Bimal Krishna Matilal

in Perception

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239765
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680014 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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The first section of this chapter discusses three rival ontologies in the Indian context. The Buddhist envisions a world populated by phenomenal particulars. These are called the svalaḳsạnas, ‘self-characterized’. They include both physical phenomena such as colour-patches and mental phenomena, cognitive events and other ‘mental’ bits concomitant with them (mimi). The Nyāya–Vaíṣsika world is populated with three main types of particulars, certain (real) universals and one genuine relation. The particulars are substances, quality-instances, and action-moments. The third ontology is holistic. This is the view that says that the ultimate reality is one unbreakable, unstructured whole, which is the ultimate reference of all linguistic expressions and all thoughts. The second section discusses phenomenalism and atomism. The last section examines direct realism.

Keywords: direct realism; phenomenalism; atomism; Buddhist ontology; India; quality

Chapter.  9380 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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