Buddhist Logic: Sample Texts
In this chapter, three sections from three different texts are chosen which discuss some of the core doctrines in Buddhist logic.
The first section, namely, Nyāyapraveśakasūtram discusses Diṅnāga’s theory of inference which includes his theory of “inference for oneself” and “inference for others” and fallacies of inference including those of the thesis, reason, and instance.
The second section chosen from Dharmakīrti’s Nyāyabindu deals with “Inference for oneself.” Dharmakīrti here tries to construct a comprehensive and tight framework of inference. Accordingly, hetu can be only of three kinds: svabhāva, kārya, and anupalabdhi. Dharmakīrti in this chapter also explains the 11-fold classification of anupalabdhi-hetu.
The third section selected from Dharmakīrti’s Hetubindu discusses formal logical issues concerning the inference for others. Here Dharmakīrti contends that the statements of pakṣadharmatā and vyāpti are the only logically necessary and sufficient premises and that the statements of positive and negative concomitance entail each other such that only one of the two needs to be stated. This gives rise to two basic forms of inference which resemble Modus Ponuns and Modus Tollens.
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