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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The characterization of truth-preserving arguments is a core issue in India and received the detailed attention of philosophers. This chapter presents Prabhācandra’s theory of inference from the eleventh century, stressing its uniqueness and detailed critique of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti. In Prabhācandra’s framework, the inferential evidence has not three but just one characteristic, “being impossible otherwise.” The epistemological problem of the means to know when evidence has this characteristic is solved without regress by appeal to a non-inferential source of knowing, the “discernment of universals” (tarka). Finally, important advances in the role of negation in logical inference are related to a greater emphasis on linguistic form.

Keywords: inference, logic, tarka, Akalaṅka, Prabhācandra, Dharmakīrti, Dignāga, Nyāya-sūtra, problem of induction, justification of deduction

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