The Meaning of 義 in Dignāga's《Nyāyamukha》(II)

Following the understanding of 同品 and 異品 in the light of the understanding of 義 (as 起論端義 and 簡別義) presented last week, we are now to examine Dignāga's theory of 九句因.

First, the cognitive model will be described; second, the logical function as distributing cases with its rules will be described; then, we will come back to 九句因.

Non-representational model. With the immediacy between (the operation of) the five senses and (the operation of) manas, the cognition arises in a form as: the world as appeared outside, the world as appeared inside and the subject as appeared to “know the world in which the subject itself occurs” are altogether sharply given as one unity of the conditioned representations, namely, the real.

It then follows that the logical functions we can observe in our own reflection dwell (operate) directly in the world, neither the case that “the sensational impressions are taken in, processed with the logos and produced to be knowledge” nor the case that “the res cogitans in time (as developing concepts) relate to the res extensas in space in a harmonious correspondence”. With the operation of the living logic in the “first cause” that turns out, post-critically, to dwell (operate) in every instance of cognition and directly in reality, the object of cognition (一切義) is twofold: the object to be specified (起論端義, 宗法(義)) and the object as specified (簡別義). (Although twofold, there's no real distinction between the folds, since the first cause only comes into effect “formally”. Such a causality is the supporting source for Jinendrabuddhi's term “formal conformity between the object of cognition and the cognition of that cognition”.)

The object to be specified is in possession of manifold specific ways determining itself, but it comes into reality only in a unity once a time. The realized specific way determining the object makes the object itself the one as specified. E.g., “(the cup as) the cup”, “(the cup as) my cup”, “(the cup as) white object”... are one and the same object. This is what Dignāga's internal process in which an object is inferred, namely, the inference-for-oneself (svarthāanumāna), may refer to. With such an operation of the direct logic, the inferential measures for others in the parārthanumāna (inference-for-others) such as the dharmin-dharma (subject-predicate) relations, similar instances and dissimilar instances, falling near or far (與所立法鄰近均等) in the distribution of cases, etc., come into effect, too. And thus this is the light in demand to shed on understanding these inferential measures.

Formally speaking (in a sense as the conditioning of the logical functions), since the direct logic contributes unity, which forms the definite scope of a dharmin, all the possible objects to be specified are empty, neutral cases (something like the infinite neutral nodes in the information topology). When the material specification comes in, namely, when experience through cognition comes in, namely, when things appear, all the possible ways of self-determination of each case are determined (prior to the taking-place of any specific cognition action, and non-effected by the free determination of the cognizer) – this is the material distribution.

Since all the possible cases that can appear have their own manifold ways of self-determination, while the ways themselves are the objects as specified again (a mini-critical circle in a single conscious structure), the distribution process (as formal activity in reflection, namely, in svarthāanumāna) by means of the ways of specification has its ground to perform. I.e., since every empty case can be so-specified (P) or non-so-specified (-P) with certain specification (“P”), all the cases must be able to be distributed as a group of P and its exclusive group -P. (一切義皆名品故)

Now, as into the concern of the verbal inference (parārthanumāna), the object to be specified is indirect and needs the help of another object as specified among the object's possible ways of self-determination. Then, the determined relation between these two ways of self-determination of the object must be obtained as valid first. E.g., the mountain as having smokes is to be specified as one having fire, when the having-fire-ness as a way any dharmin can appear to a cognizer must co-occur with the having-fire-ness as a way any dharmin so can. The two distribution systems of the same web of neutral information nodes applying dharma A (e.g., specifiable with having-fire-ness) and applying dharma B (e.g., specifiable with having-smoke-ness) must be identical: all that can be specified with A are all that can be specified with B, while the exclusive scope of A is the one of B equally.

Therefore, in Dignāga's analysis of the reasons and pseudo-reasons (九句因), only the way of self-determination presented as the inferential reason which can successfully makes the contrast (against the way of self-determination presented as the inferential target宗法) of the two distribution systems resultful, i.e., makes the two distribution systems identical (同品有, 異品無), the reason is legitimately effective.

Beside of the perfect situation, there is only one kind of legitimate reason left, namely, 同品有無俱, 異品無. All that cannot appear as specified with the thesis-dharma is identical with all that cannot appear as specified with the reason-dharma; some that can appear as specified with the thesis-dharma can fall in the group as appearing as specified with the reason-dharma, while the left of that which can appear as specified with the thesis-dharma, cannot appear as specified with the reason-dharma. E.g., voice is non-eternal, because it is produced by human effort, like the pots or lightening, and unlike śūnyatā (emptiness). This distribution systems in contrast are identical as well, for the equation does not be harmed with the cases which is non-specifiable with the thesis-dharma -- the distribution of the cases specified with the thesis-dharma falls within the distribution of the cases specified with the reason-dharma, while the distribution of the later cases does not fall without the distribution of the former cases.

The other seven kinds of reasons will be discussed later.




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