Gangesa’s Theory of Truth (Containing The Text of Gangesa’s Pramanya (Jnapti) Vada

Gangesa’s Theory of Truth (Containing The Text of Gangesa’s Pramanya (Jnapti) Vada

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Item Code: NAB914
Author: Jitendranath Mohanty
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 8120806182
Pages: 240
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.0 inch X 5.8 inch
Weight 440 gm
Back of the Book

The present book comprises the Pratyakasa Khanda (Section on perception) one of the four sections of Tattvacintamani of Gangesa Upadhyaya (1200 A.D.). This section is divided into twenty five sub sections form Mangalavada to Savikalpakavada according to the topics discussed. Herein the author has established the standpoint of the Nyaya system after refuting the doctrines of his opponents particularly the Buddhists and the Mimamsakas of the Prabhakara school discussing the factors involved in the process of thinking and exposing their fallacious views. A new methodology and terminology used by the author has entered the other sastras including grammar which become intelligible after the study of this work.

From the Jacket

This book is a study on Gangesa’s Pramanyavada and contains a free English translation of the Sanskrit text. The introduction discusses the concept of truth in Indian philosophy chiefly in the Nyaya and the Mimamsa schools and seeks to bring out Gangesa’s contributions to this topic. At the same time it attempts a critical assessment of the arguments and assumptions of the traditional Pramanya theories.

About the Author

Jitendra Nath Mohanty’s Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Temple University Philadelphia. Born in 1928 in Cuttack India and educated in Cuttack Calcutta and Gottingen he ahs taught at the Universities of Calcutta Burdwan and Viswa Bharati in India and University of Oklahoma New School for social Research. New York and Northwestern University in the U.S.A He has been a visiting fellow at all souls college Oxford and ws the General president of Indian philosophical congress for the year 1986. His most recent works are Husserl and frege (1982) and the possibility of transcendental philosophy (1985). He is co-editor of Husserl Studies and editor of the Ohio University series in continental thought besides he serves on the editorial board of Journal of Indian philosophy, philosophy east and west the series phenomenology and existential philosophy and is a director of the centre for advanced Research in Phenomenology.

Preface to the Second Edition

The main text remains the same in this edition. I have corrected several typographical errors and a couple of serious substantive mistakes to most of which my attention was drawn by Lawrence Davis.

Karl Potter organized a discussion on Gangesa’s theory of Truth to which he contributed the leading paper at the annual meetings of the American Association of Asian studies in 1983 in San Francisco. My response to potter’s paper is being reprinted in this edition as an appendix.

I wish to thank Shri N.P. Jain of Motilal Banarsidas publishers for taking the initiative in bringing out this new edition and their Editors for having taken pains in improving the work.

Preface to the First Edition

It is well known that Pramanyavada is the second chapter of the first part i.e. the Pratyaksakhanda of Gangesa’s ' Tattvacintdmani. A discussion of the four pramanas or sources of true knowledge is preceded by this chapter on. Truth in general. There is a certain logical propriety in this order, for the concept of true knowledge logically involves that of truth. Pramanyavada has three sub-divisions: the first deals with the knowledge (jnapti) of truth, the second with the origin (utpatti) of truth, and the third with the definition (laksana) of truth. Here again there is an obvious reason behind this arrangement. Unless the skeptic’s objection that truth cannot at all be ascertained is satisfactorily set aside and the method of ascertaining truth laid down, it would be idle to discuss the nature and the origin of it. The text included here is concerned with the knowledge of truth: it constitutes the first subdivision of Pramanyavada. The reason why I have chosen this rather than any or both of the other two is that in my opinion it deals with philosophically the more important question. In the Introductory Essay I have argued that the question of the origin of truth is much less important. However, I do consider the problem of defining truth a highly exciting task, and I have in my Introduction taken note of Gangesa’s contributions to this problem.

I came to deal with this text of Gangesa’s not so much in connection with my studies in the Nyaya as in course of my systematic investigations into the problems of meaning and truth. My approach to Gangesa’s text has not been that of an expositor but that of a critical philosopher, and I am sure that is the best way of dealing with so outstanding a critical philosopher as Gangesa. I do think that the Nyaya theories of knowledge and truth contain valuable philosophical insights which any systema-:1; philosopher can ill-afford to lose sight of. At the same time one must know where to draw the line between what is living and what is dead a task which has yet to be done with regard to much of Indian philosophy.

I have made use of the following three editions of Pramanya-vada:

(i) The Kanchi edition containing also the Didhiti and Gadddhari;
(ii) The Asiatic Society edition containing Mathuranatha’s Rahasya;
(iii) The Darbhanga edition containing Paksadhara’s Aloka.

Where there are different readings I have chosen the reading ‘which I have used only on philosophical grounds. In preparing the explanatory notes I have depended on all the commentaries which were at my disposal but chiefly on Raghunatha and Mathuranatha.

A few words about the method adopted in preparing the text: I have divided Gangesa’s text into paragraphs each having a number. The explanatory notes are then numbered in accordance I with the number of the paragraph in the text. (Thus, for example, the notes on para 2 are numbered 2.l, 2.2, 2.3, and so on.)This system, I hope, will facilitate cross-reference and also connecting the notes with the appropriate places in the text.

My English rendering of Gangesa’s text has been free in the sense that I have tried not to distort the English language, as far as possible, by forcibly adapting it to the complicated pattern of Navya Nyaya Sanskrit. I have taken care however to see that the• original meanings remain precisely the same, how far. I have succeeded is for the readers to judge.

In translating the Nyaya technical items I have largely followed Ingalls ,though I have also occasionally departed from him. In some cases I have preferred to retain the Sanskrit terms as such, not being happy with any of the suggested renderings. Amongst the Sanskrit terms I have retained as such are: ‘anuvya-vasdya’ (I am not happy with *introspection’ and have reserved‘ secondary knowledge’ for a more generic purpose so as to include all kinds of knowledge of knowledge, e.g. the inference-from—known ness of the Bhattas), ‘sadhya’ and ‘Paksa’ (I have distaste for the Latin equivalents often used). I have rendered ‘dharmi into ‘substantive’, but visesya into qualifcandum (following Ingalls) dharma into property or attitude but prakara into qualifier again a la Ingalls. My aim is to keep the ontological categories distinct from the logical and the epistemological.

A word about the use of quotation marks: double quotation marks " " have been used to quote from an author. Single quotation marks ‘ ’ have been used for a variety of purposes, either when a word is being mentioned but not used, or when it is being used in the formal, logical or epistemological signification. Thus, for example, when a property is treated ontologically, its name is used without quotation marks, but when the same property is regarded as a concept or as a qualifier of a knowledge, its name is used within single quotation marks.

My greatest obligation is to Pandit Ananta Kumar Tarkatirtha who unfortunately did not live to see this work completed. He taught me whatever little I know of the Nyaya, but what is more, he taught me to raise fundamental questions in philosophy and made Indian philosophy living for me. He made me search for the real philosophical truths behind the maze of technicalities in which the Navya Nyaya works abound. I send this for publication with the tantalizing thought, if he would have been satisfied, were he alive now, with this work as it is, and if he would not have solved to my satisfaction many of the problems which I have raised. However, of one thing I feel sure: he would .have fully approved of the critical spirit in which this work has been undertaken.

I wish also to express my gratitude to Principal Gaurinath Sastri of the Sanskrit College, Calcutta (for providing me with all facilities to work in his college both during and after my tenure of service there), Pandits Viswabandhu Nyaya caryya and Narayana Chandra Goswami (with both of whom I have studied Nyaya texts on various occasions) and my colleague Sri Siva-jeeban Bhattacharyya with whom I always had very stimulating discussion. I owe also a special debt of gratitude of Sri Sudhi Ranjan Das formerly vice Chancenllor of the Visva Bharati university and professor Kalidas Bhattacharya, Vice Chancellor of the Visva Bharati University and Director of the centre of advanced study in philosophy there for sponsoring the publication of this book.


Preface to the Second Edition v
Preface to the first edition vii
Introduction 1
IPreliminary Distinctions 2
1. Two Sense of Pramanya 2
2. Two Kinds of Pramatva 2
3. The theory of Pramanya and the theory of prakasa 3
4. Svatah and Paratah 4
IIDifferent Forms of the Svatah pramanya theory 5
(a) The Prabhakara theory 5
(b) The Bhatta theory 7
(c) The Misra theory 10
(d) The Vedanta theory 11
IIIThe Nyaya theory of Paratah pramanya 22
(a) The Nyaya Conception of Knowledge (Jnana) 23
(b) The Nyaya Conception of Pramanya 34
(c) The Nyaya theory of Paratah Pramanya 44
IVCritical examination of the Arguments 51
(a) The Utpatti or origination of truth 51
(b) The jnapti or apprehension of truth 58
VConcluding Remarks69
Text Translation and notes 73
Appendix Pramanya and workability 211
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