wundermonk

28 August 2012, 12:11 AM

Greetings all,

Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/80550080/Empty-Terms-Nyaya-and-Buddhist-JIP) is an interesting article contrasting the treatment of empty terms in Nyaya and Buddhism.

The Buddhist attempts to prove the following:

(1)Whatever exists is momentary.

Whenever a universal statement like this is made, it needs to be supported by a positive example and a negative example which should be agreeable to both sides of the debate.

The Buddhist, however, runs into a difficulty when he attempts to provide a negative example. Note that the negative example in support of (1) would need to be an example of something that is non-momentary and hence does not exist.

The negative example offered is "A hare's horn, being non-momentary, does not exist."

However, it is shown by the Naiyayika that that example is invalid. The Nyaya claims that a property can not be meaningfully predicated on a non-existent entity, like a hare's horn. To show this, he argues as follows.

Let us grant that the proposition "A hare's horn is not sharp" is true. But how would someone go about disproving the following proposition "A hare's horn is sharp" if a hare's horn does not exist? It therefore appears that if A refers to a non-existent entity, like a hare's horn, both of the following are undecideable and actually meaningless empty terms:

(a)A is X.

(b)A is not-X.

Since the truth value is undecideable, "A hare's horn, being non-momentary, does not exist", can not serve as a negative example in this case. In fact, the Nyaya argues that the Buddhist can not meaningfully provide even one single negative example in support of (1)Whatever exists is momentary.

Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/80550080/Empty-Terms-Nyaya-and-Buddhist-JIP) is an interesting article contrasting the treatment of empty terms in Nyaya and Buddhism.

The Buddhist attempts to prove the following:

(1)Whatever exists is momentary.

Whenever a universal statement like this is made, it needs to be supported by a positive example and a negative example which should be agreeable to both sides of the debate.

The Buddhist, however, runs into a difficulty when he attempts to provide a negative example. Note that the negative example in support of (1) would need to be an example of something that is non-momentary and hence does not exist.

The negative example offered is "A hare's horn, being non-momentary, does not exist."

However, it is shown by the Naiyayika that that example is invalid. The Nyaya claims that a property can not be meaningfully predicated on a non-existent entity, like a hare's horn. To show this, he argues as follows.

Let us grant that the proposition "A hare's horn is not sharp" is true. But how would someone go about disproving the following proposition "A hare's horn is sharp" if a hare's horn does not exist? It therefore appears that if A refers to a non-existent entity, like a hare's horn, both of the following are undecideable and actually meaningless empty terms:

(a)A is X.

(b)A is not-X.

Since the truth value is undecideable, "A hare's horn, being non-momentary, does not exist", can not serve as a negative example in this case. In fact, the Nyaya argues that the Buddhist can not meaningfully provide even one single negative example in support of (1)Whatever exists is momentary.