There are two ways of determining an object or a fact: positive determination (Tib. ཡོངས་གཅོད་, Wyl. yongs gcod) and negative determination (Tib. རྣམ་གཅོད་, Wyl. rnam bcad). Negative determination is a process where ‘the nature of a thing is known [indirectly] through the elimination of what are not the thing’ and positive determination is where ‘the nature of a thing is [directly] affirmed and by doing so, what are not the thing are eliminated’.
In the case of a vase, for example, positive determination would be the determination that the vase is impermanent. Negative determination would be the determination that the vase is not permanent. In the context of the rope-seen-as-a-snake example, the negation of the rope's being a snake is a negative determination. The affirmation of the rope's being a rope is a positive determination.
- Negative determination which excludes absence (Tib. མི་ལྡན་རྣམ་གཅོད་, Wyl. mi ldan rnam gcod)
- Negative determination which excludes possession by others (Tib. གཞན་ལྡན་རྣམ་གཅོད་, Wyl. gzhan ldan rnam gcod)
- Karma Phuntsho, Mipham's Dialectics and the Debate on Emptiness. p. 170. Published by Routledge Curzon, 2005. ISBN 0–415–35252–5 (Print Edition)
- See Great Tibetan Dictionary – Tyler Dewar's translation.
- inclusive decision and eliminative decision (Tony Duff)
- (rnam bcad) preclusion
- (rnam bcad) exclusion (Padmakara Translation Group)
- (yongs gcod) detection (Padmakara Translation Group)
- (mi ldan rnam gcod) exclusion of non-possession (Brunnholz)
- (gzhan ldan rnam gcod) exclusion of possession by others (Brunnholz)