Śālikanātha’s Criticism of Dharmakīrti’s svasaṃvedana Theory

Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (3):247-259 (2010)
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The aim of this paper is to clarify how Śālikanātha’s epistemology can be distinguished from that of Dharmakīrti, especially in terms of their respective views on cognitive form (ākāra). It has been pointed out that Śālikanātha’s tripuṭī theory and svayaṃprakāśa theory are very close to Dharmakīrti’s epistemology. However, it remains questionable if Śālikanātha, who belongs to the Prābhākara branch of the Mīmāṃsā and is therefore a nirākāravādin, can subscribe to notions that Dharmakīrti developed on the basis of sākāravāda. The present paper concludes that Śālikanātha agrees with Dharmakīrti in assuming that a single cognition consists of three parts; unlike Dharmakīrti, however, Śālikanātha puts emphasis on the difference between these parts, especially between the cognition and its form, on the ground that the cognitive form belongs to the external thing, and not to the cognition (nirākāravāda). In Dharmakīrti’s epistemology, the cognitive form belongs to cognition (sākāravāda); in the ultimate level, there remains no difference between the three parts



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