Are words an instrument of knowledge?

Are words an instrument of knowledge? And, if so, what sort of? Are they an instance of inference insofar as one infers the meaning on the basis of the words used? Or are they are an independent instrument of knowledge, Continue reading

Candrakīrti and Jayarāśi on Dignāga’s Epistemology (Part Two)

In Part One, I explained the critiques of Dignāga’s epistemology offered by Candrakīrti and Jayarāśi. In Part Two, I’ll consider whether these arguments create serious problems for Dignāga’s epistemology. I suspect that the two arguments are different in that Candrakīrti Continue reading

Candrakīrti and Jayarāśi on Dignāga’s Epistemology (Part One)

In his Pramāṇasamuccaya, Dignāga claims that there are two means of knowledge (pramāṇas): perception (pratyakṣa) and inference (anumāna). Perception has as its object the particular (svalakṣana); inference has as its object the universal (sāmānyalakṣana). The key distinguishing feature between the two is Continue reading

Necessity in Mīmāṃsā philosophy

Our Anand Vaidya has recently raised a very intriguing discussion on modality in Indian philosophy. His post started with the suggestion that modality is less central in Indian philosophy than it is in Western thought. In the comments, several scholars Continue reading

Untangling the Golden Age

The seventh and eighth centuries were, as Jean-Marie Verpoorten said, a “Golden Age” for Mīmāṃsā, when the two most important exponents of the system, Kumārila and Prabhākara, lived. But it was also a “Golden Age” for other systems. It was Continue reading

Veṅkaṭanātha’s epistemology, ontology and theology

In the world-view of a fundamental Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta teacher like Vedānta Deśika (1269–1370, aka Veṅkaṭanātha), theology is the center of the system and epistemology and ontology assume their role and significance only through their relationship with this center.

(Third day at the IABS:) Franco on the datation of Dharmakīrti and some further thoughts on Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Kumārila

The datation of Dharmakīrti is a topic I am not competent enough to speak about, but I will nonetheless try to summarise other people’s arguments. The departing point is the traditionally accepted date of Dharmakīrti, namely 600–660, settled by Erich Continue reading

How exactly does one seize the meaning of a word? K. Yoshimizu 2011 (and Kataoka forthc.) on Dignāga and Kumārila

We all know that for Dignāga the meaning of a word is apoha ‘exclusion’. But how does one seize it and avoid the infinite regress of excluding non-cows because one has understood what “cow” means? Kataoka at the last IABS Continue reading