Indian Logic and its application

The title says Indian Logic. Can logic be Indian or Chinese or American? Read on to find that out.

Due to my general interest towards philosophy and particularly Indian philosophy, and also because of formal exposure I got on this subject during my Indology course curriculum, I got drawn deeper into exploring it more which typically involves buying books, visiting libraries, attending conferences and workshops on those topics. I happened to attend one such workshop in 2009 in University of Pune(UoP) where Prof V N Jha was one of the speakers and his topic was Indian Logic and Epistemology. I got the same question which I have mentioned at the beginning. With that thought in my mind, I attended the session, where he explained Indian Logic and Epistemology as term for Nyaya, Navya Nyaya and parts of Vaisesika philosophical system.

Few days later I bumped on him around my housing complex and was taken by surprise that he lives in the same area. During my subsequent discussions with him, I learnt more about him and Indian Logic and its applications, especially in semantic analysis, natural language processing(NLP) and artificial intelligence. As technologists, I, of course, was aware of possibilities of NLP, machine learning, computational linguistics, semantic analysis, semantic web, knowledge management and the evolution it is creating in a way. But I was taken by surprise how concepts of ancient Indian philosophical system such as Nyaya-Vaisesika system can be applied to help in solving problems in those areas.

Prof V N Jha is an international authority on subject of Nyay(and of course, Sanskrit language and its grammar). He is has been trained in a traditional way and a staunch Naiyyayik. Has been a former Director Center of Advanced Studies in Sanskrit(CASS). He has written numerous articles, books, papers on these and related topics, presented, spoken all over the world at various settings.  Post retirement, his is on a mission to bring back Indian intellectual tradition back to the foray, of which Sanskrit, Nyaya and related topics are very much part. He has designed Foundation of Indian Logic and Epistemology, Navya Nyaya Language and Methodology(level 1, 2 and 3). unique courses and has been delivering them all over India and abroad, since last 6-7 years. He is conducting one such course next month in Bengaluru. I happened to attend a foundation course at the serene and pristine place called Chinmaya International Foundation(CIF) in Kerala, which is a Indological research organization of Chinmaya Mission. It covered textual study of Tarksangraha written by Annambhatta which covers fundamental concepts Nyaya and Vaisesika system.

Now coming back to the question raised at the beginning. The reason why Nyaya/Navya Nyaya is called Indian Logic is because this Indian philosophical system is an embodiment of thought on logic by ancient Indians. Besides, concepts on world view, it contains epistemology, ontology related thoughts and It is a method of reasoning along with theory of inference. Experts have been trying to compare Indian logic with Western formal logic and on the other hand, few others say Indian logic is no logic at all. A simple search on Internet, on those terms would yield results pointing to amount of research going on this.

I wanted to introduce to this topic today. Watch out this space for more on this topic.


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