Pratibhanusarini --- 九州インド哲学ブログ2

On Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies

On Dignāga’s Semantics: The Role of Inference by Means of Horns

Abstract of my paper: Kataoka 2012g (See here for a PDF of the original Japanese version)
This abstract is published in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 61, No. 3, March 2013, pp. 1315(257)-1316(258).
(The Japanese version is published in the same journal, Vol. 61, No. 1, 425(94)-419(100).)

Kei KATAOKA
On Dignāga’s Semantics: The Role of Inference by Means of Horns

p. 1315(257)
Yoshimizu recently published two articles on Dignāga’s theory of apoha. He claims that
“the word ‘cow’ excludes all horses by virtue of the fact that horns are never seen on
them.” Thus, “the word ‘cow’ can exclude all of them collectively by virtue of the fact that
none of them has all the members of the set of characteristics that form the worldly defini-
tion of ‘cow’.’’ Horns, one of the characteristic features of cows, are indeed mentioned by
Dignāga in PS(V) 5:43. But a close look at the passage reveals that here Dignāga refers to
the function of an inferential reason viṣāṇitva and not the function of a word “cow.” Dig-
nāga mentions the simple inference by means of horns. With the word yathā Dignāga in-
tends that a word “cow” communicates cow in general by excluding others, just as an in-
p. 1316(258)
ferential reason such as viṣāṇitva does. It is not the case that Dignāga refers to horns as a
basis for a word “cow” to exclude the non-cow. Yoshimizu understands Dignāga’s seman-
tics as being parallel to the modern semantics of componential analysis. But this interpreta-
tion is not supported by Dignāga’s text. The present conclusion is also supported by Mā-
dhava and Kumārila. Neither of them assumes Dignāga’s theory to be as Yoshimizu takes it.
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