by Sangita Chakravarty | 2016 | 48,195 words
This page relates ‘Vyapti and Pakshadharmata’ of the study on the concept of Anumana (inference) in the Vedic schools of Indian Philosophy. Anumana usually represents the most authentic means of valid knowledge. This paper discusses the traditional philosophical systems such as Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta.
In anumāna, our knowledge of the sādhya or major term as related to the pakṣa or minor term depends on the knowledge of vyāpti between the middle and major terms. It is on the ground of vyāpti or a universal relation that the middle term leads to the knowledge of the inferred object (vyāptibalenārthagamakam liṅgam). Thus, every anumāna is logically dependent on the knowledge of vyāpti.
Vyāpti and pakṣadharmatā (or pakṣatā) are considered as the two main grounds for the operation of anumāna. If fire is inferred on the hill, when smoke is perceived in it, then it is called pakṣadharmatā and when universal relation between fire and smoke is known, it is called vyāpti. Though the conclusion in anumāna is not drawn exclusively from vyāpti, but from vyāpti and pakṣadharmatā jointly, vyāpti is more important.
Now, we shall discuss the nature of vyāpti in the following:
Anumāna is based upon vyāpti which is the invariable concomitance of the reason (hetu) with the predicate (sādhya). Etymologically vyāpti (vi+apti) is a special relation between two facts which is universal in its nature. Literally vyāpti means the state of pervasion, i.e., one of the facts pervades (vyapaka) and the other is pervaded (vyapya). It implies a definite correlation between two facts of which the pervader is present. For example- parvato vahnimān dhūmavattvāt. Here, smoke is the pervaded (vyāpya) and fire is the pervader (vyāpaka).
In the Nyāya system, Gautama does not use the term vyāpti. He speaks of niyama and aniyama in the sense of invariable concomitance and variable concomitance of the reason with the predicate. Gautama defines a discrepant reason (anaikāntika) as one which has variable concomitance with the predicate. He defines jāti as a sophistical refutation on the ground of mere similarity and dissimilarity of the subject with an example. This implies that it is based on mere similarity and dissimilarity unaccompanied by invariable concomitance of the reason with the predicate .
Vātsyāyana speaks of avinābhāva or inseparable relation of the reason with the predicate as the ground of inference (anumāna). He does not use the term vyāpti. He speaks it as the relation of the reason (liṅga) with the predicate (liṅgin). It is the uniform relation between them which are found to co-exist in an example . In the view of Vātsyāyāna, the inference of a predicate from a reason on the ground of mere similarity or dissimilarity with an example is invalid, because it is not based on invariable concomitance between the reason (hetu) and the predicate . Yet, Vātsyāyana regards vyāpti as the logical ground of inference (anumāna). Jayanta, Udayana, Vācaspati and Varadarāja define vyāpti as a uniform, (niyata) unconditional (anaupādhika) or natural (svābhāvika) relation between the reason and the predicate.
Jayanta, like Gautama, used the term niyama, but he also refers to other terms, viz., vyāpti, avinābhāva etc. According to Jayanta, first there is the perception of a mark; then there is the recollection of vyāpti; then there is the knowledge of the presence of the reason pervaded by the predicate in the subject (parāmarśā); then there is the inference of the predicate in the subject. The knowledge of parāmarśa is the direct cause of inference (anumāna), while the perception of vyāpti is its cause through its recollection. The knowledge of vyāpti is the logical ground of inference, (anumāna) while the parāmarśa is the psychological ground . According to Gaṅgeśa, the Navya-Nayāyika, invariable concomitance (vyāpti) is non deviation (avyabhicārītatva) or the absence of variable concomitance. Vyāpti is the uniform absence of the reason (hetu) from the locus of the absence of the predicate (sādhya) . Viśvanātha defines vyāpti as the co-presence, in the same locus of the reason with the predicate which is not the counter positive of the absence residing in the locus of the reason. Vyāpti has been negatively defined as the non-existence of the middle term in all places in which the major term does not exist.
In the Vaiśeṣika system, Kaṇāda seems to be aware of invariable concomitance (vyāpti) of the probans with the probandum and its necessity for inference (anumāna). He however calls it prasiddhi.  According to him, it is a relation between cause and its effect or effect and cause or between two things related by conjunction, inherence etc. Praśastapāda regards vyāpti as the ground of inference (anumāna). Wherever there is probans, there is probandum. Wherever there is the absence of probandum, there is the absence of probans. He calls vyāpti a general principle; (vidhi) of invariable concomitance between the probans and probandum known by the repeated observation of their agreement in presence and agreement in absence. Annambhaṭṭa defines vyāpti thus-“The rule of concomitance as following case, taken as an example, wherever there is smoke there is fire called vyāpti.” 
In the Tarkabhāṣā, Keśavamiśra begins with an apparently simple definition: sāhacaryaniyamovyāptiḥ. Here, sāhacarya means co-existence which is the same thing as samānādhikaraṇya. This co-existence should be invariable (niyata) and not adventitious. For example, wherever the hetu is, the sādhya should exist in the same place. The illustration of vyāpti, ‘wherever there is smoke there is fire’ undoubtedly gives some idea of this invariable concomitance but it does not furnish us with a sure test as to how vyāpti is to be found out and under what conditions it is valid. Two notions are involved in a vyāpti, viz., that of sāhacarya ‘co-existence’ or ‘concomitance’ and that ‘universality’ or rather the invariability of this sāhacarya. Sāhacarya is the samānādhikaraṇya, co-existence in one and the same place, of hetu and sādhya. When this co-exisrence of one thing with another is observed wherever the other thing exists, then the sāhacarya is called niyata. 
Having discussed the definitions of vyāpti offered by different logicians, we may proceed to the discussion of the importance of vyāpti in anumāna. It must be noted that if there is no vyāpti, there is no inference (anumāna). If the vyāpti is wrong, the inference (anumāna) will be wrong. While discussing the importance of the vyāpti relation we are to note that the extension of the liṅga and sādhya is not always the same. It very often happens that the sādhya is more extensive (vyāpaka) or pervasive than the liṅga, although it has been observed to be present, wherever the liṅga is present. Therefore, sādhya is also called less extensive (vyāpaka) and liṅga is called the vyāpya. For example, “wherever there is smoke, there is fire”. But fire may be found to be present where there is no smoke. For this reason sādhya is called vyāpaka and liṅga is called vyāpya.
Vyāpti as the logical ground of inference (anumāna) may be defined either positively or negatively. Therefore, vyāpti is said to be of two kinds, viz., anvaya vyāpti and vyatireka vyāpti. The former is invariable concomitance of the presence of the predicate. The later is the invariable concomitance of the absence of the predicate with the absence of the reason. In Indian philosophy, anumāna is considered to be a process of reasoning and depends on vyāpti. So, the most valuable question regarding inference relates to the way of getting the universal proposition. This is called vyāptigrahopāya. It is the method by which one arrives at it.
The Nyāya method of ascertaining vyāpti consists of four steps, viz., anvaya, vyatireka, vyabhicārāgraha and tarka. Firstly, we observe that there is a uniform experience of two things, i.e., their co-presence that is called anvaya. Secondly, we observe that there is a uniform experience of their co-absence that is called vyatireka. Thirdly, we do not observe any contrary instance in which one of them is present without the other that is called vyabhicārāgraha. It is observed that wherever there is smoke, there is fire also. In the same way, wherever there is no smoke, there is no fire. We never observe a case in which there may be smoke without fire. From the observed double agreement of smoke and fire in their presence and absence together with the non-observation of any exception the vyāpti between smoke and fire is known, i.e., there is a universal relation between smoke and fire. Fourthly, if even after this there remains any doubt regarding the un-conditionality of the vyāpti, it is removed by tarka or a hypothetical reasoning which indirectly proves its validity. In the Nyāya system, Gautama states that a pratyakṣa is the cause of inference. Vātsyāyana elaborates the process and says that, firstly there is perception of a mark (liṅga), e.g., ‘smoke’. Secondly, there is the recollection of invariable concomitance of the probans (hetu), e.g., ‘smoke’, with the probandum, (sādhya), e.g., ‘fire’. Thirdly, there is the inference of the existence of the unperceived predicate (fire) in the subject (hill). If the liṅga-liṅgī sambandha is taken to mean concomitance, it may be said that Vātsyāyana accepts perception as the basis of ascertaining vyāpti. Uddyotakara maintains the view of Vātsyāyana, but he adds that the three conditions mentioned by Vātsyāyana are three successive types of pratyakṣa and all of them are the instruments of inference (anumāna).
In the Vaiśeṣika system, Praśastapāda holds that the invariable concomitance between the probans and the probandum is known by the repeated observation of their agreement in presence and agreement in absence. Udayana also holds that vyāpti is known through the method of double agreement and not by a single observation. The importance of vyāpti in inferential process is admitted by all the systems of Indian philosophy. Though they are not unanimous regarding its function, yet it may be said that in every inference (anumāna) there are atleast three steps. The first step involves knowledge of the middle term as related to the minor term (liṅgajñāna). Secondly, there is knowledge of a universal relation between the middle term and the major term (vyāptijñāna).In the last step, the conclusion is reached in which the major term is predicated of the minor term.
From the above discussion it is evident that the knowledge of vyāpti is the special cause (kāraṇa) of inference (anumāna) in the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system.
(2) Pakṣadharmatā or Pakṣatā:
Every inference (anumāna) depends on the knowledge of vyāpti or a universal relation between the middle and the major terms. So, it depends on the relation of the middle term with the minor term. It may be noted that, while vyāpti is the logical ground of inference (anumāna). Pakṣadharmatā or pakṣatā is the psychological ground of inference (anumāna). In Indian logic, the minor term is called pakṣa. Pakṣatā is sometimes also known as pakṣadharmatā and it is the quality of something being a pakṣa. If there is to be any inference (anumāna) there must be a pakṣa. While the validity of anumāna depends on vyāpti, its possibility depends on pakṣatā. According to the Naiyāyikas, pakṣatā consists in the absence of that condition in which there are the presence of certainty and absence of the will to infer. From the fact that the minor term is a subject about which we want to infer something, it will appear that the two obvious conditions of a minor term are absence of certainty about something (siddhyabhāva) and the will to infer it (siṣādhayiṣa). The old Naiyāyikas accept both of these conditions and they opine that pakṣatā consists in the presence of doubt about the sādhya or the major term. According to Annambhaṭṭa, pakṣatā as the absence (abhāva) of certainty (siddhi) that is accompanied by (sahakṛta) the absence (viraha) of the desire to infer (siṣādhayiṣā). According to the Indian logicians, a valid inference (anumanā) must satisfy at least two conditions. First, there must be a true proposition and secondly, it must imply another proposition. There is pakṣatā where there is a desire to infer, whether certain knowledge of the presence of the predicate in the subject is present or whether it is absent. There is no pakṣatā, where there is certain knowledge of the presence of the predicate in the subject, and where there is no desire to infer, because such certain knowledge (siddhi) qualified by the absence of a desire to infer is present.
While pakṣadharmatā or pakṣatā is the psychological ground of inference (anumāna), liṅgaparāmarśa is considered to be the immediate cause of inference (anumāna).
Footnotes and references:
Tarkabhāṣā,35, p. 58
….evaṃ prasiddhasamayasyāsandigdhadhūmadarśanāt sāhacaryānusmaraṇāttadanantaramagnyadhyavasāyo bhavatīti. Praśastapāda Bhāṣya, p 491
Tarkabhāṣā, p. 61
anumānasya dve aṅge vyāptiḥ pakṣadharmatā ca, Tarkabhāṣā, p. 89
Nyāyamañjarī, pp. 122-23
siṣādhayiṣāviraha viśiṣṭasiddhabhāvaḥ pakṣatā. Siddhāntamuktāvalī, pp. 309-10 on kārikā 70
na nirṇite’rthe nyāyaḥ pravartate kintu saṃśayite. Nyāyabhāṣya, i. 1. 1 Cf: saṃdigdhasādhyadharmādharmī pakṣaḥ. Tarkabhāṣā, p. 91
siṣādhayiṣā viraha sahakṛta siddhyabhāvaḥ pakṣatā. Tarkasaṃgrahadīpikā, p. 26