by Asokan. G | 2008 | 88,742 words
Ayurveda, represented by Charaka and Sushruta, stands first among the sciences of Indian intellectual tradition. The Charaka-samhita, ascribed to the great celebrity Charaka, has got three strata. (1) The first stratum is the original work composed by Agnivesha, the foremost of the six disciples of Punarvasu Atreya. He accomplished the work by coll...
The validity of inference depends upon the validity of each and every member of the syllogism. Hence it is necessary to identify a valid reason and for that it is essential to have an accurate knowledge of fallacies of reason to ensure accuracy of reasoning. Caraka does not evolve a general definition of the fallacies of reason. Akṣapāda, who calls fallacies of reason by the term hetvābhāsa, treats it as one of the categories. But he also does not give a general definition of it. Vātsyāyana, at the same time, describes fallacies of reason as ahetu which appears as if it were a reason and which is devoid of the characteristics that is essential for a reason. Udyotakara also calls it ahetu which means deficient in one or other characteristics of the valid reason.
Annaṃbhaṭṭa defines fallacies of reason as the object of valid cognition which obstructs a judgment. Cakrapāṇi says that ahetu is a reason which is incapable of generating inferential knowledge.
Caraka classifies fallacies of reason into three
- equalizing the minor term (prakāraṇasama),
- doubtful reason (saṃśayasama),
- equalizing the proposition (varṇyasama).
Akṣapāda describes five fallacies of reason. They are:
Kaṇāda, enumerates three and Annaṃbhaṭṭa five . Thus, there is a divergence of opinion regarding the number of fallacies of reason. Savyabhicāra, which is a common division of fallacies of reason in the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika classification, has been excluded by Caraka in his enumeration and is described independently. It is because savyabhicāra is not only an erroneous reason in inference but can also be a defective cause. Similary, viruddha and atītakāla are also described independently since they are common defects.
(1) Equalising the controversy (prakaraṇasama):
If a reason (hetu) remains unproved and the controversy continues, it is called prakaraṇasama. Example: When the proponent states that the self is eternal since it is different from the body, then the opponent refutes it by pointing out the fallacy underlying the assertion. The opponent argues that if the soul is eternal just because it is different from the body which is ephemeral, then the reason different from the body will not lead to a final judgment that “the self is eternal”, because the middle term or reason (hetu) “different from the body” remains unascertained like the unproved major term (sādhya), that is the "eternity of the self'. Thus, the controversy remains unsolved.
Prakaraṇasama, according to Akṣapāda, is a reason that does not help to ascertain the major term (sādhya) for which it is proposed, but only generates doubt about it. He also speaks of another prakaraṇasama which is a division of false rejoinder (jāti). It consists in opposing an argument on the strength of similarity of the minor term (pakṣa) with the example having contradictory characters. For instance, when it is argued with equal force that sound is ephemeral because its property of eternity is not cognized in things like vessels, the opponent challenges it by saying that sound is eternal because its property of being ephemeral is not known in objects like ākāśa. No conclusion can be arrived at from either of the two reasons mentioned or from the two propositions due to the equal strength of contradiction. Hence it leads to the unsettlement of the contradiction.
It is to be noted in this connection that the fallacy of reason prakāraṇasama conceived by Caraka is different from both the prakāraṇasamas of the Nyāyasūtra. If the reason or the minor term equalises the middle term, it is called prakāraṇasama in the Carakasaṃhitā. But in the Nyāya-sūtra, the fallacy of reason prakāraṇasama refers to a reason which creates only doubt. Similarly the false rejoinder prakāraṇasama refers to the existence of two contradictory reasons in the middle term or stating of two contradictory propositions which leads to the unsettlement of the contradiction.
2. Doubtful reason (saṃśayasama):
If the reason offered for the deduction is doubtful, it is called saṃśayasama. Thus a person quotes a passage from Āyurveda: “Is he a physician or not?” This doubtful statement can even be quoted by a person who is not a physician simply after hearing from somewhere else. So quoting a passage from Āyurveda leaves behind the doubt whether the man who has quoted the passage is a physician or not. If this itself is offered as a reason for clearing doubt by saying “he is a physician because he has quoted the Āyurvedic passage”, then it becomes the fallacy of reason called saṃśayasama.
In Nyāyas-sūtra, saṃśayasama is regarded as a false rejoinder. There, saṃśayasama is confined to opposing a proposition of the proponent by urging that the existence of a major term (sādhya) in the minor term (pakṣa) is doubtful due to its similarity with one example in which the major term is present and with another example in which the major term is absent. Thus, the difference with regard to false rejoinder in the Carakasaṃhitā and Nyāyas-sūtra is that in the former it is used in the sense of a doubtful reason adduced for a particular conclusion while in the latter it is a case in which doubt is not removed on account of the fact that the major term possesses two opposite characteristics in two different examples.
3. Equalizing the major term (varṇyasama):
If the example cited to confirm a major term is an unproved one and makes no difference to the major term, it is called varṇyasama. For instance, when it is stated that intellect is ephemeral like sound since intellect is untouchable like the latter, the ephemeral nature of sound remains as much in need of a proof as the intellect for its confirmation. Hence, the proposition intellect is eternal also remains unproved on the basis of the example “sound”. This fallacy of reason is similar to the false rejoinder called sādhyasama of the Nyāyasūtra. Revealing this idea, Jayantabhaṭṭa describes sādhyasama as the equalising nature of the example and the major term in respect of provability.
Footnotes and references:
hetulakṣaṇabhāvādahetavo hetusāmānyād hetuvadābhāsamānāḥ. Vātsyāyana on Nyāyasūtra., I. ii. 4;Nyāya-Bhāṣya of Vātsyāyana., p. 72.
anyataraliṅgadharmānuvidhānena pravartamānā ahetavaḥ santo hetuvadābhāsanta iti hetvābhāsāḥ, Nyāya-Vārttika of Udyotakāra., p. 20.
anumitipratibandhakayathārthajñānaviṣayatvaṃ hetvābhāsatvaṃ. Dīpkā, TSA, p. 44.
ahetuḥ asādhakaheturityarthaḥ, Cakrapanni on CS,Vi,VIII. 57.
aheturnāma prakaraṇasamaḥ, saṃśayasamaḥ varṇyasamaśceti. CS, Vimāna-sthāna, VIII. 57.
Nyāyasūtra., I. ii. 4.
aprasiddho'napadeśo'san sandigdhaścnānapadeśaḥ. Vaiśeṣikadarśana., III. i. 15. Praśastapāda designates anapadeśa as viruddha. See Praśastapādabhāṣya., p. 480.
savyabhicāraviruddha satpratipakṣāsiddhabādhitaḥ pañca hetvābhāsāḥ. TSA, p. 44.
yasmāt prakāraṇacintā sa nirṇayārthamapadiṣṭaḥ prakāraṇasamaḥ, Nyāyasūtra., l. ii. 7.
ubhayasādharmyāt prakriyāsiddheḥ prakāraṇasamaḥ, Nyāyasūtra.,V. i. 16.
Vātsyāyana on ibid., Nyāya-Bhāṣya of Vātsyāyana., pp. 429-430
saṃśayasamo nāmāheturya eva saṃśayahetuḥ sa eva saṃśayoccheda hetuḥ, CS, Vimāna - sthāna, VIII. 57.
samanyadṛṣṭāntayoraindriyakatve samane nityānityasādharmyāt saṃśayasamaḥ, Nyāyasūtra., V. i. 14.
varṇyasamo nāmāhetuḥ—yo heturvarṇyāviśiṣṭaḥ;.....asparśatvāt buddhiranityā śabdavaditi... tadubhayavarnyāviśiṣṭatvādvarṇyasamo'pyahetuḥ. CS,Vimāna - sthāna, VIII. 57.