In this Part One of Gangesa's Theory of Indeterminate Perception, Nirvikalpakavada, I have tried to analyse and explain the concepts used in Gangesa's text, translated in Part Two. I have also explained some basic concepts of Navya-Nyaya, but I have not attempted to give a comprehensive account of Navya-Nyaya concepts and techniques. In philosophically discussing the Navya-Nyaya theories, I have often included Western theories; but in some special cases, where I am not aware of Western positions, I have explained rival Indian theories. In these chapters, this book presupposes some acquintance with Indian philosophical theories.
In this work I have incorporated with minor modifications papers already published. In Chapter one, I have included portions of my paper, 'Some features of the technical language of Navya-Nyaya' published in Philosophy East & West (April, 1990), and of 'Some principles and concepts of Navya-Nyaya logic and ontology' from my book, Doubt Belief and Knowledge (Chapter 16), (Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi 1987). In Chapter Three of this book, I have incorporated portions of Chapters 17 and 18, of that book. In chapter four, I have incorporated portions of my paper in Philosophy East & West. Even though discussions of some of topics are in the context of Indian theories, I have, this book will be useful for general readers of philosophy.
I thank the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi, for full financial support for preparation of the manuscript.
About the Book
In this Part Two the text of Nirvikalpakavada section of Gangesa’s Tattvacintamani has been translated and explained with the help of two commentaries, Aloka of Jayadeva Misra and Prakasa of Rucidatta Misra.
About the Author
Sibajiban Bhattacharyya taught philosophy for forty five years in different Universities and Institutes in India and abroad. He has published several books, edited Journals and books in philosophy, and has published innumerable articles, discussion notes, reviews in different Journals, Anthologies, Encyclopaedias, Indian and foreign. Professor Bhattacharyya is now a National Fellow of the Indian Council of Philsophical Research, New Delhi.
In this Part Two, the text of Nirvikalpakavada is reproduced from Gangesa’s Tattvacintamani (TCM) (Part I) edited by Dr. N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya. I have excluded Gangesa’s Visesanopalaksanavada section from this book as it forms a separate chapter in Tatacharya’s edition. I have explained Gangesa’s text with the help of two commentaries, Jayadeva Misra’s Aloka published in TCM, edited by Kamakhyanatha Tarkavagisa, and Rucidatta’s Prakasa published in Dr. Tatacharya’s edition. I have given the relevant portions of the texts of the commentaries in an appendix (Notes and References) at the end of the book.
I have found a special difficulty in translating and explaining Gangesa’s text. There are passages where Gangesa is obviously stating the opponent’s position; but there are also passages where it is not clear whether he is stating his own opponent’s position or his own. Moreover, in replies to objections, it is not always clear whether Gangesa is stating his own position, or the position of someone else supporting the Nyaya theory. In such ambiguous passages, I have tried to follow the clarifications given in the commentaries; but it may be that I am mistaken in my reading of the case. I leave it to experts to judge on this point.
There are also many passages in Gangesa’s text which were unclear to me. I must thank Dr. N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya, who in spite of his heavy schedule of work as Vice-Chancellor of Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, was kind enough to remove my doubts with his characteristic clarity and depth of understanding of Navya-Nyaya texts. I only hope that I have presented his views correctly from memory. Without his help the book would have been worse than it is.
I thank Professor Stephen Phillips of the University of Texas at Austin for correcting typographical errors and grammatical mistakes, and for suggesting various improvements.
I also thank Professor K.T. Pandurangi and Dr. D. Prahladachar of Bangalore University for explaining to me some passages of Prakarana-pancika which I have included here.
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