Difference between revisions of "Pramana"

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'''Pramana''' (Tib. ''tsema'') is a sanskrit term which refers to different notions. Its prime meaning, and its translation in this case, is 'valid cognition', a correct knowledge of a particular object. Valid cognition can either be [[direct perception]] or [[inference]].  
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[[Image:Dharmakirti.JPG|frame|[[Dharmakirti]]]]
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'''Pramana''' (Skt. ''pramāṇa''; Tib. [[ཚད་མ་]], ''tsema'', [[Wyl.]] ''tshad ma'') is a Sanskrit term, the primary meaning and most common translation of which is 'valid cognition', meaning the correct knowledge of a particular object. The term is also used to refer to the corpus of Buddhist teachings on epistemology (the science of cognition, i.e. how we know things) and ontology (which investigates the nature of existence), as these two are inextricably linked in Buddhism. The pioneers of these teachings are the Indian masters [[Dignaga]] and [[Dharmakirti]]. Pramana is taught in all [[shedra]]s since it is the basis for [[debate]], an important learning tool in traditional monastic universities. In this context the term is sometimes translated as 'Buddhist logic'.
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==Definition==
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The standard definition of pramana is "a non-deceptive cognition" (Skt. ''avisaṃvādi-jñāna''; Tib. མི་བསླུ་བའི་ཤེས་པ་, Wyl. ''mi bslu ba'i shes pa''). There is some debate, particularly amongst Tibetan commentators, as to whether the definition should also specify that a valid cognition realizes something anew (Tib. གསར་དུ་རྟོགས་པ་, Wyl. ''gsar du rtogs pa'').<ref>For more information see Dreyfus (1997), pp. 366-378 ''passim''</ref>
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==Subdivisions==
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===According to the Instruments of Knowledge===
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In the Buddhist tradition, a valid cognition can either be:
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*a [[valid direct perception]] (Skt. ''pratyakṣa'' ; Tib. [[མངོན་སུམ་]], Wyl. ''mngon sum tshad ma'') or  
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*a [[valid inference]] (Skt. ''anumāna''; Tib. [[རྗེས་དཔག་]], Wyl. ''rjes dpag'')
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This twofold division is said to correspond to the two types of object: [[particular]]s, which are known through direct perception and [[universal]]s, which are understood through inference.
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===Conventional and Absolute===
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In [[Mipham Rinpoche]]'s tradition, valid cognition is often divided into [[conventional valid cognition]] and [[absolute valid cognition]] and these categories are then further subdivided into two:
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#Conventional valid cognition (''tha snyad tshad ma'')
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##[[conventional valid cognition of ordinary limited vision]], ''or'' valid cognition of ordinary limited vision investigating the conventional level of reality  (''ma dag tshur mthong tha synad dpyod pa'i tshad ma''), and
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## [[conventional valid cognition of pure vision]], ''or'' valid cognition of pure vision investigating the conventional level of reality (''dag pa'i gzigs snang tha snyad dpyod pa'i tshad ma'')
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#Valid cognition of the absolute (''don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma'')
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##Valid cognition of the categorized absolute (''rnam grangs pa'i don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma'')
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##Valid cognition of the uncategorized absolute (''rnam grangs ma yin pa'i don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma'')
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==Major Texts==
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===Indian===
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*[[Dignaga]],
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**''Examining What is Observed'' (Skt. ''Ālambana-parīkṣā''; Tib. དམིགས་པ་བརྟག་པ་, Wyl. ''dmigs pa brtag pa''),
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::{{TBRCW|O1GS6011|O1GS60111GS36420$W23703|དམིགས་པ་བརྟག་པ་, ''dmigs pa brtag pa''}}
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**''[[Compendium of Valid Cognition]]'' (Skt. ''Pramāṇa-samuccaya''; Tib. ཚད་མ་ཀུན་ལས་བཏུས་པ་, Wyl. ''tshad ma kun las btus pa'')
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::{{TBRCW|O2DB75712|O2DB757122DB79668$W22704| ཚད་མ་ཀུན་ལས་བཏུས་པ་, ''tshad ma kun las btus pa''}}
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*[[Dharmakirti]], ''[[Seven Treatises on Valid Cognition]]'' (Skt. ''Pramanavartikadisapta-grantha-samgraha''; Tib. ཚད་མ་སྡེ་བདུན་, [[Wyl.]] ''tshad ma sde bdun'')
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===Tibetan===
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*[[Sakya Pandita]], ''[[Treasury of Valid Reasoning]]''
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==Alternative Translations==
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*Logic & epistemology
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*Prime cognition
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*Verifying cognition
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==Notes==
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<small><references/></small>
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==Further Reading==
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*Georges B. J. Dreyfus, ''Recognizing Reality: Dharmakīrti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations'', SUNY, 1997
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*John D. Dunne, ''Foundations of Dharmakirti's Philosophy'', Wisdom Publications, 2004
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*Marcus Perman, ''Tshad Ma Literature: Towards a History of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology'', unpublished M.A. thesis, 2006.
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*Tom J. F. Tillemans, ''Scripture, logic, language: essays on Dharmakīrti and his Tibetan successors'', Wisdom Publications, 1999
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*[[Ringu Tulku]], ''The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great'' (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 60-64.  
  
As a consequence, the term is used to refer to the corpus of Buddhist teachings on epistemology (the science of cognition, i.e. how do we know things) and ontology (which investigates the nature of existence), as those two aspects are inextricably linked in Buddhism. The forefathers of those teachings are the Indian masters [[Dignaga]] and [[Dharmakirti]]. It is taught in all [[shedra]]s since they are the basis for [[debate]], an important learning tool in traditional monastic universities. In this context the term is sometimes translated as 'Buddhist logic'.
 
  
 
[[Category:Key Terms]]
 
[[Category:Key Terms]]
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[[Category:Pramana]]

Latest revision as of 22:30, 26 June 2017

Pramana (Skt. pramāṇa; Tib. ཚད་མ་, tsema, Wyl. tshad ma) is a Sanskrit term, the primary meaning and most common translation of which is 'valid cognition', meaning the correct knowledge of a particular object. The term is also used to refer to the corpus of Buddhist teachings on epistemology (the science of cognition, i.e. how we know things) and ontology (which investigates the nature of existence), as these two are inextricably linked in Buddhism. The pioneers of these teachings are the Indian masters Dignaga and Dharmakirti. Pramana is taught in all shedras since it is the basis for debate, an important learning tool in traditional monastic universities. In this context the term is sometimes translated as 'Buddhist logic'.

Definition

The standard definition of pramana is "a non-deceptive cognition" (Skt. avisaṃvādi-jñāna; Tib. མི་བསླུ་བའི་ཤེས་པ་, Wyl. mi bslu ba'i shes pa). There is some debate, particularly amongst Tibetan commentators, as to whether the definition should also specify that a valid cognition realizes something anew (Tib. གསར་དུ་རྟོགས་པ་, Wyl. gsar du rtogs pa).[1]

Subdivisions

According to the Instruments of Knowledge

In the Buddhist tradition, a valid cognition can either be:

This twofold division is said to correspond to the two types of object: particulars, which are known through direct perception and universals, which are understood through inference.

Conventional and Absolute

In Mipham Rinpoche's tradition, valid cognition is often divided into conventional valid cognition and absolute valid cognition and these categories are then further subdivided into two:

  1. Conventional valid cognition (tha snyad tshad ma)
    1. conventional valid cognition of ordinary limited vision, or valid cognition of ordinary limited vision investigating the conventional level of reality (ma dag tshur mthong tha synad dpyod pa'i tshad ma), and
    2. conventional valid cognition of pure vision, or valid cognition of pure vision investigating the conventional level of reality (dag pa'i gzigs snang tha snyad dpyod pa'i tshad ma)
  2. Valid cognition of the absolute (don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma)
    1. Valid cognition of the categorized absolute (rnam grangs pa'i don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma)
    2. Valid cognition of the uncategorized absolute (rnam grangs ma yin pa'i don dam dpyod byed kyi tshad ma)

Major Texts

Indian

  • Dignaga,
    • Examining What is Observed (Skt. Ālambana-parīkṣā; Tib. དམིགས་པ་བརྟག་པ་, Wyl. dmigs pa brtag pa),
TBRC-tag.png དམིགས་པ་བརྟག་པ་, dmigs pa brtag pa
    • Compendium of Valid Cognition (Skt. Pramāṇa-samuccaya; Tib. ཚད་མ་ཀུན་ལས་བཏུས་པ་, Wyl. tshad ma kun las btus pa)
TBRC-tag.png ཚད་མ་ཀུན་ལས་བཏུས་པ་, tshad ma kun las btus pa

Tibetan

Alternative Translations

  • Logic & epistemology
  • Prime cognition
  • Verifying cognition

Notes

  1. For more information see Dreyfus (1997), pp. 366-378 passim

Further Reading

  • Georges B. J. Dreyfus, Recognizing Reality: Dharmakīrti's Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations, SUNY, 1997
  • John D. Dunne, Foundations of Dharmakirti's Philosophy, Wisdom Publications, 2004
  • Marcus Perman, Tshad Ma Literature: Towards a History of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology, unpublished M.A. thesis, 2006.
  • Tom J. F. Tillemans, Scripture, logic, language: essays on Dharmakīrti and his Tibetan successors, Wisdom Publications, 1999
  • Ringu Tulku, The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgön Kongtrul the Great (Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2006), pages 60-64.