You can read my views on the written version of the paper presented by Kei Kataoka on apoha (and of the views by Kiyotaka Yoshimizu discussed in it) here, here and here.
A discussion of K. Yoshimizu’s paper (on the chronology of Kumārila and Dharmakīrti) can be found here.
A summary of likes and dislikes of my readers and colleagues can be read here (don’t forget to add your own favs).
The sequence of opponents and discussants within the Pramāṇasamuccaya is difficult to reconstruct and one might need to gather informations from many different sources. In the following I will focus on a specific problem:
- is the example of the presence of horns as leading to “non-horse” an instance of the way apoha works (as with Yoshimizu, which supports in this way his analysis of Dignāga’s procedure as entailing a compositional analysis) or just an example about an inference, which works in a way similar as the apoha, i.e., does not need to exclude elements one by one (as with Kataoka, who thus supports his claim that Dignāga does not need any positive postulation).
The main point of departure for any inquiry into Dignāga’s theory of apoha is his Pramāṇasamuccaya, chapter 5. Unluckily enough, this text is only available as a reconstruction from the two (divergent) Tibetan translations and from Jinendrabuddhi’s commentary.
We all know that for Dignāga the meaning of a word is apoha ‘exclusion’. But how does one seize it and avoid the infinite regress of excluding non-cows because one has understood what “cow” means? Kataoka at the last IABS maintained (if I understood him correctly) that Dignāga did not directly face the problem of how could one seize the absence of non-cows. He also explained that the thesis he attributes to Hattori and Yoshimizu, which makes the apoha depend on the seizing of something positive (e.g., one seizes the exclusion of non-cows because one seizes the exclusion of dewlap, etc.) contradicts the negative nature of apoha, since it indirectly posits positive entities, such as dewlaps. But this leaves the question of how apoha can take place in the worldly experience open.
I am at the end of the first day of the IABS conference in Vienna. I will try to keep the few of you who could not come updated through my impressions of the talks.
Who are the opponents in Kumārila’s Ślokavārttika (henceforth ŚV), chapter on sentence-meaning? And did the ŚV set the standard for all further discussions on the topic?
Who invented the apoha theory? If you, like me, are prone to answer “Dignāga” and to add that Dignāga (as shown by Hattori) was inspired by Bhartṛhari’s theory and that Dharmakīrti and Dharmottara later fine-tuned Dignāga’s one, you are ready to have your view challenged by K. Kunjunni Raja’s article in Buddhist Logic and Epistemology (ed. by B.K. Matilal and R.D. Evans, 1986, I am grateful to Sudipta Munsi who sent me a copy of it).