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Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India

Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India: Jnanasrimitra on Exclusion

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Buddhist Philosophy of Language in India
    Book Description:

    Jnanasrimitra (975-1025) was regarded by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists as the most important Indian philosopher of his generation. His theory of exclusion combined a philosophy of language with a theory of conceptual content to explore the nature of words and thought. Jnanasrimitra's theory informed much of the work accomplished at Vikramasila, a monastic and educational complex instrumental to the growth of Buddhism. His ideas were also passionately debated among successive Hindu and Jain philosophers.

    This volume marks the first English translation of Jnanasrimitra's Monograph on Exclusion, a careful, critical investigation into language, perception, and conceptual awareness. Featuring the rival arguments of Buddhist and Hindu intellectuals, among other thinkers, the Monograph reflects more than half a millennium of competing claims while providing an invaluable introduction to a crucial philosopher. Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil familiarize the reader with the author, themes, and topics of the text and situate Jnanasrimitra's findings within his larger intellectual milieu. Their clear, accessible, and accurate translation proves the influence of Jnanasrimitra on the foundations of Buddhist and Indian philosophy.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-52191-8
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Lawrence J. McCrea and Parimal G. Patil
    (pp. 1-42)

    The theory of exclusion (apoha) has long been recognized as one of the most fundamental and distinctive components of Buddhist philosophy in India.¹ Modern scholars have tended to view the theory as primarily a theory of meaning,² but since its origins in the work of the sixth-century Buddhist philosopher Dignāga,³ the theory of exclusion was used to address a much broader range of philosophical problems. Indeed, for Dignāga and his successors, it formed the basis of their account of all conceptual awareness.⁴

    A distinctive feature of Dignāga’s philosophy is its radical distinction between conceptual and perceptual awareness. His position is...

    (pp. 43-98)

    1. [201.01–201.06] Statement of the thesis: Words and inferential reasons convey only exclusions. Two explanations of the purpose in putting forth the thesis are given.

    2. [201.07–202.21] Preliminary argument is made against the thesis.

    2.1 [201.07–201.14] The thesis is contradicted by experience.

    2.1.1 [201.07–201.09] Awareness that is produced by words and inferential reasons is experienced as presenting a positive entity.

    2.1.2 [201.09–201.14] Any philosophical thesis contradicted by experience is ruled out.

    2.2 [201.15–202.07] We cannot argue that exclusion is included in the awareness of the excluded thing because exclusion—as a kind of absence...

    (pp. 99-128)

    [201.01] apohaḥ śabdaliṅgābhyāṃ prakāśyata iti sthitiḥ |

    sādhyate sarvadharmāṇām avācyatvaprasiddhaye||

    sthitir vyavasthā | sādhyate¹ ityantena apoho ‘tra abhidheya uktaḥ | śeṣeṇa tatprasādhanaphalam | athavā yad ācāryair apohaḥ śabdādinā prakaśyata iti vyavasthā kriyate tad etadartham ity arthaḥ | ubhayathāpi sarvadharmānabhilāpyatva pratipādanaparam apohavyavasthāpanam ity uktaṃ bhavati |

    [201.07] nanv apohaḥ śabdaliṅgābhyāṃ prakāśyata ity anubhavabādhitam etat | tathā hīha mahīdharoddeśe vahnir astīti śabdāl liṅgād vā pratītir vidhirūpam evollikhantī lakṣyate | nānagnir na bhavatīti nivṛttimātram āmukhayantī | [201.09] yac cānubhavabādhitaṃ na tatra sādhanāntaracintā, sarvapramāṇapauruṣasya tatraiva viśrāmāt [8b] tatprasūtes tatphalatvāc ca | na hi pratyakṣopakāranirapekṣaḥ pramāṇāntarodayaḥ | nāpi pramāṇāntaro dayamātreṇa kṛtārthaḥ pramānānusārī yāvan na tadupanītasādhanārthakriyānubhavaḥ...

    (pp. 129-132)
  8. NOTES
    (pp. 133-178)
    (pp. 179-196)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 197-204)