Buddhist Logic - Vol. 1

Buddhist Logic - Vol. 1

Buddhist Logic - Vol. 1

Buddhist Logic - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Under Buddhist Logic we understand a system of logic and epistemology created in India in the VI--VIIth century A. D. by two great lustres of Buddhist science, the Masters Dignāga and Dharmakīrti. The very insufficiently known Buddhist logical literature which prepared their creation and the enormous literature of commentaries which followed it in all northern Buddhist countries must be referred to the same class of writings. It contains, first of all, a doctrine on the forms of syllogism and for that reason alone deserves the name of logic. A theory on the essence of judgment, on the import of names and on inference is in India, just as it is in Europe, a natural corollary from the theory of syllogism.

But the logic of the Buddhists contains more. It contains also a theory of sense perception or, more precisely, a theory on the part of pure sensation in the whole content of our knowledge, a theory on the reliability of our knowledge and on the reality of the external world as cognized by us in sensations and images. These problems are usually treated under the heading of epistemology. Therefore we may be justified in calling the Buddhist system a system of epistemological logic. It starts with a theory of sensation as the most indubitable voucher for the existence of an external world. It then proceeds to a theory of a coordination8 between that external world and the repre-

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