/nyah"yeuh/, n.
(in ancient India) a philosophical school emphasizing logical analysis of knowledge, which is considered as deriving from perception, inference, analogy, and reliable testimony.
[ < Skt nyaya]

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One of the six darshans (orthodox systems) of Indian philosophy, important for its analysis of logic and epistemology and for its detailed model of the reasoning method of inference.

Like other darshans, Nyaya is both a philosophy and a religion; its ultimate concern is to bring an end to human suffering, which results from ignorance of reality. It recognizes four valid means of knowledge: perception, inference, comparison, and testimony.

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      (Sanskrit: Rule, or Method), one of the six orthodox systems (darśana) of Indian philosophy, important for its analysis of logic and epistemology. The major contribution of the Nyāya system is its working out in profound detail the reasoning method of inference (see anumāna).

      Like the other systems, Nyāya is both a philosophy and a religion; its ultimate concern is to bring an end to man's suffering, which results from ignorance of reality. Liberation is brought about through right knowledge. Nyāya is thus concerned with the means of right knowledge.

      In its metaphysics, Nyāya is allied to the Vaiśeṣika (Vaisheshika) system, and the two schools were often combined from about the 10th century. Its principal text is the Nyāya-sūtras, ascribed to Gautama (c. 2nd century BC).

      The Nyāya system—from Gautama through his important early commentator Vātsyāyana (c. AD 450) until Udayanācārya (Udayana; 10th century)—became qualified as the Old Nyāya (Prācina-Nyāya) in the 11th century when a new school of Nyāya (Navya-Nyāya, or New Nyāya) arose in Bengal. The best known philosopher of the Navya-Nyāya, and the founder of the modern school of Indian logic, was Gaṅgeśa (13th century).

      The Nyāya school holds that there are four valid means of knowledge: perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), comparison (upamāna), and testimony (śabda). Invalid knowledge involves memory, doubt, error, and hypothetical argument.

      The Nyāya theory of causation defines a cause as an unconditional and invariable antecedent of an effect. In its emphasis on sequence—an effect does not preexist in its cause—the Nyāya theory is at variance with the Sāṃkhya-Yoga and Vedantist views, but it is not unlike modern Western inductive logic in this respect.

      Three kinds of causes are distinguished: inherent, or material cause (the substance out of which an effect is produced); non-inherent cause (which helps in the production of a cause); and efficient cause (the power that helps the material cause produce the effect). God is not the material cause of the universe, since atoms and souls are also eternal, but is rather the efficient cause.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Nyaya —   [Sanskrit »Regel«, »Prinzip«, »Methode«] der, , das System der Logik, eines der sechs Systeme der klassischen indischen Philosophie, das im 2. Jahrhundert n. Chr. von einem Handbuch für Disputationsregeln ausging, in das Elemente einer… …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • nyaya — ˈnyäyə noun ( s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: Sanskrit nyāya rule, model, maxim, logic, from ni down, back (i.e., to an original model) + eti he goes more at nether, issue …   Useful english dictionary

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