Advertisement

Thinking Negation in Early Hinduism & Classical Indian Philosophy

  • Purushottama BilimoriaEmail author
Chapter
  • 5 Downloads
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 34)

Abstract

A number of different kinds of negation and negation of negation are developed in Indian thought, from ancient religious texts to classical philosophy. The chapter explores the Mīmāṃsā, Nyāya, Jaina and Buddhist theorizing on the various forms and permutations of negation, denial, nullity, nothing and nothingness, or emptiness. The main thesis argued for is that in the broad Indic tradition, negation cannot be viewed as a mere classical operator turning the true into the false (and conversely), nor reduced to the mainstream Boolean dichotomy: 1 vs 0. Special attention is given to how contradiction is handled in Jaina and Buddhist logic.

Keywords

Negation Mīmāṃsa Nyāya Buddhist logic Jaina anekāntavāda Priestian dialetheism 

Mathematics Subject Classification

Primary 03A05 Secondary 03-03 · 01-02. 

Notes

Acknowledgement

I wish to express gratitude for the immense guidance I received from Jayshankar Lal Shaw and Anand Vaidya toward revising the chapter. I also thank (the late) Frits Staal, (the late) Bimal K. Matilal, Stephen Phillips, my students in Berkeley. The editors of this volume and an anonymous referee have also provided invaluable feedback from the time of the conference to this point in the process.

References

  1. Bhargava, Dayananda. 1973. The Jaina Tarka Bhasha of Acharya Yashovijaya. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Bilimoria, P. 2008. Nietzsche as ‘Europe’s Buddha’ and Asia’s Superman. Sophia (Guest Issue on Continental Philosophy of Religion) 47(3); 359-376.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2012. Why is there nothing rather than something? An essay in the comparative metaphysic of nonbeing. Special issue on Max Charlesworth: Crossing the philosophy and religion divide. Sophia 51 (4): 509–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2016. Negation (Abhāva), Non-existents, and a distinctive pramāṇa in the Nyāya-Mīmāṃsā. In Comparative Philosophy and J L Shaw, Sophia Series, ed. P. Bilimoria and M. Hemmingsen, 183–202. Dordrecht/London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bilimoria, P., A. Vaidya, and J.L. Shaw. 2016. Absence – An Indo analytic study. Sophia (Special Issue on 25th Anniversary of the Demise of Professor Bimal K Matilal) 55 (4): 491–513.Google Scholar
  6. Fenner, P. 1984. A study of the relationship between analysis (vicāra) and insight (prajña) based on the Madhyamakāvatāra. Journal of Indian Philosophy 12 (2): 139–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Garfield, J., and L. Madhyamaka. 2014. Nihilism, and the emptiness of emptiness. In Nothingness in Asian philosophy, ed. JeeLoo Lieu and Douglas L. Berger, 44–54. NY/London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Garfield, J.L., and G. Priest. 2003. ‘Nāgārjuna and the limits of thought. Philosophy East & West 53: 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gunaratne, R.D. 1986. Understanding Nāgārjuna’s Caṭuskoṭi. Philosophy East & West 36 (3): 213–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Inada, K.K. 1993. Nāgārjuna: A translation of his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā with an introductory essay. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Jayatilleke, K.N. 1967. The logic of four alternatives. Philosophy East & West 17: 69–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Matilal, Bimal K. 1971. Epistemology, logic and grammar in Indian Philosophical analysis. The Hague: Mouton.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. ———. 1981. Central philosophy of Jainism: Anekāntavāda. L D Institute of Indology, AhmedabadGoogle Scholar
  14. ———. 1991. Anekānta: Both yes and no. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 8: 1–12.Google Scholar
  15. Pacitti, Domenico. 1991. Negation in Sanskrit: Rig Veda X,129. The nature of the negative, edited by Pacitti, D, Pisa: Giardini. http://www.pacitti.org/books_00199102.htm (accessed 25/02/2015)
  16. Robinson, R.H. 1957. Some logical aspects of Nāgārjuna’s system. Philosophy East & West 6: 291–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ———. 1969. Review of K. N. Jayatilleke, early Buddhist theory of knowledge. Philosophy East & West 19: 69–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ruegg, D. 1977. Seyfort. The uses of the four positions of Catuṣkoṭi and the problem of the description of reality in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Journal of Indian Philosophy 5: 1–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sebastian, C.D. 2016. The cloud of nothingness: The negative way in Nāgārjuna and John of the cross. In Sophia studies in cross-cultural philosophy of traditions and cultures. New Delhi/Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Shaw, J.L. 1978. Negation and the Buddhist theory of meaning. Journal of Indian Philosophy 6 (1): 59–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ———. 1981. Negation: some Indian theories. In Studies in Indian philosophy, ed. D. Malvania and N.J. Shah, 57–78. Ahmedabad: L D Institute of Indology.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 1988. The Nyāya on double negation. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 29: 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. ———. 2016a. Austin on falsity and negation. In The collected writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian analytic and Anglophone philosophy, 197–200. London: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  24. ———. 2016b. Descriptions: Contemporary philosophy and the Nyaya. In The collected writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian analytic and Anglophone philosophy, 328–361. London: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 2016c. The Nyāya on double negation. In The collected writings of Jaysankar Lal Shaw: Indian analytic and anglophone philosophy, 224–237. London: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  26. Staal, Frits J.(1962) 1988. Negation and the law of contradiction in Indian thought: A comparative study. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 52-71. Reprinted, in Staal, F. J. Universal Studies in Indian logic and linguistics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp. 112–113Google Scholar
  27. Williams, P., ed. 2005. Buddhism critical concepts in religious studies. Vol. Vol. IV. London: Abhidharma and Madhyamaka. Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Zilberman, D.B. 1988. Birth of meaning in Hindu thought (Boston series in philosophy of science). Dordrecht: D Reidel & Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations