By Jammalamadaka Suryanarayana
Sometimes transliterated as: hētvābhāsāḥ,hētvābhāsa, hetvabhaasa
According to nayyāyika(Those who learn and follow the nyāya darśanam), we have four pramāṇās or means of getting valid knowledge. They are pratyakshaṃ, anumānaṃ, upamaānaṃ and śabdaḥ. Among these means of knowledge, the second one i.e., anumānaṃ or inference has a significant place because nyāyadarśanaṃ has a cogent contribution in developing a structure for our argumentation technique.
Generally, an argument takes place where there is a difference in opinion. This does not generally happen in perceptual cognition, where the object is sensed the same by everybody. But in an argument one establishes a statement by giving some proof, while the other person may differ with his views. So to establish his point he would use the anumānaṃ or inference, which has a peerless place in the argument process.
In anumānaṃ, we are going to infer an unknown object or sādhyaṃ with a known proof or hētuḥ by sense organs or other means of knowledge. This proof must be flawless to attain its goal. A flawed proof or hētuḥ leads to misconception. In nyāyadarśanaṃ debate is elaborated extensively. The term nyāya itself depicts 'a syllogism which consists of five members'. It is the foundation on which the discussion must be developed. To win an argument one should not only provide flawless proof but also find the flaws in the opponent's proof. To attain a comprehensive knowledge in this subject hētvābhāsaḥ or flaws in proof were also described.
Components of Anumānaprayōgaḥ
Anumānaprayōgaḥ is a set of sentences, which state an argumentation. The four components of anumānaprayōgaḥ or primary sentence in the process of inference have to be studied initially to understand the structure of hētvābhāsaḥ. They are:
- Hētuḥ: The proof by which we are inferring something.
- Sādhyaṃ: The object which is going to be inferred by a proof.
- Pakshaḥ: The locus on which an object is going to be inferred.
- Vyāptiḥ: The invariable relationship between the proof or hētuḥ and the object which is going to be inferred or sādhyaṃ.
Merits and Effects of Hētuḥ
It is important to understand the consequences of flaws in hētuḥ. It is very important to have a precise knowledge of the merits(It is termed as yōgyatā.) and effects of hētuḥ. The merits can be listed into two parts as follows:
- Vyāptiḥ: A hētuḥ should have an invariable relationship with the sādhyaṃ.
- Pakshadharmatā: A hētuḥ should be present in a locus or pakshaḥ.
The effect of the hētuḥ can be known by apprehending a proof which is having an invariable relation with a sādhyaṃ. This leads one to infer the sādhyaṃ. So by knowing that the proof is having a flaw the effect stops naturally. This indirectly indicates that the person who used that proof would be a loser in the argument.
Types of Hētvābhāsāḥ
There are five types of hētvābhāsaḥ or fallacious grounds. They are:
These are again further divided according to its nature. These generally oppose either anumitiḥ or vyāptijṇānaṃ.
A hētuḥ which is having a fault or doshah is called vyabhicāraḥ. Vyabhicāraḥ has inconsistent or irregular relation with the sādhyaṃ'. It is, in fact, an antonym to the term vyāptiḥ, which is one of the merits of hētuḥ. Knowledge of savyabhicāraḥ in a ground obstructs that particular inference. For example, if one person wants to prove smoke by showing fire as proof, then we could assume that the proof shown is having a fault. One cannot know smoke by the knowledge of fire because it is not true that wherever there is fire, there is smoke. In other words five doses do not establish an invariable relationship or vyāptiḥ with smoke. Fire can remain without smoke. So fire can be called savyabhicārī while proving smoke.
Types of Savyabhicāraḥ
The savyabhicāraḥ is of three types as follows:
- Sādhāraṇaḥ: This type of fallacious ground is that which exists in a locus where there is no sādhyaṃ. It can be illustrated by the example of kitchen which has smoke because it has fire. Here the ground fire exists in a locus ‘melted iron’ where there is no smoke.
- Asādhāraṇaḥ: This type of fallacious ground is that which does not exist either in sapakshaḥ or the locus where sādhyaṃ is determined or vipakshaḥ or the locus where sādhyābhāvaḥ is determined. Sound is eternal because it has soundness. Here the ground soundness does not exist in eternal elements like time, direction, space etc. It also does not exist in non-eternal elements like pot, donkey etc.
- Anupasamhārī: This type of fallacious ground is that which does not have any example or dṛṣṭāntaḥ.(Dṛṣṭāntaḥ is of two types. First is anvayaḥ which possess sādhyaṃ where there is no doubt about its existence and second is vyatirēkaḥ which possesses the absence of sādhyaṃ where there is no doubt about its absence.) It can be explained as everything(It refers to Locus.) in this world(It refers to sādhyaṃ.) is noneternal(It refers to ground.) because everything in this world is an object of true cognition. Here is everything in the world becomes a subject or locus for the sādhyaṃ, hence we cannot show other example either negative or positive.
A sat-hētuḥ or good ground will generally form the source of knowing sādhyaṃ because of its invariable relation with sādhyaṃ. But when a hētuḥ or ground has an invariable relation with the absence of sādhyaṃ, then its called virudhdhaH. It can be illustrated by the Locus sound(It is sādhyaṃ here.) is eternal(It refers to ground here.) because it is an effect. It is an effect of a cause, like a pot, that cannot be eternal or nityaṃ. So we can draw that there is an invariable relation between the absence of sādhyaṃ or sādhyābhāvaḥ(It refers to non-eternal here.) and the ground.(It refers to the effect.) Here the ground is not the source of knowing sādhyaṃ, but becomes the source for knowing its absence(sādhyābhāvaḥ), hence it becomes virudhdhaḥ.
Pratipakshaḥ means counter-argument. A ground which is parallel to the counter-argument and the ground in the counter-argument can establish the absence of sādhyaṃ or sādhyābhāvaḥ. The only difference in virudhdhaH and saTpratipakshaḥ is that in the first type the present ground would be the source of knowing sādhyābhāvaḥ, but in the second type, the ground in the counter-argument would be the source of knowing sādhyābhāvaḥ.
It can be depicted that the present argument is that the sound is eternal because it can be heard while it can be countered by the argument that sound is not eternal because it is an effect. Hence the present ground has a counter ground which proves the absence of present sādhyaṃ.
Sidhdhiḥ means certainty or Ascertainment of something. So asidhdhiḥ is its opposite. In the hētvābhāsaḥ context, the uncertainty or unavailability of either Hētuḥ(The proof by which we are inferring something.)/Pakshaḥ(The locus on which an object is going to be inferred.)/Vyāptiḥ(The invariable relationship between the proof / hētuḥ and the object which is going to be inferred / sādhyaṃ.) is considered a flaw. It can be delineated in three types as follows:
- Āśrayāsidhdhiḥ : Āsidhdhiḥ related to Pakshaḥ is called āśrayāsidhdhiḥ. When the Pakshaḥ or the locus does not have the properties(The properties of the locus are called pakṣatāvachēdakaṃ) it is expected to have, this situation arises. It can be explained by the locus Sky Flower which smells good because it is a flower. Here the present locus is partly true. Separately the sky and flower both can exist, but a flower will not grow from the sky. So the flower is not having an expected relationship with the sky.
- Svarūpāsidhdhiḥ : Āsidhdhiḥ related to Hētuḥ is called svarūpāsidhdhiḥ. It arises when the Hētuḥ or the reason is not physically present in the Pakshaḥ or the locus. It can be illustrated by the sound which can be inferred as a quality because it can be seen. Here the sound can only be heard not seen, so the absence of the ground in the locus is clear.
- Vyāpyatvāsidhdhiḥ : Āsidhdhiḥ related to Vyāptiḥ is called vyāpyatvāsidhdhiḥ. When the invariable relation between Sādhyaṃ and Hētuḥ is absent this situation takes place. To infer the strained relationship an element called upādhiḥ is introduced here. When the reason is included with upādhiḥ is called Vyāpyatvāsidhdhaḥ. The kitchen has smoke because it has fire. Here the ground fire exists in a locus ‘melted iron’ where there is no smoke. Here the upādhiḥ is ārdrēndhana saṃyōgaḥ or a relation with a fuel which has water content.
Where the Pakshaḥ or the locus is determined to have the absence of sādhyaṃ, it is called bādhitaḥ. When the fire is not hot it becomes an element. Here the absence of not being hot is determined by touching it.