[INDOLOGY] Modality in ancient Indian philosophy

Lee Ling Ting let745 at mail.harvard.edu
Wed Jun 30 15:00:36 UTC 2021

Dear all,

I would like to ask a similar question on the Naiyāyikas’ concept of
atyantābhāva (absolute non-existence; non-existence in all time). I have
been wondering if impossibility is a fair interpretation. It’ll be great if
someone is aware of any relevant discussions.

Lee Ling

On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Jan Westerhoff via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> having just read a recent article in JIP (2021, 49, p. 468) making the
> curious claim that there are "many texts of early Madhyamaka and
> Yogācāra with clear modal reasoning" I started wondering about
> the status of modal notions in Indian philosophy again. It was my
> understanding that the discussions of modal notions we could find in
> ancient Indian sources were confined to aspects of logical and deontic
> modalities, but had very little to say on necessary, possible, or
> contingent existence (indeed there seems to be no clear differentiation
> between the contingently non-existent (flowers in the sky) and the
> logically impossible (sons of barren women)).
> Are you aware of any primary (or secondary) Indian philosophical sources
> that discuss modal existence questions?
> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
> Thank you,
> Jan Westerhoff
> ***************************
> JC Westerhoff
> Lady Margaret Hall
> University of Oxford
> Norham Gardens
> Oxford OX2 6QA
> United Kingdom
> www.janwesterhoff.net
> westerhoff at cantab.net
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