DEVELOPMENT OF LOGIC IN INDIA: SIGNIFICANCE OF 'THE DUOLOGUE BETWEEN PĀYĀSI AND KASSAPA' ("LONG DISCOURSES")
KeywordsArgument by analogy (analogical reasoning)
the other-world (paraloka)
verbal testimony (śabda)
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AbstractABSTRACT 'The Duologue of King/Governor Pāyāsi' ("Long Discourses") has long been recognised as a source for the proto-materialism current at the time of the Buddha. What needs to be stressed is the significance of the text as a pointer to the development of Logic in India. Perception (observation and experiment employing the joint method of agreement and difference), which is an accepted method of experimental enquiry, and reasoning from analogy, which can lead at best to a probable conclusion - these two are the only means employed to settle the dispute concerning the existence of the other-world. The Jain version of the same duologue-cum-parable, though varying in minor details regarding the name and identity of the monk refuting the king/governor, contains the same contrast, namely, perception versus analogical reasoning. There can be little doubt that the original parable was conceived with a view to asserting the existence of the other-world. In the Kaṭha Upaniṣad (sixth century BCE), an earlier Brahmanical text, however, instead of argument by analogy, verbal testimony (śabda) was invoked to settle the same point. Naciketas is assailed by doubt about the existence of a person after his or her death. The authority of Yama, the Pluto of Indian mythology, is invoked to convince him that the other-world does exist. Thus, the three parables taken together exhibit three means of knowledge in operation: verbal testimony and argument by analogy pitted against perception.