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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Savyabhicāra literally means ‘irregular middle’.

According to the Nyāya system of religious philosophy, there are five kinds of hetvābhāsas[1] of which the first is savyabhicāra. Here the middle term of the syllogism is irregular. To illustrate it can be denoted as follows:

  • All bipeds are rational.
  • Swans are bipeds.
  • Hence swans are rational.

Since the middle term ‘biped’ is not uniformly related to the major term ‘rational,’ the conclusion is inferred to be not correct.[2]


  1. Hetvābhāsas means invalid reasonings.
  2. Vyabhicāra is a technical term which means the absence of cause and effect relationship between two things.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore