As a result of a recent conversation with Roy Perrett, I had a question.
(Incidentally, many of you will know, but some may not, that Roy Perrett’s ‘Introduction to Indian Philosophy’, Cambridge University Press, has been out since the beginning of the year. It will be a very important book for students and teachers of Indian Philosophy classes, for people working in other areas of Philosophy, and for people doing research on Indian Philosophy.)
The question — about Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika ontology:
When we speak of a pot, say (no surprises there as to my choice of example!), can we characterize it just as a substance possessing qualities, i.e. by appeal to two things: substance and qualities (and a relation of inherence between them), or are we dealing with three things? By ‘three things’ I mean the substance, the qualities and the ‘whole’ (avayavin). I.e. is the pot-avayavin firmly distinguished from the pot-dravya or can we equate them? (Roy suggested that we have to distinguish them since the whole is composite and divisible, but the substance is neither.)