Nyaya philosophy is one of the 6 Astika schools of Indian philosophy. Founded by Akashapada Gautama. This school is the Indian school of Logic and Debate. It provides a sound method of philosophical inquiry into the nature of knowledge and the objects of knowledge. Two things to consider.
- Of what things we should have knowledge about?- PRAMEYA
- What are the sources of knowledge? – PRAMANA
These two points are one of the points of distinction among Astika schools.
It is the means to obtain the right knowledge about the self and to discover the purpose of life.
How to find if knowledge is true and legitimate? Way to impart knowledge and to experience it, to elucidate for ourselves and defend it against hostile criticism. The goal of Nyaya is to enable Humans to achieve the highest goal of life that is liberation from DUKHA( SORROW) and the continuous cycle of birth and death.
The world presents itself to us as a chain of consequences this needs to be broken to obtain liberation from suffering. Suffering occurs because of misapprehension. Misapprehension results in a distorted view called DOSHA. There are 4 effects –
- FALSE IDENTITIES AND IDEOLOGIES,
- ATTRACTION TO THINGS, PEOPLE AND PLACES
- AVERSION TO CHALLENGE
This leads to action we call KARMA. Following this path leads to Rebirth which again leads to suffering called DUKKHA and this loop will continue.
To break this chain is to obtain insights and wisdom( GYANA)
Due to Gyana, identification of mind-body complex ends. Dosha disappears.
The rational process is a process in which conclusions are drawn from basic premises by following a series of cognitive steps. The desire for truth is innate in every human being. The chief concern of Nyaya is the means of knowing not the nature of knowing.
The 3 stages in Nyaya philosophy are-
16 divisions of Nyaya –
- Pramana- The valid sources of knowledge
Valid knowledge is that which reveals a thing as it is and is applicable to daily life.
VALID KNOWLEDGE- THE STATEMENT SHOULD BE
COHERENCE- LOGICAL AND CONSISTENT
CORRESPOND- TO THE ACTUAL NATURE OF THE OBJECT AS IT IS
CONSEQUENCE/UTILITY- PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND UTILITY
THERE ARE 4 PRAMANAS –
PRATYAKSHA– SENSE PERCEPTION-
Savikalpa – Concrete and specific
Nirvikalpa- Abstract and nonspecific- snake and rope seems similar from distance.
ANUMANA– INFERENCE –
The knowledge is derived from the prior perception. It is based on a well-known and observed connection between – CAUSE AND EFFECT.
Purvavat- a priori
Seswat– a posteriori
UPAMANA – ANALOGY
SHABDA– VERBAL TESTIMONY
According to Nyaya, there are 4 additional means but not independent-
Non-existence– existence because of the absence of contradiction
Sambhava– assumes the existence of one thing from another thing
Aitiha– knowledge which is received without any verification