Happening of Tradition

Vallabha on Anumana in Nyayalilavati
South Asian Studies, No. 1

By Anna-Pya Sjodin
November 2007
Uppsala University                                                                          
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9155467571                                                                  
195 pages, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2"
$55.00 Paper Original


The present dissertation is a translation and analysis of the chapter on anumāna in Vallabha’s Nyāyalīlāvatī, based on certain theoretical considerations on cross-cultural translation and the understanding of tradition. Adopting a non-essentialized and non-historicist conceptualization of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika/Navya-nyāya tradition, the work focuses on a reading of the anumāna chapter that is particularized and individualized. It further argues for a plurality of interpretative stances within the academic field of Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika/Navya-nyāya studies, on the grounds that the dominant stance has narrowed the scope of research. With reference to post-colonial theory, this dominant stance is understood in terms of a certain strategy called “mimetic translation”.

The study of the anumāna chapter consists of three main interpretational sections: translation, comments, and analysis. The translation and comments focus on understanding issues internal to the Nyāyalīlāvatī. The analysis focuses on a contextual interpretation insofar as the text is understood through reading other texts within the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika/Navya-nyāya discourse. The analysis is further grounded in a concept of intertextuality in that it identifies themes, examples, and arguments appearing in other texts within the discourse. The analysis also identifies and discusses Cārvāka and Mīmāṁsaka arguments within the anumāna chapter.

Two important themes are discerned in the interpretation of the anumāna chapter: first, a differentiation between the apprehension of vyāpti and the warranting of this relation so as to make the apprehension suitable for a process of knowledge; second, that the sequential arrangement of the subject matter of the sections within the chapter, vyāptigraha, upādhi, tarka, and parāmarśa, reflects the process of coming to inferential knowledge.

The present work is a contribution to the understanding of the post-Udayana and pre-Gaṅgeśa Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika/Navya-nyāya discourse on inferential knowledge and it is written in the hope of provoking more research on that particular period and discourse in the history of Indian philosophies.

Theology; Religion         

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