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Title: The theory of negation in Indian logic
Author: Sharma, Dhirendra
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1961
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This thesis is concerned with the problems of negation as they appear in the logical writings of India, In the first chapter, after discussing the paradox of negative judgment, - how can a negative; judgment be descriptive of a positive reality, - we have tried to present the problems discussed mainly in the early writings of the realist systems, namely, the Nyaya, the Vaisesika, and the Purva Mimamsa of the Bhatta school. The realists advocated the acceptance of a real Nonexistence as a corresponding object of a negative judgment. I have suggested that in advancing this theory they also relied upon their doctrines of negative emancipation and their principle of causality - "the not-pre-existent-effect." The second chapter is devoted to the theories of the Buddhist and the Prabhakara logicians. According to these logicians the paradox can be solved by explaining negation in terms of the positive factors involved in it. In the third chapter I have tried to show that the principle of double negation appears to be first applied in India by the Buddhist logicians and that the use of double negation is at least as old as the theory of logical discrimination or Apoha. That is that the affirmation of A implies the denial of not-A. I have also investigated the problem of 'mutual-absence' versus 'constant-absence' and have discussed complex types of negation which are unique to the later (neo-Nyaya) writings of India. The fourth chapter is concerned with the epistemological problem: How do we know the absence of a thing? We have presented Kumarila Bhatta's realistic solution that the absence being real must be known by an independent negative means of its own called "Negation" (abhava). After having investigated the Buddhist theory that the knowledge of absence is only an inferential judgment I have pointed out that the inferential principle of 'anupalabdhi' or Non-perception is originally a Buddhist one and that the view, upheld by some modem scholars, that it was originated by Kumarila, is wrong. Lastly I have tried to describe the later Nyaya-Vaisesika theory according to which all negative cognitions are perceived through a unique relation between the absence and the locus which is in direct contact with the sense organs. The first part of the fifth chapter forms a short introduction to the Buddhist theory of Apoha. In the second part a complete English translation of the Apohasiddhi of Ratnakirti is provided. In the pages under the heading of 'conclusion' I have surveyed the problem of negative judgment and have tried to compare some Indian and Western theories of negation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral