Apoha; 3 Definition(s)


Apoha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Apoha (अपोह) refers to the Buddhist “exclusion theory”—a negative process of exclusions (or apoha) eliminates that which contradicts the referred object.—Apoha or exclusions typically involves a double negation. Because in Buddhism the absence of something is a fiction in that absences are not caused and do not function, exclusions can be used to explain away universals as the referents of words. Because negations are fictions, this lightens the ontological commitment. A distinction is drawn between entities and pseudo-entities. Only particulars are real; negations are not real, but they are also not universals. Universals are positive or affirmative, whereas exclusions are negative.

Kumārila levels three criticisms of apoha theory in particular: that it is circular, that it is counter-intuitive, and that it is redundant. Śāntarakṣita’s response to these criticisms begins by describing three primary types of negations which he equates with exclusions: non-implicative negations (niṣedha, med dgag) and two types of implicative negations (paryudāsa, ma yin dgag): mental exclusions and object exclusions.

Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Śāntarakṣita

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Apoha (अपोह).—

1) Removing, driving away, healing &c.

2) Removal of doubt by the excercise of the reasoning faculty.

3) Reasoning, arguing; reasoning faculty.

4) Negative reasoning (opp. ūha) (aparatarkanirāsāya kṛto viparītastarkaḥ). one of the dhiguṇas q. v. स्वयमूहापोहासमर्थः (svayamūhāpohāsamarthaḥ); इमे मनुष्या दृश्यन्ते ऊहापोहविशारदाः (ime manuṣyā dṛśyante ūhāpohaviśāradāḥ) Mb.13. 145.43. ऊहापोहमिमं सरोजनयना यावद्विधत्तेतराम् (ūhāpohamimaṃ sarojanayanā yāvadvidhattetarām) Bv.2.74; hence ऊहापोह (ūhāpoha) = complete discussion of a question.

5) Excluding all things not coming under the category in point; तद्वानपोहो वा शब्दार्थः (tadvānapoho vā śabdārthaḥ) (where Maheśvara paraphrases apoha by atadvyāvṛtti i. e. tadbhinnatyāgaḥ),

6) A superfluous member attached to a structure of some construction.

Derivable forms: apohaḥ (अपोहः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Apoha (अपोह).—m.

(-haḥ) 1. The removal of doubt by the exercise of the reasoning faculty. 2. Reasoning, arguing. E. apa reverse, ūha to reason, and ghañ affix; opposed to doubt or deliberation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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