Songtsen Scholarship Essays

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Sample Scholarship Essays

If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:

  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

Other useful tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
  2. Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
  3. Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
  4. Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
  5. When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.

For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .

The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn't clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class.

I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.

In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.

For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students.I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.

This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.

I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

Do:Follow the prompt and other instructions exactly. You might write a great essay but it may get your application rejected if you don’t follow the word count guidelines or other formatting requirements.
DON'T:Open your essay with a quote. This is a well-worn strategy that is mostly used ineffectively. Instead of using someone else’s words, use your own.
DON'T:Use perfunctory sentences such as, “In this essay, I will…”
DO:Be clear and concise. Make sure each paragraph discusses only one central thought or argument.
DON'T:Use words from a thesaurus that are new to you. You may end up using the word incorrectly and that will make your writing awkward. Keep it simple and straightforward. The point of the essay is to tell your story, not to demonstrate how many words you know.

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Planners and Searchers

Prompt: In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. Please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Research the organization and make sure you understand their mission and values and incorporate them into your essay.
DO:Focus on your strengths and turn in any problems or weaknesses into a success story.
DO:Use actual, detailed examples from your own life to backup your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarship.
DO:Proofread several times before finally submitting your essay.
DON'T:Rehash what is already stated on your resume. Choose additional, unique stories to tell sell yourself to the scholarship committee.
DON'T:Simply state that you need the money. Even if you have severe financial need, it won’t help to simply ask for the money and it may come off as tacky.

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Saving the Manatees

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.

Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.

When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist. Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator. During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating. My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time. It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.

While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground. Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.

I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies. In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Tell a story. Discuss your personal history and why those experiences have led you to apply for these scholarships.
DO:Write an outline. If you’ve already started writing or have a first draft, make an outline based on what you’ve written so far. This will help you see whether your paragraphs flow and connect with one another.
DON'T:Write a generic essay for every application. Adapt your personal statement for each individual scholarship application.
DO:Run spellcheck and grammar check on your computer but also do your own personal check. Spellcheck isn’t perfect and you shouldn't rely on technology to make your essay perfect.

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Sample Essays

Related Content:

Buddhist logico-epistemology (or "Buddhist logic", "Buddhist epistemology") is used in Western scholarship to refer to Buddhist traditions of Pramāṇa-vada (means of valid cognition) and Hetu-vidya (science of causes), which arose circa 500CE, and were influenced by 'Indian Logic' of the Nyaya school.[1][2]

The early Buddhists texts show that the historical Buddha was familiar with certain rules of reasoning used for debating purposes and made use of these against his opponents. He also seems to have held certain ideas about epistemology and reasoning, though he did not put forth a logico-epistemological system. The structure of debating rules and processes can be seen in the early Theravada text the Kathāvatthu.

The first Buddhist thinker to discuss logical and epistemic issues systematically was Vasubandhu in his Vāda-vidhi ("A Method for Argumentation"), who was influenced by the Hindu work on reasoning, the Nyāya-sūtra.[3]

A mature system of Buddhist logic and epistemology was founded by the Buddhist scholar Dignāga (c. 480 - 540 CE) in his magnum opus, the Pramāṇa-samuccaya.[4][1]Dharmakirti further developed this system with several innovations. Dharmakirti's Pramanavarttika ('Commentary on Valid Cognition') became the main source of epistemology and reasoning in Tibetan Buddhism.[5]


Scholars such as H.N. Randle and Fyodor Shcherbatskoy (1930s) initially employed terms such as “Indian Logic” and “Buddhist Logic” to refer to the Indian tradition of inference (anumana), epistemology (pramana) and 'science of causes' (hetu-vidya). This tradition developed in the orthodox Hindu tradition known as Nyaya as well as in Buddhist philosophy. Logic in classical India, writes Bimal Krishna Matilal, is "the systematic study of informal inference-patterns, the rules of debate, the identification of sound inference vis-à-vis sophistical argument, and similar topics".[6] As Matilal notes, this tradition developed out systematic debate theory (vadavidya):

Logic as the study of the form of correct arguments and inference patterns, developed in India from the methodology of philosophical debate. The art of conducting a philosophical debate was prevalent probably as early as the time of the Buddha and the Mahavira (Jina), but it became more systematic and methodical a few hundred years later.[7]

‘Indian Logic’ should be understood as being a different system of logic than modern classical logic (e.g. modern predicate calculus), but as anumāna-theory, a system in its own right.[8] ‘Indian Logic’ was also influenced by the study of grammar, whereas Classical Logic which principally informed modern Western Logic was influenced by the study of mathematics.[9]

A key difference between Western Logic and Indian Logic is that certain epistemological issues are included within Indian Logic, whereas in modern Western Logic they are deliberately excluded. Indian Logic includes general questions regarding the ‘nature of the derivation of knowledge’, epistemology, from information supplied by evidence, evidence which in turn may be another item of knowledge.[9] For this reason, other scholars use the term "logico-epistemology" to refer to this tradition, emphasizing the centrality of the epistemic project for Indian logical reasoning.[10][11][12] According to Georges Dreyfus, while Western logic tends to be focused on formal validity and deduction:

The concern of Indian "logicians" is quite different. They intend to provide a critical and systematic analysis of the diverse means of correct cognition that we use practically in our quest for knowledge. In this task, they discuss the nature and types of pramana. Although Indian philosophers disagree on the types of cognition that can be considered valid, most recognize perception and inference as valid. Within this context, which is mostly epistemological and practically oriented, topics such as the nature and types of correct reasoning that pertain to logic in the large sense of the word are discussed.[13]


Pramāṇa (Tib. tshad ma) is often translated as "valid cognition" or "instrument of knowledge" and refers to epistemic ways of knowing. Decisive in distinguishing Buddhist pramana from what is generally understood as Orthodox Hindu philosophy is the issue of epistemological justification. All schools of Indian logic recognize various sets of 'valid justifications for knowledge' or pramana. Buddhist logico-epistemology was influenced by the Nyāya school's methodology, but where the Nyaya recognised a set of four pramanas—perception, inference, comparison and testimony—the Buddhists (i.e. the school of Dignaga) only recognized two: perception and inference. For Dignaga, comparison and testimony are just special forms of inference.[14]

Most Indic pramanavada accept 'perception' (Sanskrit: pratyakṣa) and 'inference' (Sanskrit: anumāna), but for some schools of orthodox Hinduism the 'received textual tradition' (Sanskrit: āgamāḥ) is an epistemological category equal to perception and inference. The Buddhist logical tradition of Dignaga and Dharmakirti accept scriptural tradition only if it accords with pratyakṣa and anumāna. This view is thus in line with the Buddha's injunction in the Kalama Sutta not to accept anything on mere tradition or scripture.[15]


Early Buddhist background[edit]


The time of the Buddha Gautama was a lively intellectual culture with many differing philosophical theories. KN Jayatilleke, in his "Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge", uses the Pali Nikayas to glean the possible epistemological views of the historical Buddha and those of his contemporaries. According to his analysis of the Sangarava Sutta, during the Buddha's time, Indian views were divided into three major camps with regards to knowledge:[16]

  • The Traditionalists (Anussavika) who regarded knowledge as being derived from scriptural sources (the Brahmins who upheld the Vedas).
  • The Rationalists (Takki Vimamsi) who only used reasoning or takka (the skeptics and materialists).
  • The "Experientialists" who held that besides reasoning, a kind of supra-normal yogic insight was able to bring about unique forms of knowledge (the Jains, the middle and late Upanishadic sages).

The Buddha rejected the first view in several texts such as the Kalama sutta, arguing that a claim to scriptural authority (sabda) was not a source of knowledge, as was claimed by the later Hindu Mimamsa school.[17] The Buddha also seems to have criticized those who used reason (takka). According to Jayatilleke, in the Pali Nikayas, this term refers "primarily to denote the reasoning that was employed to construct and defend metaphysical theories and perhaps meant the reasoning of sophists and dialecticians only in a secondary sense".[18] The Buddha rejected metaphysical speculations, and put aside certain questions which he named the unanswerables (avyakatas), including questions about the soul and if the universe is eternal or not.

The Buddha's epistemological view has been a subject of debate among modern scholars. Some such as David Kalupahana, have seen him first and foremost as an empiricist because of his teaching that knowledge required verification through the six sense fields (ayatanas).[19] The Kalama sutta states that verification through one’s own personal experience (and the experiences of the wise) is an important means of knowledge.[20]

However, the Buddha's view of truth was also based on the soteriological and therapeutic concern of ending suffering. In the "Discourse to Prince Abhaya" (MN.I.392–4) the Buddha states that a belief should only be accepted if it leads to wholesome consequences.[21] This has led scholars such as Mrs Rhys Davids and Vallée-Poussin to see the Buddha's view as a form of Pragmatism.[22][23] This sense of truth as what is useful is also shown by the Buddha's parable of the arrow.

K. N. Jayatilleke sees Buddha's epistemological view as empirically based which also includes a particular view of causation (dependent origination): "inductive inferences in Buddhism are based on a theory of causation. These inferences are made on the data of perception. What is considered to constitute knowledge are direct inferences made on the basis of such perceptions."[24] Jayatilleke argues the Buddhas statements in the Nikayas tacitly imply an adherence to some form of correspondence theory, this is most explicit in the 'Apannaka Sutta'. He also notes that Coherentism is also taken as a criterion for truth in the Nikayas, which contains many instances of the Buddha debating opponents by showing how they have contradicted themselves.[25] He also notes that the Buddha seems to have held that utility and truth go hand in hand, and therefore something which is true is also useful (and vice versa, something false is not useful for ending suffering).[26] Echoing this view, Christian Coseru writes:

canonical sources make quite clear that several distinct factors play a crucial role in the acquisition of knowledge. These are variously identified with the testimony of sense experience, introspective or intuitive experience, inferences drawn from these two types of experience, and some form of coherentism, which demands that truth claims remain consistent across the entire corpus of doctrine. Thus, to the extent that Buddhists employ reason, the do so primarily in order further to advance the empirical investigation of phenomena.[27]

Debate and analysis[edit]

The Early Buddhist Texts show that during this period many different kinds of philosophers often engaged in public debates (vivada). The early texts also mention that there was a set procedure (patipada) for these debates and that if someone does not abide by it they are unsuitable to be debated.[28] There also seems to have been at least a basic conception of valid and invalid reasoning, including, according to Jayatilleke, fallacies (hetvabhasah) such as petitio principii.[29] Various fallacies were further covered under what were called nigrahasthana or "reasons for censure" by which one could lose the debate. Other nigrahasthanas included arthantaram or "shifting the topic", and not giving a coherent reply.[30]

According to Jayatilleke, 'pure reasoning' or 'a priori' reasoning is rejected by the Buddha as a source of knowledge.[31] While reason could be useful in deliberation, it could not establish truth on its own.

In contrast to his opponents, the Buddha termed himself a defender of 'analysis' or 'vibhajjavada'. He held that after proper rational analysis, assertions could be classified in the following way:[32]

  • Those which can be asserted or denied categorically (ekamsika)
  • Those which cannot be asserted or denied categorically (anekamsika), which the Buddha further divided into:
    • Those which after analysis (vibhajja-) could be known to be true or false.
    • Those like the avyakata-theses, which could not be thus known.

This view of analysis differed from that of the Jains, which held that all views were anekamsika and also were relative, that is, they were true or false depending on the standpoint one viewed it from (anekantavada).

The early texts also mention that the Buddha held there two be 'four kinds of explanations of questions".[33]

  • a question which ought to be explained categorically
  • a question which ought to be answered with a counter question
  • a question which ought to be set aside (thapaniya)
  • a question which ought to be explained analytically

The Buddha also made use of various terms which reveal some of his views on meaning and language. For example, he held that many concepts or designations (paññatti) could be used in conventional everyday speech while at the same time not referring to anything that exists ultimately (such as the pronouns like "I" and "Me").[34] Richard Hayes likewise points to the Potthapada sutta as an example of the Early Buddhist tendency towards a nominalist perspective on language and meaning in contrast to the Brahmanical view which tended to see language as reflecting real existents.[35]

The Buddha also divided statements (bhasitam) into two types with regards to their meaning: those which were intelligible, meaningful (sappatihirakatam) and those meaningless or incomprehensible (appatihirakatam).[36] According to Jayatilleke, "in the Nikayas it is considered meaningless to make a statement unless the speaker could attach a verifiable content to each of its terms."[37] This is why the Buddha held that statements about the existence of a self or soul (atman) were ultimately meaningless, because they could not be verified.

The Buddha, like his contemporaries, also made use of the "four corners" (catuṣkoṭi) logical structure as a tool in argumentation. According to Jayatilleke, these "four forms of predication" can be rendered thus:[38]

  1. S is P, e.g. atthi paro loko (there is a next world).
  2. S is not P, e.g. natthi paro loko (there is no next world).
  3. S is and is not P, e.g. atthi ca natthi ca paro loko (there is and is no next world).
  4. S neither is nor is not P, e.g. n'ev'atthi na natthi paro loko (there neither is nor is there no next world)

The Buddha in the Nikayas seems to regard these as "'the four possible positions' or logical alternatives that a proposition can take".[39] Jayatilleke notes that the last two are clearly non-Aristotelian in nature. The Buddhists in the Nikayas use this logical structure to analyze the truth of statements and classify them. When all four were denied regarding a statement or question, it was held to be meaningless and thus set aside or rejected (but not negated).[40]

Two levels of Truth[edit]

The early texts mention of two modes of discourse used by the Buddha. Jayatilleke writes:

when he is speaking about things or persons we should not presume that he is speaking about entities or substances; to this extent his meaning is to be inferred (neyyattha-). But when he is pointing out the misleading implications of speech or using language without these implications, his meaning is plain and direct and nothing is to be inferred (nitattha-). This is a valid distinction which certainly holds good for the Nikäyas at least, in the light of the above-statement.[41]

The later commentarial and Abhidharma literature began to use this distinction as an epistemic one. They spoke of two levels of truth, the conventional (samutti), and the absolute (paramattha). [42] This theory of double truth became very influential in later Buddhist epistemic discourse.


The TheravadaKathāvatthu (points of controversy) is a Pali Buddhist text which discusses the proper method for critical discussions on doctrine. Its date is debated by scholars but it might date to the time of Ashoka (C. 240 BC).[43] Western cholarship by St. Schayer and following him A. K. Warder, have argued that there is an "anticipations of propositional logic" in the text.[44] However, according to Jonardon Ganeri "the leading concern of the text is with issues of balance and fairness in the conduct of a dialogue and it recommends a strategy of argumentation which guarantees that both parties to a point of controversy have their arguments properly weighed and considered."[45]

In the Kathāvatthu, a proper reasoned dialogue (vadayutti) is structured as follows: there is a point of contention - whether A is B; this is divided into several 'openings' (atthamukha):[46]

  1. Is A B?
  2. Is A not B?
  3. Is A B everywhere?
  4. Is A B always?
  5. Is A B in everything?
  6. Is A not B everywhere?
  7. Is A not B always?
  8. Is A not B in everything?

These help clarify the attitude of someone towards their thesis in the proceeding argumentative process. Jonardon Ganeri outlines the process thus:

Each such ‘opening’ now proceeds as an independent dialogue, and each is divided into five stages: the way forward (anuloma), the way back (patikamma), the refutation (niggaha), the application (upanayana) and the conclusion (niggamana). In the way forward, the proponent solicits from the respondent the endorsement of a thesis, and then tries to argue against it. In the way back, the respondent turns the tables, soliciting from the proponent the endorsement of the counter-thesis, and then trying argue against it. In the refutation, the respondent, continuing, seeks to refute the argument that the proponent had advanced against the thesis. The application and conclusion repeat and reaffirm that the proponent’s argument against the respondent’s thesis is unsound, while the respondent’s argument against the proponent’s counter-thesis is sound.[47]


Another Buddhist text which depicts the standards for rational debate among Buddhists is the Milindapanha ("Questions of Menander", 1st century BCE) which is a dialogue between the Buddhist monk Nagasena and an Indo-Greek King. In describing the art of debate and dialogue, Nagasena states:

When scholars talk a matter over one with another, then is there a winding up, an unravelling, one or other is convicted of error, and he then acknowledges his mistake; distinctions are drawn, and contra-distinctions; and yet thereby they are not angered.[48]

The various elements outlined here make up the standard procedure of Buddhist debate theory. There is an 'unravelling' or explication (nibbethanam) of one's thesis and stances and then there is also a 'winding up' ending in the censure (niggaho) of one side based on premises he has accepted and the rejoinders of his opponent.[49]


The Buddhist Abhidharma schools developed a classification of four types of reasoning which became widely used in Buddhist thought. The Mahayana philosopher Asanga in his Abhidharma-samuccaya, outlines these four reasons (yukti) that one may use to inquire about the nature of things. According to Cristian Coseru these are:[50]

  1. The principle of dependence (apeksāyukti), which takes into account the fact that conditioned things necessarily arise in dependence upon conditions: it is a principle of reason, for instance, that sprouts depend on seeds.
  2. The principle of causal efficacy (kāryakāranayukti), which accounts for the difference between things in terms of the different causal conditions for their apprehension: it is a principle of reason, thus, that, in dependence upon form, a faculty of vision, and visual awareness, one has visual rather than, say, auditory or tactile experiences.
  3. The realization of evidence from experience (sāksātkriyāsādhanayukti). We realize the presence of water from moisture and of fire from smoke.
  4. The principle of natural reasoning, or the principle of reality (dharmatāyukti), which concerns the phenomenal character of things as perceived (for instance, the wetness and fluidity of water).

According to Coseru "what we have here are examples of natural reasoning or of reasoning from experience, rather than attempts to use deliberative modes of reasoning for the purpose of justifying a given thesis or arguing for its conditions of satisfaction."[51]


Main article: Nyaya

The Nyāya Sūtras of Gotama (c. 1st or 2nd century CE) is the founding text of the Nyaya school. The text systematically lays out logical rules for argumentation in the form of a five step schema and also sets forth a theory of epistemology.[52] According to Jonardon Ganeri, the Nyaya sutra brought about a transformation in Indian thinking about logic. First, it began a shift away from interest in argumentation and debate towards the formal properties of sound inference. Secondly the Nyaya sutra led a shift to rule governed forms of logical thinking.[53]

BK Matilal outlines the five steps or limbs of the Nyaya method of reasoning as follows:[54]

  1. There is fire on the hill. [thesis]
  2. For there is smoke. [reason]
  3. (Wherever there is smoke, there is fire), as in the kitchen. [example]
  4. This is such a case (smoke on the hill).
  5. Therefore, it is so, i.e., there is fire on the hill.

Later Buddhist thinkers like Vasubandhu would see several of these steps as redundant and would affirm that only the first two or three were necessary.[55]

The Naiyayikas (the Nyaya scholars) also accepted four valid means (pramaṇa) of obtaining valid knowledge (pramana) - perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), comparison (upamāna) and word/testimony of reliable sources (śabda).

The systematic discussions of the Nyaya school influenced the Medieval Buddhist philosophers who developed their own theories of inferential reasoning and epistemic warrant (pramana). The Nyaya became one of the main opponents of the Buddhists.

Mahayana Buddhist philosophy[edit]

Nagarjuna (c. 150 – c. 250 CE), one of the most influential Buddhist thinkers, defended the theory of the emptiness (shunyata) of phenomena and attacked theories which posited an essence or true existence (svabhava) to phenomena in his magnum opus The Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way.[56] He used the Buddhist catuṣkoṭi ("four corners" or "four positions") to construct reductio ad absurdum arguments against numerous theories which posited essences to certain phenomena, such as causality and movement. In Nagarjuna's works and those of his followers, the four positions on a particular thesis are negated or ruled out (Sk. pratiṣedha) as exemplified by the first verse of Nagarjuna's Middle way verses which focuses on a critique of causation:[57]

"Entities of any kind are not ever found anywhere produced from themselves, from another, from both [themselves and another], and also from no cause."

Nagarjuna also famously relied upon refutation based argumentation (vitanda) drawing out the consequences (prasanga) and presuppositions of his opponents' own theories and showing them to be self refuting.[58] Because the vaitandika only seeks to disprove his opponents arguments without putting forward a thesis of his own, the Hindu Nyaya school philosophers such as Vatsyayana saw it as unfair and also irrational (because if you argue against P, you must have a thesis, mainly not P).[59] According to Matilal, Nagarjuna's position of not putting forth any implied thesis through his refutations would be rational if seen as a form of illocutionary act.[60]

Nagarjuna's reductios and the structure of the catuṣkoṭi became very influential in the Buddhist Madhyamaka school of philosophy which sees itself as a continuation of Nagarjuna's thought. Nagarjuna also discusses the four modes of knowing of the Nyaya school, but he is unwilling to accept that such epistemic means bring us ultimate knowledge.[61]

Nagarjuna's epistemic stance continues to be debated among modern scholars, his skepticism of the ability of reason and language to capture the nature of reality and his view of reality as being empty of true existence have led some to see him as a skeptic, mystic, nihilist or agnostic, while others interpret him as a Wittgensteinian analyst, an anti-realist, or deconstructionist.[62]

Nagarjuna is also said to be the author of the Upāyaśṛdaya one of the first Buddhist texts on proper reasoning and argumentation.[63] He also developed the Buddhist theory of two truths, defending ultimate truth as the truth of emptiness.

Vasubandhu was one of the first Buddhist thinkers to write various works on sound reasoning and debate, including the Vādavidhi (Methods of Debate), and the Vādavidhāna (Rules of Debate).[64] Vasubandhu was influenced by the system of the Nyaya school. Vasubandhu also introduced the concept of 'logical pervasion' (vyapti).[3] He also introduced the Trairūpya (triple inferential sign). The Trairūpya is a logical argument that contains three constituents which a logical ‘sign’ or ‘mark’ (linga) must fulfill to be 'valid source of knowledge' (pramana):[65]

  1. It should be present in the case or object under consideration, the ‘subject-locus' (pakṣa)
  2. It should be present in a ‘similar case’ or a homologue (sapakṣa)
  3. It should not be present in any ‘dissimilar case’ or heterologue (vipakṣa)

Dignaga-Dharmakirti school[edit]

See also: Dignaga and Dharmakirti

Dignaga (c. 480 – 540 CE) is the founder of an influential tradition of Buddhist logic and epistemology, which was widely influential in Indian thought and brought about a turn to epistemological questions in Indian philosophy.[66] According to B.K. Matilal, "Dinnaga was perhaps the most creative logician in medieval (400-1100) India."[67]

Dignaga defended the validity of only two pramanas, perception and inference in his magnum opus, the pramanasamuccaya. As noted by Cristian Coseru, Dignaga's theory of knowledge is strongly grounded on perception "as an epistemic modality for establishing a cognitive event as knowledge". His theory also does not "make a radical distinction between epistemology and the psychological processes of cognition."[68] For Dignaga, perception is never in error, for it is the most basic raw sense data. It is only through mental construction and inferential thinking that we err in the interpretation of perceptual particulars.[69]

Dignaga also wrote on language and meaning. His "apoha" (exclusion) theory of meaning was widely influential. For Dignaga, a word can express its own meaning only by repudiating other meanings. The word 'cow' gives its own meaning only by the exclusion of all those things which are other than cow.[70]

Following Dignaga, Dharmakirti (c. 7th century), contributed significantly to the development and application of Buddhist pramana theory. Dharmakīrti's Pramāṇavārttika, remains in Tibet as a central text on pramana and was widely commented on by various Indian and Tibetan scholars.[71] Dharmakirti's theory of epistemology differed from Dignaga's by introducing the idea that for something to be a valid cognition it must "confirm causal efficacy" (arthakriyāsthiti) which "consists in [this cognition’s] compliance with [the object’s capacity to] perform a function" (Pramāṇavārttika 2.1ac).[72]

He was also one of the primary theorists of Buddhist atomism, according to which the only items considered to exist or be ultimately real are momentary particulars (svalakṣaṇa) including material atoms and momentary states of consciousness (dharmas).[73] Everything else is considered to be only conventional (saṃvṛtisat) and thus he has been seen as a nominalist, like Dignaga.[74]

These two thinkers were very influential on later Buddhist philosophy. The "School of Dignāga" or the "Dignāga-Dharmakīrti school" is sometimes used to refer to this tradition. In Tibetan it is termed “those who follow reasoning” (Tibetan: rigs pa rjes su ‘brang ba), which is back-translated into sanskrit by scholars as 'pramāṇavāda'.[75]

Vincent Eltschinger has argued that Buddhist epistemology, especially Dharmakirti's, was an apologetic response to attacks by hostile Hindu opponents and thus was seen by Buddhists as "that which, by defeating the outsiders, removes the obstacles to the path towards liberation."[76] Coseru meanwhile simply notes the inseparability of epistemic concerns from spiritual praxis for Buddhist epistemologists such as Dharmakirti:

It is this praxis that leads a representative thinker such as Dharmakīrti to claim that the Buddha, whose view he and his successors claim to propound, is a true embodiment of the sources of knowledge. Thus, far from seeing a tension between empirical scrutiny and the exercise of reason, the Buddhist epistemological enterprise positions itself not merely as a dialogical disputational method for avoiding unwarranted beliefs, but as a practice aimed at achieving concrete, pragmatic ends. As Dharmakīrti reminds his fellow Buddhists, the successful accomplishment of any human goal is wholly dependent on having correct knowledge.[77]

Later philosophers who worked on Buddhist epistemology and logic include Devendrabuddhi (630-690 C.E.), Dharmottara (750-8 10 C.E.), Prajñākaragupta (740-800 C.E.), Jñanasrimitra (975–1025) and Ratnakīrti (11th century).

Bhāvaviveka and svatantrika[edit]

Bhāvaviveka (c. 500 - c. 578) appears to be the first Buddhist logician to employ the 'formal syllogism' (Wylie: sbyor ba'i tshig; Sanskrit: prayoga-vākya) in expounding the Mādhyamaka view, which he employed to considerable effect in his commentary to Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā entitled the Prajñāpradīpa.[78]

Bhāvaviveka was later criticized by Chandrakirti (540-600) for his use of logical arguments. For Chandrakirti, a true Mādhyamika only uses reductio ad absurdum arguments and does not put forth positive arguments. Chandrakirti saw in the logico-epistemic tradition a commitment to a foundationalist epistemology and essentialist ontology, while for him a Mādhyamika's job should be to just deconstruct concepts which presuppose an essence.[79]

In spite of these criticisms, Buddhist philosophers such as Jñanagarbha (700-760) and Śāntarakṣita (725–788) continued to explain Madhyamaka philosophy through the use of formal syllogisms as well as adopting the conceptual schemas of the Dignaga-Dharmakirti school.[80] This tendency is termed Svātantrika, while Chandrakirti's stance is termed Prasangika. The Svatantrika-Prasaṅgika distinction is a central topic of debate in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

Tibetan tradition[edit]

Tom Tillemans, in discussing the Tibetan translation and assimilation of the logico-epistemological tradition, identifies two currents and transmission streams:

The first is the tradition of the Kadampa scholar Ngok Lodzawa Loden Shayrap (1059–1109) and Chapa Chögyi Sengge (1109–69) and their disciples, mainly located at Sangpu Neutok .[81] Chapa’s Tshad ma’i bsdus pa (English: 'Summaries of Epistemology and Logic') became the groundwork for the ‘Collected Topics’ (Tibetan: Düra; Wylie: bsdus grwa) literature, which in large part furnished the Gelugpa-based logical architecture and epistemology.[81] These two scholars (whose works are now lost) strengthened the influence of Dharmakirti in Tibetan Buddhist scholarship.[82]

There is also another tradition of interpretation founded by Sakya Pandita (1182–1251), who wrote the Tshad-ma rigs-gter (English: "Treasury of Logic on Valid Cognition").[83][84][81] Sakya pandita secured the place of Dharmakirti's pramanavarttika as the foundational text on epistemology in Tibet. Later thinkers of the Gelug school such as Gyeltsap and Kaydrup attempted a synthesis of the two traditions, with varying results. This is because the views of Chapa were mostly that of Philosophical realism, while Sakya pandita was an anti-realist.[85]


  • Argument: Vada, rtsod pa
  • Basis of cognition: Alambana
  • Characteristic: laksana, mtshan nid
  • Condition: pratyaya, rkyen
  • Causal function, purpose: arthakriyā
  • Debate: Vivada
  • Demonstrandum: sadhya, bsgrub par bya ba
  • Demonstrator: sadhaka, grub byed
  • Dialectician: tartika, rtog ge ba
  • Dialectics: tarka, rtog ge
  • Direct perception: pratyaksa, mngon sum
  • Event: dharma, chos
  • Event-associate: dharmin, chos can
  • Exclusion: Apoha, sel ba (Anya-apoha: gzhan sel ba)
  • Exemplification: drstanta, dpe
  • Inference: anumana, rjes su dpag pa
    • Inference for oneself, reasoning: svārthānumāna
    • Inference for others, demonstration: parārthānumāna
  • Interference: vyavakirana, 'dres pa
  • Invariable concomitance: avinabhava, med na mi 'byun ba
  • Judgment: prajnanana, shes-rab
  • Justification: hetu, gtan-tshigs
  • Means of valid cognition: pramana, tshad ma
  • Means of evidence: linga, rtags
  • Particular: svalakṣaṇa
  • Pervading/pervasion/logical pervasion: vyapti, khyab pa
  • Perception, Sensation: pratyaksa
  • Universal, General attribute: Samanyalaksana

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abTobden, Tashi ( Chief); Sadhukhan, Sanjit Kumar (compiler); Dokham, Rigzin Ngodub (compiler) (1994). Bulletin of Tibetology: Special Volume on the History of Buddhist Logic. New Series, no.3. Gangtok, Sikkim: Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology. Source: [1] (accessed: Saturday March 14, 2009), p.5
  2. ^Pramanasamuccaya of Dingnaga : 5/14,1
  3. ^ abAnacker, Stefan (2005, rev.ed.). Seven Works of Vasubandhu: The Buddhist Psychological Doctor. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. (First published: 1984; Reprinted: 1986, 1994, 1998; Corrected: 2002; Revised: 2005), p.31
  4. ^Tucci, Giuseppe (1929). "Buddhist Logic before Dinnaga (Asanga, Vasubandhu, Tarka-sastras)". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: pp.451-488.
  5. ^Hugon, Pascale, "Tibetan Epistemology and Philosophy of Language", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.
  6. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna (author), Ganeri, Jonardon (editor) & (Tiwari, Heeraman)(1998). The Character of Logic in India. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3739-6 (HC:acid free), p.12
  7. ^Bimal Krishna Matilal. 'Introducing Indian Logic' in Ganeri, Indian logic A Reader, p 184
  8. ^Mohanty, Jitendra Nath (1992). Reason and Tradition in Indian Thought: An Essay on the Nature of Indian Philosophical Thinking. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-823960-2, p.106
  9. ^ abMatilal, Bimal Krishna (author), Ganeri, Jonardon (editor) & (Tiwari, Heeraman)(1998). The Character of Logic in India. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3739-6 (HC:acid free), p.14
  10. ^Bronkhorst, J. Buddhist Teaching in India, chapter 3.
  11. ^Blumenthal, J. The Ornament of the Middle Way: A Study of the Madhyamaka Thought of Shantarakshita page 81.
  12. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations. page 12.
  13. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. 'Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations.' SUNY Press, 1997, page 17.
  14. ^Sidertis, Mark. Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 2007, page 209.
  15. ^Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya III.65
  16. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 170
  17. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 173
  18. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 206
  19. ^D. J. Kalupahana, A Buddhist tract on empiricism,
  20. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, page 177; 206.
  21. ^Emmanuel, Steven M (editor); A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, 2013, page 228.
  22. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, p. 356.
  23. ^Poussin; Bouddhisme, Third Edition, Paris, 1925, p. 129
  24. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, page 457.
  25. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, page 352-353.
  26. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, page 359.
  27. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  28. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 232-233
  29. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 236
  30. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 238
  31. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 273
  32. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 279-80
  33. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 282
  34. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 321
  35. ^Hayes, Dignaga on the interpretation of Signs, page 85-86
  36. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 325
  37. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 327
  38. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 335
  39. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 339
  40. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 347
  41. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 363
  42. ^Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, London, 1963, page 364
  43. ^James P. McDermott, KATHAVATTHU; Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume VII: Abhidharma Buddhism to 150 A.D.
  44. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna, 'The Character of Logic in India' State University of New York Press 1998, page 37
  45. ^Ganeri, Jonardon. Argumentation, dialogue and the "Kathāvatthu", Journal of Indian Philosophy August 2001, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 485–493
  46. ^Ganeri, Jonardon. Argumentation, dialogue and the "Kathāvatthu", Journal of Indian Philosophy August 2001, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 485–493
  47. ^Ganeri, Jonardon. Argumentation, dialogue and the "Kathāvatthu", Journal of Indian Philosophy August 2001, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 485–493
  48. ^Dov M. Gabbay John Woods (editors). Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, Volume 1. 1st Edition. 2004. page 310.
  49. ^Dov M. Gabbay John Woods (editors). Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, Volume 1. 1st Edition. 2004. page 310.
  50. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  51. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  52. ^Dov M. Gabbay John Woods (editors). Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, Volume 1. 1st Edition. 2004. page 321
  53. ^Dov M. Gabbay John Woods (editors). Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, Volume 1. 1st Edition. 2004. page 321
  54. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna (author), Ganeri, Jonardon (editor) & (Tiwari, Heeraman)(1998). The Character of Logic in India. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3739-6 (HC:acid free), p.4
  55. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna (author), Ganeri, Jonardon (editor) & (Tiwari, Heeraman)(1998). The Character of Logic in India. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3739-6 (HC:acid free), p.4
  56. ^Randall Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Harvard University Press, 2000, pages 221-222.
  57. ^Ruegg, David Seyfort. The Buddhist Philosophy of the Middle: Essays on Indian and TibetanMadhyamaka (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism), page 41.
  58. ^Dov M. Gabbay John Woods (editors). Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, Volume 1. 1st Edition. 2004. page 330
  59. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna, 'The Character of Logic in India' State University of New York Press 1998, page 52
  60. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna, 'The Character of Logic in India' State University of New York Press 1998, page 52
  61. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  62. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  63. ^Tillemans, "Buddhist Epistemology (pramāṇavāda)" in William Edelglass and Jay L. Garfield (Editors)Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy.
  64. ^Tillemans, "Buddhist Epistemology (pramāṇavāda)" in William Edelglass and Jay L. Garfield (Editors)Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy.
  65. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna (author), Ganeri, Jonardon (editor) & (Tiwari, Heeraman)(1998). The Character of Logic in India. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3739-6 (HC:acid free), p.7-8
  66. ^Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti’s Philosophy and its Tibetan Interpretations, (Suny: 1997), page 15-16.
  67. ^Matilal, Bimal Krishna, 'The Character of Logic in India' State University of New York Press 1998, page 88
  68. ^"Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  69. ^Hayes (1982), p 139.
  70. ^Hayes, Richard, Dignāga on the Interpretation of Signs (Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Company, 1982), page 5.
  71. ^Kenneth Liberman (2007). Dialectical Practice in Tibetan Philosophical Culture: An Ethnomethodological Inquiry into Formal Reasoning. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7425-7686-5.
  72. ^Eltschinger, Vincent (2010). "Dharmakīrti: Revue internationale de philosophie". Buddhist Philosophy. 2010.3 (253): 397–440.
  73. ^Prasad, Rajendra (2002). Dharmakirti's Theory of Inference : Revaluation and Reconstruction. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press.
  74. ^Tom Tillemans (2011), Dharmakirti, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  75. ^Tillemans, Tom, "Dharmakīrti", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.
  76. ^Bisschop, Peter. Review: Vincent Eltschinger, Buddhist Epistemology as Apologetics
  77. ^Coseru, Christian. Reason and Experience in Buddhist Epistemology In Steven Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
  78. ^Ames, William L. (1993). "Bhāvaviveka's Prajñāpradīpa ~ A Translation of Chapter One: 'Examinations of Causal Conditions' (Pratyaya)". Journal of Indian Philosophy, 1993, vol.21. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, p.210
  79. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. 'Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations.' SUNY Press, 1997, page 19.
  80. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. 'Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations.' SUNY Press, 1997, page 19.
  81. ^ abcTillemans, Tom J.F. (1998). 'Tibetan philosophy'. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Source: [2] (accessed: Saturday March 14, 2009), p.1
  82. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations. page 22.
  83. ^Pettit (?: p.469): "A treatise on Buddhist logic (pramana) by Sakya Pandita, which is probably the most important work of its kind in Tibet except for the major works of Dignaga and Dharmakirti. Mipham is the author of a commentary on this text entitled Tshad ma rig pa'i gter mchan gyis 'grel pa, written at the Sakya monastery of rDzong gsar bkra shis lha rte)".
  84. ^arthasya bahudharmasca sarve lingannakalpitam. yo'nubandho'nyasmat vyatireka'dhigamyate.: 'Pramanasamuccaya' : 2:13
  85. ^Dreyfus, Georges B. J. Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations. page 24-25.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jayatilleke, K.N. (1967). 'The Logic of Four Alternatives'. Philosophy East and West. Vol.17:1-4. Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Rogers, Katherine Manchester. Tibetan Logic Snow Lion Publications, 2009.
  • Van Der Kuijp, Leonard W. J. (1978). 'Phya-pa Chos-kyi seng-ge's impact on Tibetan epistemological theory'. Journal of Indian Philosophy. Volume 5, Number 4, August, 1978. Springer Netherlands. ISSN 0022-1791 (Print) ISSN 1573-0395 (Online)
  • Van Der Kuijp, Leonard W. J. (1987). 'An early Tibetan view of the soteriology of Buddhist epistemology: The case of 'Bri-gung 'jig-rten mgon-po'. Journal of Indian Philosophy. Volume 15, Number 1, March, 1987. ISSN 0022-1791 (Print) ISSN 1573-0395 (Online)
  • Matilal, Bimal Krishna & Evans, Robert D. (eds.) (1986). Buddhist Logic and Epistemology. Studies in the Buddhist Analysis of Inference and Language, Dordrecht: Reidel.
  • Matilal, Bimal Krishna, Epistemology, Logic, and Grammar in Indian Philosophical Analysis, edited by Jonardon Ganeri, Oxford University Press, new edition 2005 (first edition 1971), ISBN 0-19-566658-5.
  • Matilal, Bimal Krishna, 'The Character of Logic in India' State University of New York Press 1998
  • Wayman, Alex (1999). A Millennium of Buddhist Logic, Delhi: Matilal Barnassidas.
  • Dreyfus, Georges B. J. 'Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations.' SUNY Press, 1997.
  • Hayes. 'Dignaga on the Interpretation of Signs.' Springer Science & Business Media, 2012
  • F. Th. Stcherbatsky. 'Buddhist Logic' (2 vols., 1930–32)
  • Dunne, John D. Foundations of Dharmakirti's Philosophy, 2004.

External links[edit]

The Nyaya school considers perception, inference, comparison/analogy, and testimony from reliable sources as four means to correct knowledge, holding that perception is the ultimate source of such knowledge.
Buddhist epistemology holds that perception and inference are the means to correct knowledge.
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