Showing posts with label Anyathakhyati. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anyathakhyati. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are The Theories Of Error In Indian Philosophy?



The subject of how and why humans make mistakes in judgment is seriously addressed in Indian philosophical systems. 

Although these schools may use apparently innocuous examples like mistaken a seashell's glittering flash for a chunk of silver, the investigation of judgment mistakes is ultimately motivated by religious purposes. 

The religious purpose is to obtain real knowledge of the true essence of things and, as a result, to achieve eventual soul liberation (moksha) from the karmic cycle of rebirth (samsara). 

The responses to the truth and falsity issue reflect fundamental disparities in each school's view of the basic essence of things, which have evident consequences for bondage and liberation. 

Although the various schools vary on the mechanics of "how" one sees silver instead of a shell, there is widespread agreement on why this occurs. 

This and other faults are caused by karmic predispositions coming from avidya, most notably greed, which drives people to seek out valuable objects. 

Individual entries provide much more detail, but in general, there are six primary theories of mistake. 

The doctrine is akhyati, or "nondiscrimination," in the Prabhakara branch of the Mimamsa school, in which the basis of mistake is the inability to discern precise differences. 

Anyathakhyati, or "discrimination of something else," is the Naiyayika school's doctrine, in which the mind projects an incorrect perception (pratyaksha) onto another object. 

Kumarila, a Mimamsa philosopher, defines mistake as viparitakhyati, or "contrary discrimination," where the root of error is an incorrect judgment of an object's similarities and differences. 

Sadasatkhyati, or "discrimination of the unreal as the real," is a theory proposed by the Samkhya school, in which the cause of mistake is simply an extension of the initial error to discriminate between the two primary realities, purusha and prakrti. 

The doctrine of satkhyati, or "discrimination of the actual," is proposed by Ramanuja, founder of the Vishishthadvaita Vedanta school, in which one observes the silvery flash accurately but forms an inaccurate inference based on it. 

The Advaita Vedanta school advances the final idea of anirvachaniyakhyati, or "indescribable discrimination," in which one illusory experience is superimposed on another conventionally accurate but ultimately illusory vision. 

See Bijayananda Kar, The Theories of Error in Indian Philosophy, 1978, and Karl H. Potter (ed. ), Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, 1972, for further details. 



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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Anyathakhyati?

 



Anyathakhyati means "discrimination against anything else".  


A theory of error that attempts to explain why individuals make mistakes in judgment, such as mistaken the flash of a seashell for a piece of silver in the classic example. 


  • The Naiyayika philosophical school is the originator of this specific mistake theory. 
  • The Naiyayikas, like the Purva Mimamsa philosopher Prabhakara, think that simple judgements such as "that item is silvery" and "silver is silvery" are both true and irrefutable. 
  • While Prabhakara describes the mistake as an omission, in which one fails to detect the non-relationship between these judgements, the Naiyayikas interpret it as a commission, in which one projects something that isn't really there. 


A dependent connection called as inherence (samavaya) links all things and their characteristics in Naiyayikan metaphysics, which in this instance relates a silvery hue with two distinct items: elemental silver and a shell. 


  • They think the perceiver is projecting the seen item with an incorrect inherence connection (silver) (shell). 
  • Because they acknowledge the reality of nonexistent objects, the Naiyayikas may argue that this projection is genuine (e.g., the nonexistence of a crocodile in my bathtub). 

All such projections, according to the Naiyayikas, are based in karmic dispositions originating from avidya, or primordial ignorance, especially the desire for silver that drives individuals to seek out such valuable things. 




See Bijayananda Kar, The Theories of Error in Indian Philosophy, 1978, and Karl H. Potter (ed. ), Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, 1972, for further details. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.