Buddhist Logic: Sample Texts

Living reference work entry


In this chapter, three sections from three different texts are chosen which discuss some of the core doctrines in Buddhist logic.

The first section, namely, Nyāyapraveśakasūtram discusses Diṅnāga’s theory of inference which includes his theory of “inference for oneself” and “inference for others” and fallacies of inference including those of the thesis, reason, and instance.

The second section chosen from Dharmakīrti’s Nyāyabindu deals with “Inference for oneself.” Dharmakīrti here tries to construct a comprehensive and tight framework of inference. Accordingly, hetu can be only of three kinds: svabhāva, kārya, and anupalabdhi. Dharmakīrti in this chapter also explains the 11-fold classification of anupalabdhi-hetu.

The third section selected from Dharmakīrti’s Hetubindu discusses formal logical issues concerning the inference for others. Here Dharmakīrti contends that the statements of pakṣadharmatā and vyāpti are the only logically necessary and sufficient premises and that the statements of positive and negative concomitance entail each other such that only one of the two needs to be stated. This gives rise to two basic forms of inference which resemble Modus Ponuns and Modus Tollens.


Negative Concomitance Anupalabdhi Positive Concomitance Provable Properties Apprehensible 
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  1. Dhruva, A.B., ed. 1968. Nyāyapraveśa. Baroda: Baroda Oriental Research institute.Google Scholar
  2. Gangopadhyay, Mrinalkanti, Trans. 1971. Vinītadeva’s Nyāyabinduṭīkā (Sanskrit original reconstructed from the extant Tibetan version with English Translation and annotations). Calcutta: Indian Studies Past and Present.Google Scholar
  3. Gokhale, Pradeep P., Ed. and trans. 1997. Hetubindu of Dharmakīrti (A point on probans). Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Sankrityayan, Rahul, ed. 1949. Hetubinduṭīkā, G. O. series, no. CXIII. Baroda: Oriental Institute. (Appendix 7).Google Scholar
  5. Sharma, Ranjankumar, ed. 1999. Nyāyapraveśakasūtram. Sarnath: Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies.Google Scholar
  6. Steinkellner, Ernst. 1967. Dharmakīrti’s Hetubinduḥ, (Teil I). Wein: Herman Böhlaus Nachf.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySavitibai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Pradeep P. Gokhale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySavitibai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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