Dignaga on the Interpretation of Signs

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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 29, 1988 - Philosophy - 363 pages
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This is a very thorough and exacting explanation of Dignaga's theory of logic and language. It helps to have a fairly strong background in Western philosophical logic, since Hayes offers a very logical interpretation of Dignaga's works--especially those on logic (Hetucakranirnaya) as applied to his apoha theory of language (chapters 2 and 5 of Dignaga's original). Lacking expertise in Western logic, it was quite over my head, but helpful nonetheless. Having worked with Dignaga for some time now, I have come to appreciate Hayes's book more and more, because one reaches the point where drawing upon symbolic structures seems necessary to correctly illustrate Dignaga's ideas (or the complex relations that words alone fail to illustrate). Especially it helped me compare Dignaga's ideas as interpreted amongst different translators (for example, Hayes's translation of "sva-laksana" as "peculiar" rather than "particular," and "pratyaks[h]a" as "sensation" rather than "perception" (as with Hattori). Even though the sanskrit for the former literally means "specifically characterized phenomena," I found Hayes's variation on these kinds of terms helpful to better "match" them with Western concepts (See Roger Jackson). Too bad the book is like $300+, since it requires alot of time and attention to read carefully. Most importantly, Hayes's translation and commentary (last two chapters) are very clear and offer an invaluable resource for Buddhist scholars, and those interested in comparative philosophy, etc.
Anyone with the necessary background would undoubtedly appreciate it more than I was able to. Those lacking such a background might just skip to the translation, where Hayes's commentary is less technical, and exactly on point. (He directs you to the appropriate chapters where extra commentary is necessary...).
 

Contents

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