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The name of logic, usually applied to the Nyáya, does not correctly define it. It does not treat of the theory of syllogisms and the notions connected with them, as its direct object, but only as a component part of its investigation. It rather aspires to the distinction of giving a complete system of philosophy, based upon the most elementary metaphysical notions, and the division dedicated to the explanation of syllogistical forms, is not even more explicitly treated than other parts of the system. To call the Nyáya logic, would be the same as to assign this name to the philosophy of Aristotle. There is no doubt, however, that the Nyáya has first among the philosophical systems of the Hindus examined the art of reasoning, and shaped it into its present form. This is generally acknowledged, and it has gained by this such ascendancy among the learned Hindus, that all of them refer to it as to their standard in logic, and however they may deviate from other doctrines of the Nyáya, they deem its study necessary for the purpose of giving a firm basis to their reasoning.
It is indeed one of the principal merits of the Nyáya, that its progress is marked by an admirably exact division of the topics, discussed in it, and in this respect it is not only superior to all other systems of the Hindus, but even modern philosophy might, with advantage, study it on account of its clearness and exactness. Though none of its investigations have been carried on to a satisfactory end, the Nyáya has, with the means at its command, fully described the circle within which it moved. We must at the same time bear in mind, that notwithstanding its exactness, there is one inherent fault in its exposition, viz. the neglect of all analytical method, a fault of all systems of the Hindus, which has perhaps, more than any thing else, contributed to the narrow limits of their mental horizon. This fault, however, it shares with many other expositions of philosophy; for instance, to mention a celebrated name, with Spinoza's system. It is a fault rather of exposition than of the system itself. No synthesis (in science) is possible without analysis, and having well understood the leading notions of a system, we can easily trace the analytical way by which they were obtained. This absence of analysis in the construction of the philosophical systems of the Hindus is the reason why so many enquirers have done injustice to their philosophical talent. For want of a clear analysis, unable to understand the aphorisms of the Hindu schools, composed in a language as well in
form as in thought, foreign to them, they thought the philosophical productions of many centuries and of an ingenious people, a web of either abstruse or puerile notions. On a closer examination we shall come to a juster opinion of them, and although we find a limit as well in the range as the depth of their enquiries, we shall come to place them among the nations which advanced the intellectual progress of mankind.
That Hindu philosophy will, however, have any influence upon the development of European philosophy and mediately of European civilization, must be denied. Why should this be the case? Although we must admit, that the philosophical results of the Hindus are as worthy of attention as those of the Greeks, still it is at the first glance evident, that the works of the Hindus are unfit to be transferred to another soil, while those of the Greeks will have always the same influence upon every rising generation in every clime and age. This difference, however, lies not so much in the development of the system as in the form. You are compelled to think by reading the works of the Greeks, they introduce you into the process of their thoughts, and by this, force you to accompany them with your own thoughts, until you arrive as it were by your own mind at the principles of their systems, from which point it is easy either to look back upon the way you have made or to advance further. The Hindus, on the other hand, are dogmatical; it is impossible for any one to understand their writings who has not previously, to a considerable degree, been practised in philosophical enquiries. Thus the want of interest felt in the study of their writings, is the punishment of mystery and exclusion. The same doctrines which might have been instrumental in enlightening thousands, are now forgotten, or in the possession of a few who are hardly able to comprehend them. Among the general metaphysical notions, the notion of substance is the most important one, as upon it all other notions are either founded or are closely connected with it, and whatever may be the solution of all other metaphysical problems, they must be influenced by the notion of substance.
Substances are, according to the Nyáya, the substrata of qualities and actions, a definition, which is the right one, as the basis of further investigation-it is the right one, because founded on experience. Substance, we add, is in so far the substratum of qualities and actions, as the existence of qualities and actions depends upon the existence of sub
stance; if quality were independent of another, it could not represent another, whose quality it is. The existence of substance must therefore be absolute, that is to say, not dependent upon the existence of another; for in this case, it would not be comprehended by the notion of substance, but by that of quality. And consequently, to think the idea of substance by any notions including dependance, is a contradiction. This contradiction (of comprehending substance under the notion of quality, and therefore) was committed by the Nyáya by its distinction between eternal and non-eternal substances, because the existence of the latter is not independent. In the notion of eternal substance, however, the true notion of substance is included, which is to be independent of time and cause.
Another question is, how a substance is united with its qualities? That a substance should have qualities, appears a matter of course, and to question it, shows a vast progress in metaphysical thinking. Although the Nyáya entered not expressly into the discussion of this subject, it must have felt its weight, as they found it necessary to invent a contrivance for such a connexion. A substance is, according to them, united with its qualities by a relation, called intimate union, which is something real, and is neither in substances, nor qualities, nor actions. We do not intend here to analyze this notion any further (stating, however, that the difficulty is not really removed by it,) but we turn to a third point in the notion of substance. Substance, according to the Nyáya, is not only united with its qualities by the relation, just mentioned, but all substances are united with the general notion of substance, and single substances in the same way with the notion of their own class. This general notion rather is a common property; for it does exist, independent of the mind, in the substances (also in qualities and actions) themselves, and is even eternal in eternal substances, not eternal in transient substances. This notion exactly corresponds with that of the so-called realists among the scholastic philosophers, who maintained the reality of general notions. Duns Scotus, for instance, asserted, that general properties (notions) were not only in objects potentia, but acta, and that generality was not only formed by the understanding, but that it existed previously to the mental conception per se as a reality, viz., The quiddity itself, which was indifferent to general or individual existence. A cause, however, was required to remove this indifference,
viz. Another more extensive quiddity, closely united with the first, and with the principle of inviduity (afterwards called haecceity).* Substances, as before said, according to the Nyáya, are either eternal or non-eternal. Eternal are space, time, ether, soul, and the atoms of mind, earth, water, fire, and air. Non-eternal are all compounds, or the things which we actually perceive, and which must have a cause of their existence. Thus substances are divided into those which are without cause, and those which have a cause.
There are three causes;-1. The cause of aggregation, or material cause, as yarn is the material cause of cloth ;-2. The proximate cause, or the actual union of the parts which are to form a compound;—and 3. The instrumental cause, viz. the cause by which this union is effected.
This is similar to the doctrine of Aristotle, who admitted four causes; a material cause, a moving cause, a formal cause, and an end cause. The instrumental cause includes Aristotle's formal, moving, and end
The notion of causality is certainly well considered, and infinitely superior to the notions which other Indian systems formed of it; for there are already made some steps in advance towards the proper discussion of this notion, if a difference in causes is acknowledged. In the enumeration of causes-the cause of motion appears to have been omitted: it is, however, contained in the notion of instrumental causality. All activity according to the Nyáya is limited to movement, acts of the mind being considered by them as qualities, and as all actions abide in substances, we must consider every substance as a cause of motion. They did not, however discuss, whether motion was necessary to all substances, or only to some or to one, that is to say, whether there is a primum mobile or not; they did not discuss the question whether different motions do not require different causes; nor did they lastly enter into an explanation of the notion itself. They appear in fact not to have been aware of the intrinsic difficulties of the idea of causality,
• Vid. Tennemann's Geschichte der Philosophic. Kerte Aufl. p. 256. †The contradictions which Zeno found in the notion of movement, are well known, and without fully acknowledging their weight, it is impossible to obtain a correct notion of it. Aristotle was well aware of this, and endeavoured to remove Zeno's objections to this notion. How important, however, it is, correctly to define this notion, is evident even from the influence, which it exercised on the Nyáya, where motion is considered as an act, and even as the only act.
which undoubtedly is one of the most difficult metaphysical notions.* The contradictions in the notion of cause and effect appear with especial force to apply to such causes, by which a change in the qualities of a substance is effected, as chemical, animal, and psychical effects. Such effects are, however, denied by the Nyáya. Material causes must be understood as only the substrata, or the materials for a new union, as for instance, the two halves from which a pot is produced, are the material cause of the pot. There are therefore no real changes, but only changes of the accidental form, which substances may assume in their connexion with others; and there should not be changes at all we add. Every compound substance, according to the Nyáya, is ultimately produced from simple substances. Simple substances, however, are eternal, and all their qualities are also eternal. If this is the case, there is also no change of qualities in any compound substance, because by any connexion between them, different from an accidental relation, they would assume changes, contradictory to the notion, under which they are conceived. As the Nyáya, however, admits an actual change in compound substances, in which qualities, not to be met with in the simple substances, are produced, and moreover admits a compound, in which there is a compara. tively firm connexion of the parts with each other, it has deviated from its notion of causality, and is hence guilty of the contradiction which it first endeavoured to escape. Notwithstanding these deficiencies of the Nyáya, we still maintain, that it approached nearer than any other Hindu system, to the true notion of causality, causality being, according to Pantheistic, not less than to sceptical idea, a product of habit in the association of our ideas.
In passing from the general metaphysical (ontological) to more special investigations (comprehending natural philosophy and psychology) we may first observe, that the same clearness obtains in the latter as in the former. Existence, or rather to use the Greek term To ov,
Vide Sext. Emp. Adv. mathem. in Ritter's History of Philos. Vol. iv. p. 339. That cause could not be later than effect, is evident; but also the effect cannot be later than the cause; for if so, the cause, being antecedent to the effect, would be without effect, and a cause without effect, is a contradiction. And if the effect would be consequent to the cause, it would be, when the cause is no more, therefore an effect without cause. Both therefore must be necessarily together. If this be conceded, then there is the difficulty, why the one more than the other is producing (or cause). These are only part of the difficulties, and without solving them, the objections made against causality, are quite just.