Something wrong with the WSC?

Plamen Gradinarov plamen at ORIENTALIA.ORG
Sun Feb 26 05:56:31 EST 2006

  From: Richard P. Hayes 
  Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2006 6:40 PM
  What puzzles me is how people can still be debating this. By no stretch of the
  imagination can an Indian inferential schema qualify as deductive.
Dear Richard,

I have honestly tried to harness all my Einbildungskraft to imagine how a logical reasoning from a general premiss (atra dhumah tatra vahnih) to an individual conclusion (parvato vahniman) can be called inductive, and - frankly - failed. So I would prefer to be a retrograde and safely consider Indian anumana a perfect example of deductive reasoning.

As for the way we reach the first intuition (of the invariable concomitance of smoke and fire), it is from the repeated observation of their local coexistence as seen in the kitchen, etc. This first intuition (prathama paramarsa), although inductive, is not the inference itself. Inferental knowledge (anumiti) is rather defined as the third intuition (tritiya paramarsa) of the inferential mark; the second intuition being our seeing the smoke over the hill. Of these three intuitions, the first and the second are clearly examples of pratyaksa. It is only the third intuition that qualifies for the name of anumana.

More about this, in my 1991 English translation of Tarka-kaumudi, The Moon-Light of Logic.

Best regards,

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