The Tattvacintamani, or Jewel of Reflection on the Truth (about Epistemology), is the sole composition left us by the great fourteenth century
Indian logician Gangesa Upadhyaya. With this foundational text Gangesa solidified the “New” (navya) phase of the long-running school of the
long-running school of epistemology and metaphysics known in India as Nyaya. The Present work is a translation of the perception chapter
(Pratyaksa-khanda) of this important text. The authors have provided an introduction covering essential theoretical and historical background, and
a comparison of Nayaya with Western epistemological traditions. The translation is augmented with a detailed running commentary which
presents further background, contextualization, analysis, and comparison. Includes a glossary explaining in English every Sanskrit word used,
brief characterizations of persons and schools, and a detailed Index.
Stephen H. Philips is Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya is the former Vice Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
Preface to the Indian Edition
This edition is largely the same as that published by the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, New York, 2004. A few corrections have been
made, one due to Arindam Chakrabarti. The first part of the introduction, on Nyaya epistemology in broad perspective, has been expanded in
connection with a talk I presented at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, January 2008: “Internalism as well as Externalism in Nyaya Epistemology.”
My thanks to the Jadavpur Philosophy Department for excellent discussion that has led to several improvements.
Special thanks are also due to Shri N.P. Jain, who has made this publication occur in part from support provided long ago when I was
deciding to concentrate on Nyaya and Gangesa. I am happy now to have a second book with Motilal Banarsidass, and thank everyone who has
aided production. N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya and I feel strongly that an Indian edition is important so that our work can reach a broader
Preface and Acknowledgements (American Edition)
N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya and I are collaborators in this effort. We wish first of all to thank Arindam Chakrabarti, Professor of Philosophy,
University of Hawaii, who edited a late draft. Professor Chakrabarti has made the translations and comments of practically every page more exact
and readable. I am fortunate to be flanked by two such able Naiyayikas!
Let me explain the contribution of Shri Ramanuja Tatacharya. Gangesa’s style is highly elliptical, and my teacher, who is a great master
of Nyaya, filled in gaps and provided background with explanations and glosses in Sanskrit. Although the English sentences and commentary have
been written by me, his expertise accounts for their accuracy. Formerly Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, N.S.
Ramanuja Tatacharya holds many traditional degrees and titles. He is editor of Tattvacintamani (1972), which includes the text translated here
(and occasionally improved, as explained in “preliminaries”), as well as editor of two volumes covering Gangesa’s inference chapter (1982,
1999), part of which we translated, Gangesa on the Upadhi (2002). Among his books and papers in Sanskrit is, notably, Pratyaksatattvacintamani
Vimarsa: A Comprehensive and Evaluative Study of the Pratyaksakhanda of the Tattvacintamani (1992). He worked with me for long stretches in
1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, a few matters being ironed out in February 2000. I humbly thank him for all him good will:
srimadramanujatatacaryebhya pranamanjalir iyam vakyamala.
Robert Thurman and Thomas Yarnall of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Columbia University have played a crucial role
in this book’s appearance. The interdependence of the Indian schools-including, to be sure, the Bauddha and the Naiyayika-should be reflected in
modern scholarship, as Professor Thurman suggests in his preface. Especially in logic and epistemology, partisans sharing the medium of
Sanskrit learned from one another, as philosophy moved to new heights. Hopefully now there can be reengagement from all sides. I speak for
Shri Ramanuja Tatacharya in saying that we are proud to launch this series of translations of classical Indian thought.
The Centre d’Indologie, Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient, Pondicherry, was integral to the project. Francois Grimal, Directeur,
hosted our sittings, and made available bibliographic resources and the supportive atmosphere of a center for spoken Sanskrit as well as
scholarship. The American Institute of Indian Studies funded two trips of mine to India. I thank Dr. Pradeep Mahirendatta and his staff. The Center
for Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin, helped fund other trips; the Philosophy Department provided a semester of leave. The University
of Texas Research Institute funded another semester of leave and assumed other expenses. I am grateful to the University of Texas Cooperative
Society Bookstore here in Austin for a subvention awarded as part of a program that supports Texas faculty publications, as well as to Rajiv
Malhotra whose Infinity Foundation also provided a generous grant.
Among current and former graduate students in either Philosophy or Asian Studies at Texas (some now professors elsewhere) whose
comments and questions have made this a better book are Alex Catlin, Joel Feldman, Megan Nowell-Kaufman, Eric Loomis, and Ellen Briggs.
Professors Karl Potter, Rama Rao Pappu, Daniel Bonevac, Patrick Olivelle, Sibajiban Bhattacharyya, J.N. Mohanty, and Kisor Chakrabarti read
one or more sections, making suggestions for which I am grateful. In Pondicherry, Pandit S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma often talked with me about
Nyaya and Indian philosophy, as did my long-standing mentor, Professor Arabinda Badu. I should like to acknowledge their help-as well as that of
the broader community of Sanskrit speakers in Pondicherry.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Shri Jagannatha Vedalankara, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, who worked with me with great
kindness in the seventies. For more than forty years he was the leader of a group of dedicated Sanskrit teachers at the Sri Aurobindo International
Centre for Education. May the centuries-old tradition of Sanskrit pandits that Shri Jagannatha represents flourish in future centuries!
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