The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 7, 2007

Philosophy of Culture(s)

John Vattanky
Pages 179-183

Philosophy of Indian Logic from a Comparative Perspective

One of the classical systems of Indian Philosophy is specially concerned with the problems of logic c This system is called Nyaya which has a long history of about two thousand years. In the extent of the literature it has produced and in the depth of the philosophical problems it discusses, it is of considerable interest and importance. However, the spirit of pure rationality in which Nyaya discusses these problems and the techniques it makes use of in handling them are quite different from other systems of Indian thought and at once renders it a unique achievement of the Indian mind. The term Nyaya means the method of coming to a conclusion with certainty and the system of Indian philosophy in which philosophical problems are discussed according to this method came to be called Nyayadarsana or just Nyaya. Nyaya has been sedulously cultivated in restricted circles of traditional learning. Nyaya and in particular, Navyanyaya studies with unparalleled rigour and exactitude the nature, the dimensions and conditions of human knowledge. And by common consent the philosophical problem par excellence is the problem of knowledge. With rare insight, both the old and modern Nyaya analyse the problems connected with human knowledge and sets forth in detail the exact conditions in which valid knowledge is possible. This essay highlights the nature and scope of Nyaya logic comparing and contrasting it with other systems of logic especially the Buddhist and Aristotelian.