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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Exhausted the field of inference


sati bhavanam yato vina na

bhavanam iti bhuyodars'ana@m, Nyayamanjari,_ p. 122), then only could we say that there was any relation of concomitance (_vyapti_} between the ass and the smoke [Footnote ref 1]. But of course it might be that what we concluded to be the hetu by the above observations of anvaya-vyatireka might not be a real hetu, and there might be some other condition (_upadhi_) associated with the hetu which was the real hetu. Thus we know that fire in green wood (_ardrendhana_) produced smoke, but one might doubt that it was not the fire in the green wood that produced smoke, but there was some hidden demon who did it. But there would be no end of such doubts, and if we indulged in them, all our work endeavour and practical activities would have to be dispensed with (_vyaghata_). Thus such doubts as lead us to the suspension of all work should not disturb or unsettle the notion of vyapti or concomitance at which we had arrived by careful observation and consideration [Footnote ref 2]. The Buddhists and the naiyayikas generally agreed as to the method of forming the notion of concomitance or vyapti (_vyaptigraha_), but the former tried to assert that the validity of such a concomitance always depended on a relation of cause and effect or of identity of essence, whereas Nyaya held that neither the relations of cause and effect, nor that of essential identity of genus and species, exhausted the field of inference, and there was quite a number of other types of inference which could not be brought
under either of them (e.g. the rise of the moon and the tide of the ocean). A natural fixed order that certain things happening other things would happen could certainly exist, even without the supposition of an identity of essence.

But sometimes it happens that different kinds of causes often have the same kind of effect, and in such cases it is difficult to

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[Footnote 1: See _Tatparya@tika_ on anumana and vyaptigraha.]

[Footnote 2: _Tatparya@tika_ on vyaptigraha, and _Tattvacintama@ni_ of Ga@nges'a on vyaptigraha.]

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infer the particular cause from the effect. Nyaya holds however that though different causes are often found to produce the same effect, yet there must be some difference between one effect and another. If each effect is taken by itself with its other attendant circumstances and peculiarities, it will be found that it may then be possible to distinguish it from similar other effects. Thus a flood in the street may be due either to a heavy downpour of rain immediately before, or to the rise in the water of the river close by, but if observed carefully the flooding of the street due to rain will be found to have such special traits that it could be distinguished from a similar flooding due to the rise of water in the river. Thus from the flooding of the street of a special type, as demonstrated by its other attendant circumstances, the special manner in which the water flows by small rivulets or in sheets, will enable us to infer that the flood was due to rains and not to the rise of water in the river. Thus we see that Nyaya relied on empirical induction based on uniform and uninterrupted agreement in nature, whereas the Buddhists assumed _a priori_ principles of causality or identity of essence. It may not be out of place here to mention that in later Nyaya works great emphasis is laid on the necessity of getting ourselves assured that there was no such upadhi (condition) associated with the hetu on account of which the concomitance happened, but that the hetu was unconditionally associated with the sadhya in a relation of inseparable concomitance. Thus all fire does not produce smoke; fire must be associated with green wood in order to produce smoke. Green wood is thus the necessary condition (_upadhi_) without which, no smoke could be produced. It is on account of this condition that fire is associated with smoke; and so we cannot say that there is smoke because there is fire. But in the concomitance of smoke with fire there is no condition, and so in every case of smoke there is fire. In order to be assured of the validity of vyapti, it is necessary that we must be assured that there should be nothing associated with the hetu which conditioned the concomitance, and this must be settled by wide experience (_bhuyodars'ana_).


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