(Sanskrit, visesa, difference)
One of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy. Vaisheshika is concerned with the things that there are, or the categories of being. Vaisheshika is a kind of atomism, holding that the basis of physical reality is a plurality of infinitesimal atoms. The Indian school was well aware of the problem of understanding how the combination of infinitesimals produces a finite quantity of stuff (see Bayle's trilemma). Vaisheshika is philosophically allied to the Nyaya school, supplementing its analysis of knowledge with a philosophy of the nature of the things that are known.