19. Language and Logic in Indian Buddhist Thought

  1. Steven M. Emmanuel
  1. Brendan S. Gillon

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch19

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy

How to Cite

Gillon, B. S. (2013) Language and Logic in Indian Buddhist Thought, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch19

Author Information

  1. McGill University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658772

Online ISBN: 9781118324004

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Keywords:

  • human language;
  • Indian Buddhism;
  • logic;
  • philosophy

Summary

The study of human reasoning and the study of human language have been closely connected in European philosophical thought. Except for the Buddhist thinker Dignāga, these two areas of study have not been connected in classical India. The connection which Dignāga made between inference and meaning in his theory of exclusion is a distinguishing feature of Buddhist philosophical thought in classical India and, for that reason, it is useful to treat the Indian Buddhist views of reasoning and meaning together. Logic, seeks to distinguish good reasoning from bad. Since reasoning is often communicated and, to that extent, expressed in a language, it is natural to use the forms of language to identify the forms of reasoning.