This essay is a follow up investigation on Ernst Steinkellner’s newly restored Sanskrit text (2005) regarding the criticism of the theory of perception (pratyakṣa) of the Naiyāyika, which is referenced regularly in the first chapter of Dignāga’s (ca. 480-540) work, Pramāṇasamuccaya(vṛtti) (PS(V)) 1.17-20.
In PS(V) 1.1-12, which belongs to the first of Dignāga’s definition of perception (pratyakṣa-lakṣaṇa), is as follows -- PS 3cd, “pratyakṣaṃ kalpanāpoḍhaṃ nāma jātyādiyojanā ||(Perception is a combination of [direct perception, excluding discernment] name and kind, etc.)”-- Dignāga’s conclusion contains the theory of non-separate which asserts that the means, results, and actions of cognition are not different from each other. What follows is Vādavidhi (kk. 13-16) ⇨ Nyāya School (kk. 17-20) ⇨ Vaiśeṣika School (kk. 21-24) ⇨ Sāṃkya School (kk. 25-33) ⇨ Mīmāṃsaka School (kk. 34-44). In PS(V) 1.17-20, the following passage from the Nyāya School’s Nyāyasūtra (NS) is of particular importance -- NS 1.1.4, “indriyārthasaṃnikarṣōtpannaṃ jñānam avyapadeśyam avyabhicāri vyavasāyātmakaṃ pratyakṣam ||(Awareness is recognition caused by direct contact between a sensory organ and an object. Thus, it is impossible to express, free of error, and naturally determined.)”-- This thesis will demonstrate that the perceptual theory expressed in this passage is incorrect. This will be shown by pointing out the contradiction (doṣa) that exists between these three propositions.
Shortly after Dignāga’s death, Uddyotakāra (ca. 550-610) of the Nyāya school raised an objection to Dignāga’s criticism based on Nyāyavārttika. In addition, this rebuttal (uttarapakṣa) for this counterargument has led to careful logical developments by Dharmakīrti (ca. 600-660) and Jinendrabuddhi (ca. 725-785), etc., however that issue will not be dealt with here. Therefore, this thesis provides a preliminary review, which focuses on the contents of NS 1.1.4 of the Nyāya School, which was the object of Dignāga’s criticism. Following this is a review of Dignāga’s criticism as it appears in PS(V) 1.17-20.