Volume 21, December 2016
Collected Works of Kisor K. Chakrabarti, Part I
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti
Universal Premise in Early Nyāya
Indian logic is mainly devoted to the study of nyaya the logical structure of which is analogous to that of a categorical syllogism. In a nyaya it is inferred that since the probans (similar to the middle term) is pervaded by or never exists without the probandum (similar to the major term) and since the probans belongs to the inferential subject (similar to the minor term), the probandum belongs to the inferential subject. Many modern scholars hold that in early Indian logic a nyaya was an analogical argument from particular to particular. We disagree. Early Nyaya works say explicitly that what deviates is a pseudo-probans; this implies that a probans is non-deviant or pervaded by the probandum and thus that a universal premise stating the pervasion of the probans by the probandum is needed. Such a universal premise is also found in articulated arguments. Further, a counterargument based on mere analogy to a nyaya based on a universal connection is viewed as a pseudo-refutation.