Anumana in Indian Philosophy

by Sangita Chakravarty | 2016 | 48,195 words

This study deals with the concept of Anumana (inference) in the Vedic schools of Indian Philosophy where it represents a (most authentic) source of valid knowledge. This paper also discusses Epistemology in Indian Philosophy as well as the classification of valid and invalid knowledge. According to the essay: “Anumana implies knowledge of some obj...


The concept of anumāna has been one of the most important subjects of discussion with the philosophers and the academic experts. Almost all the systems of Indian Philosophy, except Cārvāka, have dealt with this seminal topic.

The present thesis aims to examine the concept of anumāna propounded by the Vedic schools of Indian Philosophy. The thesis has been divided into five chapters. In the first chapter, i.e., the introductory one, I have incorporated an elaborate note on Vedic schools and their main characteristics. This chapter further presents a discussion on Epistemology in Indian Philosophy, classification of knowledge—valid knowledge and invalid knowledge, and the sources of valid knowledge. The second chapter deals with the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika concept of anumāna. In this chapter an attempt has been made to give the meaning of anumāna along with its constituents, different divisions of anumāna, avayavas of anumāna, vyāpti and pakṣadharmatā and a brief sketch of fallacy as advocated in the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika philosophy. The third chapter attempts to examine the view-points of the Sāṃkhya-Yoga philosophers in giving the definition of anumāna. In this chapter an attempt is made to give an account of the definitions of anumāna put forward by the Sāṃkhya-Yoga philosophers. The chapter also presents a detailed and systematic discussion on the divisions of anumāna and the fallacies contained in anumāna as enunciated in the Sāṃkhya-Yoga system. The fourth chapter deals with the definition of anumāna, the grounds of anumāna, the divisions of anumāna, and the fallacies of anumāna as espoused by the Mīmāṃsā-Vedānta system. Relevant references have been given from the original text books and the same has been duly cited in the foot-notes. In the last chapter, i.e., the fifth one, the discussions presented in the preceding chapters are summed up and conclusions so arrived at are deliberated without distracting from the discussions made in the previous chapters of the thesis. Thus, this final chapter entitled ‘Conclusion’ attempts to conceptualize the findings of the study.

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