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

Franco franco at uni-leipzig.de
Thu Jul 1 12:21:51 UTC 2021

Dear Alex,
Thank you, but I’m not sure that this formulation counts as modus tollens. It is usually stated in the form: if a, then b. Not b, therefore not a.
If there would have been smoke on the mountain, there would have been fire there. But there is no smoke, therefore ...
Best wishes,

Sent from my iPad

> On 01.07.2021, at 13:49, Alex Watson <alex.watson at ashoka.edu.in> wrote:
> Dear Eli
> Let's take as an example of modus tollens:
> Major premise: wherever there is smoke there is fire
> Minor premise: there is no fire on the mountain
> Conclusion: there is no smoke on the mountain
> I don't think Indian logicians would see this as a prasaṅga, 
> nor western philosophers as a case of reductio ad absurdum, 
> as it doesn't conclude something absurd or undesirable, 
> therefore we are not compelled to reject one of the premises.
> Yours Alex
> -- 
> Alex Watson
> Professor of Indian Philosophy
> Ashoka University
> https://ashokauniversity.academia.edu/AlexWatson
> > Dear friends,
> I have been wondering about something that is perhaps only tangent to 
> the discussion. Can one distinguish between reductio ad absurdum 
> (prasanga) and modus tollens (also prasanga?) in the Indian tradition? 
> I am not sure that the distinction between the two is clear in the 
> Western tradition either.
> With best wishes,
> Eli
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