Pramāna

There are six pramāna (knowledge or valid cognition) in Indian philosophy.

Pratyakṣa (perception) is the sense data, essentially your intuition (Hume’s term) or experience. In Buddhism there are six senses – visual, aural, scent, pallet, tactile, and mind. Each have their corresponding “objects” – sight, sound, fragrance, taste, touch, and mind-object. Perception may correspond to sensation in psychology and not processed content.

Anumāna (inference) is similar to logic. One thing causes another by being inferred.

Upamāna (comparison and analogy) is to link two different unrelated situations or objects through similarity. This may include simile and metaphor.

Arthāpatti (postulation, derivation from circumstances) is implication by knowing the consequences of one action to another. Unlike anumāna it is long term and not immediate.

Anupalabdi (non-perception; negative cognitive proof) is the affirmation of the absence of the positive situation.

Śabda (reliance on past reliable testimony) is the reliance on past evidence given by others.

Buddhism, under Tibetan Buddhism system, recognizes that only perception (pratyakṣa) and inference (anumāna) as valid. All else are denied. This is interesting considering that the Buddhist sutras are taken to be sacred texts. On this count we must wonder how the rejection of śabda works here.

Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s