Responsable: Dominic Goodall

École française d'Extrême-Orient
16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondicherry, India

Tel: +91 413 233 45 39
Fax: +91 413 233 08 86 goodalldominic@gmail.com

Lecture by Marie-Hélène Gorisse
Dr. Marie-Hélène Gorisse (Ghent University, SOAS University of London) gave a lecture entitled « The Jaina theory of ‘tarka': a contribution to the conception of inferential reasoning » at 4pm in the Library Hall.

In classical India, philosophers from different traditions built a common area of discussion within which an agreement on philosophical issues could in principle be achieved. The tool to convince interlocutors in such a context is a truth-preserving argument consisting of the highly regulated stated form of an inference. What is more, these debates being essentially inter-doctrinal ones, the characterisation of this truth-preserving argument raised the question of the existence of shared principles and was a battle-field for the different traditions. In this lecture, I will present the Jaina theory of ‘tarka' as developed in the Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa of the Digambara master Prabhācandra (980-1065). This theory of tarka conceived as a direct grasp of universals is introduced in Prabhācandra's lineage in order to offer a solution to problems faced by Naiyāyika and Buddhist philosophers in their conceptions of  inferential reasoning,  especially linked with the problem of induction. The goal of this lecture is to assess the philosophical causes and consequences of such a theory.