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Comparative Study of Nyaya Logic and Western Logic

  • Subject: Science
  • Essay Topic: Logic
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1221
  • Published: 27 August 2019
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Nyaya logic

The Nyaya alternatively known as Tarka-vidya (“Science Of Reasoning”), Vada-vidya (“Science Of Argument”), Parman-sastra (“Science Of Logic And Epistemology”), Hetu-vidya (“Science Of Causation”), Anvīks̩kī: (“Science of critical study”).Founder of Nyaya was Gautama (also known as Gotama) who was also referred by names like Aksa-pada (“Eye Footed”) and Dirga-tapas (“Long-penance”). In Ancient India people were given nicknames based on people’s lifestyle and their habit.

Main text written by Gotama is known as Nyaya-sutra on which Nyaya-bhasya a commentary was written by Vatsayan. Vartika on Nyaya-bhasya was written by Uddyotakara, on which Taparya-tika was commentary written by Vachaspati.Nyaya is a school of atomistic pluralism and logical realism. It is related to Vasesika syatem (samanantara), Vasesika develops Ontology and Metaphysiscs, Nyaya develops logic or epistemology.”

Earthly life is full of suffering, as bondage of soul”, is acknowledged by both. Nyaya proposes existence of two kinds of knowledge Valid (prama) and invalid (aprama). Nyaya guards “theory of correspondence” known by Paratah pramanya.

Valid Knowledge types according to Nyaya:

  1. Perception- pratakshya
  2. Inference- anumana
  3. Comparison-upmana
  4. Testimony- srutiInvalid

Knowledge Types according to Nyaya

  1. Smrti- memory
  2. Samasya-doubt
  3. Viparyaya- error (misapprehension)
  4. Tarka- hypothetical reasoning

Types of Nyaya Syllogism are:

  1. Pratijna: this hill has fire
  2. Hetu: because it has smoke
  3. Udaharana: whatever has smoke has fire.
  4. Upanaya: this hill has smoke which is invariably associated with fire.
  5. Naigama: therefore this hill has fire.

Western logic

Western logic is basically the thinking of the western part of the world. It began with Greek philosophy of pre-Socratics such as Thales (624-526 B.C.) and Pythagoras (570-495 B.C.). The word has philosophy has originated from Greek literally meaning “the love of Wisdom”.

The scope of logic is Ancient Understanding of work of some intellectual scholars it included problems of philosophy as they are understood today, but it also included many other disciplines such as problems on pure mathematics and natural sciences (Physics, Astronomy, Biology).

Western Logic is divided into 5 parts namely on the period of time they were suggested:

1. Ancient:

a)Pre- Socratic period




2. Medievel

3. Renaissance

4. Modern

a)Early Modern (17th and 18th centuries)

b)Late Modern (19th Century)

5. Contemporary (21st Century)






Comparative Study

Western Logic

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle primarily gave the theories about Western Logic around 384-322 BCE. The western logic soon became immensely popular and replaced conventional form of stoic logic in western parts of the world. Soon this logic was looked upon by the Arabic and Latin Medieval Traditions. Work of Aristotle was majorly based on 4 basis of logic:

  1. Categories
  2. Interpretation
  3. Prior Analytics
  4. Postier Analytics.

The method of logic mainly depends on method of deduction which involves premise of the argument concluding remark and method of induction in which arguments changes from particular to universal. In such syllogistic method the primary premises is also universal and it may be positive or negative. In Secondary premise the statements are universal or particular such that a valid conclusion can be derived from such premises E.g. All men are mortal Socrats is a man Therefore Socrats is mortal, Every living thing, moves (Primary Premise), No stone moves (Secondary Premise), No stone lives (conclusion).

Aristotalian theory implies to the true nature of thought , if thought, language and reality are supposed to isomorphic then we will have a better insight on our reasoning and considerations. In categorical scenario the predicate shows the 3 different ways in which it can be related to each other:

  1. Homonymy (“Equivocal”)
  2. Synonomy (“Univocal”)
  3. Paraonymy (“Derivative”).

In this type of situation there are different proposition in 10 attributes that are substance, quantity, quality, relative, where, when, being in a position, having acting on, and being affected by. The major attribute is the “individual thing itself”. The species in genes are the secondary substance to which the individual substance belongs.

According to interpretation theory the predicates are combined with the subjects to form propositions or assertions each of which gives a result of true or false but this logic creates a fallacy when applied to the future. In the scenario of events of future the result is uncertain that is it is not sure that the event will occur nor necessary it will not occur. According to Aristotle maths logic paves the way for the knowledge that is being derived from the already known processes of syllogism and established principles. According to such theory the living and non-living things are distinguished on the basis of movement. Aristotle logic is the basis of theology in west.

Traditional Logic

The Kauitlya Arthasathra originated the Indian Nyaya logic In India around 350 BC. Gautama discovered this logic, this logic is also defined as “pramana sastra” or the science of accurate knowledge. It is primarily dependent on 4 conditions:

  1. Subject or Praman
  2. Object or Pramya
  3. Pramiti or Cognition
  4. Nature of Knowledge.

The correct knowledge is given by these 4 parmanas

  1. Pratyaksha (direct perception)
  2. Anurmana (interference)
  3. Upamana (analogy)
  4. Sabda (verbal testimony).

Swaroop of Nyaya is what distinguishes objects from each other. Asambhava and ativyapti are two fallacies of definition. Four categories used in direct perception by Gautama are

  1. the senses (indriya)
  2. objects (artha)
  3. contact of senses (sannikara)
  4. cognition produced by contact (janana).

The knowledge from the perceived about the unperceived is Anumana. The relation among the two is of three types – cause, effect or the perceived elements or creating a joint effect of something else is amongst these.

The syllogism shows that interference is taken from the knowledge of universal relation and it’s application to the specific situation. The minor premise (Pakashdharmata) is the form of perception whereas major premise (Vyapti) comes from inductive forms of reasoning. Frequency of observation increases the probability of universal propositions which cannot be arrived by reasoning only and it’s not certain. The studies of Nyaya logic are advanced with the comparison with a result which is already known. The fallacies and error occurs in Nyaya logic when it is mixed with correct logic. Comment by Suchisattam Saran: To conclude Nyaya logic supersedes the western logic in the form of specific inferences and logics.


This assignment concludes that the Nyaya Logic was originated around 6th Century BCE and the textual evidence was accepted universally. The Nyaya Logic is Based on the 5 syllogisms wherein Aristotle logic is based of 3 syllogisms. The simplification of Aristotle 3 part syllogism over the Nyaya 5 part syllogism had also been discovered in India. The Greeks were inspired by the logic provided in the formal texts on the subjects of Indian Logic. Most of the Transmission of Indian Texts were during the end of Alexendars’s Era. The cosmologies of two different civilizations is given by the Nyaya’s and Aristotle’s texts with two different prospectives. The Nyaya logic similar to any other Philosophical Indian text Focusses on centrality of the subject on the other hand Aristotle’s Logic points out the design of world in form of machine. Also the two logics differ in the number of elements Nyaya logic believes in 5 elements on the other hand Aristotle believe in 4 elements. The fact that Alexander took the Indian logic to Greece reveals that Indian logic was well developed well before the Aristotle’s Logic. Hence we affirm that Nyaya Logic is superior that Western Logic.

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