[INDOLOGY] Pūrva-pakṣa

Alex Watson alex.watson at ashoka.edu.in
Thu Jan 5 03:28:01 UTC 2023

I have encountered ‘uttarapakṣa’ in two different senses:

(1) in the sense Dan gives, i.e. as a synonym of 'siddhānta'
(2) to refer to an intermediate position between the pūrvapakṣa and the
siddhānta: a way to answer the pūrvapakṣa that is not actually the way of
the siddhāntin.  The uttarapakṣa, in this sense, is closer to the siddhānta
than the pūrvapakṣa, but still not the 'correct' view, i.e. the view of the

 Do people find 'uttarapakṣa' to be more commonly used in sense (1) or (2)?


On Wed, Jan 4, 2023 at 6:45 PM Dan Lusthaus <lusthaus at g.harvard.edu> wrote:

> Pūrvapakṣa is the opponent’s position — their objections to one’s own
> position or their position(s) that precipitates the debate. The refutation
> and victorious defeat of the opponent’s argument is called uttarapakṣa.
> Dan
> On Jan 4, 2023, at 7:50 AM, Nagaraj Paturi via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Yes, your understanding is correct, Prof. Howard Resnick.
> Shaastraartha or Vaakyaartha or Vaada may represent the argumentative
> approach from both sides in a better way.
> On Wed, Jan 4, 2023 at 6:04 PM Howard Resnick <hr at ivs.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Scholars,
>> Some friends of mine plan to publish a journal on Vaiṣṇava polemics and
>> apologetics, both internal and external, and they want to name the journal
>> Pūrva-pakṣa, which MW renders as "the first objection to an assertion in
>> any discussion, the prima facie view or argument in any question.”
>> Since these scholars want to refute, or at least problematize,
>> philosophical and theological objections to their own traditional
>> doctrines, I thought the title inappropriate. My view has been that
>> pūrva-pakṣa simply refers to a view or argument that one hopes to refute.
>> It does not refer both to the opposing view, and also to one’s refutation
>> of that view.
>> Have I understood this correctly?
>> Many thanks,
>> Howard
Alex Watson
Professor of Indian Philosophy
Ashoka University
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