[INDOLOGY] some thoughts about modality, vyaapti and `eva'

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at oeaw.ac.at
Thu Jul 1 11:26:17 UTC 2021

Dear list members,

in support of Patrick McAllisters point, in particular the second aspect 
strikes me worthwhile exploring in connection with modality: the 
Dharmakirtian (and post-Dharmakirtian) notion of "incompatibility" 
(virodha), of which two types are distinguished:

(1) a factual incompatibility which means that two spatio-temporally 
bound real entities cannot coexist in the same environment (like hot and 
cold temperature), insofar as the presence of the one invariably 
destroys the other one. This is referred to as 

(2) a conceptual incompatibility that broadly speaking corresponds to 
Aristotelian contradiction or contrariety between two predicates (there 
is a divergence of viewpoints in the Buddhist logical tradition whether 
contrariety or mere "difference" is really a type of virodha or not). 
Both the stronger and the weaker version of this relationship are 
subject to the principle that the determination (pariccheda) of the one 
amounts to the exclusion (vyavaccheda) of the other, but only the 
stronger version -- obtaining between a predicate and its negation, like 
"blue" and "non-blue" -- is subject to the principle that also the 
exclusion of the one amounts to the determination of the other. The 
weaker version, by the way, would be exemplified by "blue" and "yellow". 
This type of incompatibility is referred to as 
parasparaparihārasthiti(or sthita-)lakṣaṇavirodha.

The elaboration of (1) leads to discussions relating to the theory of 
universal momentariness (the problem being that real entities, when 
analyzed as momentary phases, are after all not destroyed by external 
agents; they "self-destruct", so this kind of factual incompatibility 
has to be analyzed on the level of series (santāna)). But it is in the 
elaboration of (2) where one may gain further insights into thinking 
about logical impossibility.

With best regards,

Birgit Kellner

Am 01.07.21 um 13:03 schrieb Patrick McAllister:
> Dear list members,
> just two small additions to the already very useful pointers on
> modality:
> Within the vyāpti discussions of Buddhist logicians, it might be useful
> to focus on the “all-inclusive pervasion relations”
> (sarvopasaṃhāra-vyāpti).  Kano and Sakai have recently discussed
> struggles within the post-Dharmakīrtian tradition to account for how the
> most prominent type of this pervasion, the one between existence and
> momentariness, undermines the trairūpya requirement.[1]
> A second thing to consider in this regard could be arguments involving
> the impossibility of positing opposing properties
> (“viruddha-dharma-adhyāsa” or similar).  This impossibility, it seems to
> me, derives from the strong notion “These properties can’t possibly
> coexist”, rather than from “These properties just never happen to occur
> together.”  But of course, it would all depend on the reasons given for
> the impossibility of their co-existence.
> Footnotes:
> [1] See Kano 2020 at https://austriaca.at/0xc1aa5576%200x003c19db.pdf
>      and Sakai 2020 at https://austriaca.at/0xc1aa5576%200x003c19f3.pdf,
>      both from this volume: https://austriaca.at/8781-3inhalt.
> With best wishes,
Prof. Birgit Kellner, PhD
Institut für Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Hollandstraße 11-13/2
1020 Wien

Prof. Birgit Kellner, PhD
Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Hollandstrasse 11-13/2
1020 Vienna

Tel./Phone: +43-(0)-1-51581-6420
Web: http://ikga.oeaw.ac.at

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