, Verlag, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ihmig, K. The symbol in the theory of science: Duhem’s alleged instrumentalism or conventionalism and the continuity of scientific development. In M. Ferrari and I. O. Stamatescu, editors, Symbol and Physical Knowledge, Berlin, Springer, 2002.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Matilal, B. K. Character of Logic in India. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mohanty, J. N. Reason and Tradition in Indian Thought. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Prasad, R. Dharmakīrti’s Theory of Inference. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sarukkai, S. Translating the World: Science and Language. Lanham, MD, University Press of America, 2002.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sarukkai, S. Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. Delhi, CSC/Motilal Banarsidass, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Vidyabhusana, S. C. A History of Indian Logic. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1920.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Advanced StudiesIndian Institute of Science CampusBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations