Classical Indian Philosophy School Nyaya՚s Method of Introduction

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Classical Indian philosophy School: Nyaya & Method of Induction (Philosophy)


The Nyaya method of induction or generalisation can be analysed in five steps.

The five steps are;

  • Anvaya: It is a relation of agreement between two things is in presence.
  • Vyatireki: It a relation of agreement between two things in absence.
  • Vyabhichara: It is when no contradictory instances occur in which one of them is present without the other.
  • Upadhinirasa: It is the elimination of the upadhis or the conditions on which the relation may be dependent.
  • Tarka and Samanyalakshana: Tarka means the indirect proof or hypothetical reasoning and samanyalakshana means the knowledge of the universals. For example, cow-ness.
  • So, Nyaya school of Indian philosophy agrees with the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta by Shankara.
  • They both hold that vyapti is established by the un-contradicted experience of the relation between two things.
  • So, it is not dependent upon any other principle for instance causality or essential identity.
  • On the other hand, Buddhism believes that vyapti is dependent upon causality.
  • It is important to note that, Nyayaikas go a step further than the Advaitins and supplement un-contradicted experience of the relation between two facts by tarka or hypothetical reasoning or indirect proof and by samanyalakshana perception.


  • The Nyaya syllogism has five propositions, they are; pratijna, hetu, udharana, upanaya and naigamana.
  • According to them the middle term or the hetu or the linga serves as the middle bridge between major and the minor terms.
  • So, it can be said that the middle term has the main responsibility to prove a syllogism valid or invalid.
  • According to Nyaya, how the middle term (hetu or linga) is related to a major term (sadhya) is called lingaparamarsha.
  • Some of the characteristics of the middle term, according to Nyaya epistemology are;
    • It must be present in the minor term (pakshadharmata) . In other words, hetu must be present in the minor term.
    • It must be present in all positive instances in which the major term is present. For example, smoke must be present in the kitchen where fire exits. It is called sapaksasattva.
    • It must be present in all the negative instances in which the major term is absent. For example, Smoke must be absent in the lake in which the fire doesn՚t exists. It is also known as Vipasasattva.
    • It must be compatible or non-incompatible with the minor term. For example, it must not prove the coolness of fire. It is also known as abadhi.
    • It must be qualified by the absence of counteracting reasons which leads to contradictory conclusion. It is also known as Viruddha.


1. Nyaya՚s method of generalisation deals with ________ steps

A. Four

B. Three

C. Five

D. One

Answer: C

2. According to Nyaya epistemology, tarka is

A. Direct proof

B Indirect proof

C. Aprama

D. None of these

Answer: B

3. ________ term has the major responsibility to prove the syllogism valid or invalid

A. Major

B. Minor

C. Middle

D. None of them

Answer: C

4. Lingaparamarsha is the relation between

A. Middle and minor term

B. Major and minor term

C. Major and Middle term

D. Middle and major term

Answer: D




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