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STERREICHISCHE AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN

PHILOSOPHISCH-HISTORISCHE KLASSE
DENKSCHRIFTEN, 281. BAND

Dharmakirti's Thought and Its Impact


on Indian and Tibetan Philosophy
Proceedings of the
Third International Dharmakirti Conference
Hiroshima, November 4-6,1997

Edited by

Shoryu Katsura

VERLAG DER STERREICHISCHEN AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN


WIEN 1999

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DHARMAKIRTTS SEMANTICS FOR THE PARTICLE EVA*


by

Jonardon Ganeri, Nottingham

Dharmakirti advances the theory that the meaning of the particle eva is vyavaccheda 'exclusion'. Depending on the position of eva in the sentence, the exclusion is of one of three kinds:
anyayogavyavaccheda 'exclusion from connection with something else', ayogavyavaccheda 'exclusion from non-connection', and atyantyogavyavaccheda 'exclusion from permanent nonconnection'. Dharmakirti follows Dinnga in using this particle as a means to introduce quantification into the clauses of the trairupya formula defining a good inferential sign. Kajiyama
[1966: 57; 1973] records how later Buddhist logicians applied the theory of vyavaccheda to the
analysis of negative statements, to the explanation of apoJta, and to the form of statements about
causal relations. My aim in this paper is to formulate Dharmakirti's account of the truth-conditions of sentences containing eva.
1. Dharmakirti's account of the meaning of eva as vyavaccheda 'exclusion'
1.1. Statement of the theory
Dharmakirti states his theory in a number of places. At PVIV 38, he remarks:
dvividho hi vyavacchedo viyogparayogayoh/
vyavacchedd...//
"There are two kinds of exclusion {vyavaccheda), [exclusion] from non-connection iyiyoga) and
[exclusion]fromconnection to something else {aparayoga)!'
It is at PV IV 190-192 that he offers the fullest description:
ayogam yogam aparair atyantyogam eva ca /
vyavacchinatti dharmasya nipto vyatirecakah//190//
visesanavisesybhym kriyay ca sahoditah/
vivaksto'prayoge'pitasyrtho'yam pratiyate //\9\//
vyavacchedaplwlam vkyarn yatas caitro dhanurdharah /
prtho dhanurdharo nilam sarojam iti v yath//192//
"The restrictive particle eva excludes the non-connection, the connection with something else, or
the permanent non-connection of the predicate-property, when attached to the predicate term, the
subject term or the verb [respectively]. Even when not actually used, eva's role is understood from
the speaker's intention, for [any] sentence has exclusion as its result. Examples [of the three cases]
are: 'Caitra is an archer', 'Prtha is an archer', and 'A lotus is blue'."

* I am grateful to Shoryu Katsura, Tom Tillemans and Brendan Gillon, for comments on an earlier version of
this paper.

J. Ganeri

102

The contribution of eva to the meaning of a sentence lies in the restriction1 it places on the
relation between subject and predicate. More specifically, it is a consequence of Dharmaklrti's
anypoha theory of meaning that the meaning of any sentence is an exclusion. So the effect of
the insertion of eva is to make explicit which of several sorts of exclusion is exemplified by the
sentence. The specific contribution of eva depends on its position in the sentence, whether it
attaches to the subject, verb/copula, or (non-verbal) predicate. Dharmaklrti's examples of the
three cases expand as follows:
la. Prtha eva dlianurdharah "Prtha alone is an archer." anyayogavyavaccheda
b. Caitro dhanurdhara eva
"Caitra is an archer indeed."
ayogavyavaccheda
atyantyogavyavaccheda
c. nflam sarojam bhavaty eva "A lotus is surely blue."
The meaning he assigns to each of these sentences is:
2a. Being-an-archer is excluded from connection with anyone other than Prtha.
b. Being-an-archer is excludedfromnon-connection with Caitra.
c. Being-blue is excludedfrompermanent non-connection with a lotus.
A number of authors have drawn attention to the fact that, given these semantic assignments,
the particle eva is being treated as a quantifier.2 We may note, however, that eva does not behave
like the standard (Aristotelian) determiners, 'all', 'some', 'no' and 'not all'. For, first, eva can be
inserted into sentences with singular subjects: Prtlw eva dlianurdharah is well-formed, but we
cannot say "all Prtha is an archer" or "no Prtha is an archer." In this respect, the role of eva
resembles the cross-categorical behaviour of expressions like 'only' and 'even' in English. Second, as we shall see in more detail below, the contribution eva makes to the truth-conditions is
sensitive to the sentential context in which it is inserted. Indeed, from the standpoint of modern
theory about generalized quantifiers (e.g. Barwise and Cooper [1981], Westerstahl [1988]), the
context neutrality of the Aristotelian quantifiers, their failure to distinguish between focus and
scope, places them in a rather special category. Attempts to translate sentences involving eva
directly into sentences involving the standard quantifiers of a first-order language tend to be
insensitive to such questions.
Dharmaklrti's theory employs two important philosophical distinctions, both taken from the
Indian logical and grammatical literature. First, he appeals to the distinction between ayogavyavaccheda and anyayoga-vyavaccheda, a distinction itself based on a widely accepted distinction between two types of negationnamely, prasajyapratisedha 'verbally bound' andparyudsa
'nominally bound'. Second, he takes eva to be what the grammarians call a "manifester" (dyotaka)
of the sentence meaning, rather than as a 'designator' (ycaka), something which makes an
independent semantic contribution to the sentence meaning. Attention to these two distinctions

As Katsura [1986: 8-9] notes, the grammarians were the first to link the meaning of eva with the notion of
'restriction' (avadhratia). See Pnini-stra 8.1.62, and Vydi's meta-rule: yata evakras tato 'anyatrvadhraiiam
"when the restrictive particle eva occurs with reference to one linguistic item, the other is subject to restriction."
Later analyses concern, in effect, the proper expansion of the notion of restriction. Notice too that (2b) below is not
to be read as asserting that Caitra is restricted to being an archer (and to having no other properties) but as saying that
being an archer is restricted to Caitra (and to no other person). See Manorathanandin's comment on PVIV 193.
2
For references, see Gillon and Hayes [1982: 194, n. 1] and below 5.

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

103

will lead us to a reconstruction of Dharmakirti's theory. I am not here going to be concerned with
the distinction between exclusion of mere non-connection {ayogavyavaccheda) and of permanent non-connection {atyantyogavyavaccheda), which I do not think concerns the logical form
of eva sentences.3
1.2. eva as 'designator' (vcaka) or 'manifester' (dyotaka)
Dharmakirti is explicit about the role of eva: its role is to disambiguate the sentence by
specifying the nature of the connection between subject and predicate. In this, he follows the
grammarians, who treat most particles as dyotakas, 'illuminators' or 'manifestos' of meaning,
and not as words which have an independent meaning of their own. Thus Bhartrhari:
nipt dyotakh kecit prthagarthbhidhyinah I
gam iva ke'pi syuh sambhyrthasya vcakh II (VPII192)
"Some niptas (particles) manifest a meaning, some are expressive of a separate meaning, some,
like augments (gamh), express a meaning together with other elements." (Iyer's translation)
Manorathanandin, commenting on PVIV 190, asserts explicitly that Dharmakirti sides with
the grammarians:

nanu nipto na svayam vcakah, kin tu dyotakah / tad asya katham ayam arthaprabhedah ity
ahadyotakatvd eva nipto visesanena sahodito ['Jyogasya vyavacchedakah, visesyena sahokt
'nyayogasya, krivay ca sahokto 'tyantyogeti visesandipadavcya evyogavyavaccheddis tat
sahoktaniptadyotya ity arthah /
"Now, a particle is not itself a designator {vcaka), but is a manifestor (dyotaka). How [then] can
it have this [three-fold] division of meaning? A particle, precisely on account of being a manifestor,
excludes [non-]connection when attached to the predicate term, connection with another when
attached to the subject term, and permanent non-connection when attached to the verb. Therefore,
what is designated by the predicate-term etc., namely exclusion of non-connection and so on, is
just what is made manifest by the particle attached to it. This is the meaning."
What is at issue here is as follows. According to those who say that eva is a manifestor, the
bare sentence without eva (viz. "S is P") is ambiguous, and the effect of the insertion of eva is to
reveal or make manifest which meaning is the intended one. The particle eva functions in a way

The contrast between atyantyoga 'permanent non-connection' and ayoga '(mere) non-connection' seems to
me to be that of non-connection at any time "(t) ~ (Fx at t)" vs. tenseless non-connection "~- Fx." The state of affairs
described as atyantyogavyavaccheda is one in which the subject and predicate are connected at some time or other,
though not necessarily the present time. In other words, the subject and predicate can be connected, where 'can'
expresses a temporal and not a metaphysical modality. The state of affairs described as ayogavyavaccheda is one in
which the subject and predicate are connected, in some tenseless sense. The distinction is therefore an instantiation
of a well-known feature of the copula: that it has both a tenseless and a tensed reading. The tenseless reading is
illustrated by such sentences as "birds fly," and by extension, "the tiger is an animal." In such cases, we take the
extension of the subject and predicate to be the class of all their instances. Whether or not their extensions are
connected is then a matter independent of time. If we were to take their extensions to be the class of their instances
at a specific time, we must allow that they might be connected at some times but not others. I therefore disagree with
the view that the distinction between ayogavyavaccheda and atyantyogavyavaccheda is one of logical form (cf.
Gillon and Love [1980], Gillon and Hayes [1982], Kajiyama [1973]). One may also note that in the first passage
quoted from Pramnavrttika, Dharmakirti distinguishes only ayoga- and anyayoga- as the types of vyavaccheda.

J. Ganeri

104

something analogous to parenthesis or the comma, which are also devices of disambiguation.
According to those who say that eva is a designator, a bare sentence without eva has a certain
assertoric content, and the effect of the insertion of eva is to add something additional to the
content. This additional content is what eva designates. Dharmaklrti belongs to the former
camp. He regards the content of a simple sentence as being just exclusion. However, there are
three different possibilities for what a sentence excludes (ayoga, atyantyoga and anyayoga).
The effect of inserting eva into a sentence is to make manifest which class of states of affair the
sentence is intended to exclude.
The claim that eva is a designator is based on the thought that the sentence "Prtha alone is
an archer" does not merely assert that nobody other than Prtha is an archer: it asserts too that
Prtha is an archer. The clauses expressing exclusion are then to be read as giving the contribution of eva to the total sentence meaning. Let us call this the 'cumulative' account of the role of
eva. On this account, a sentence "S is P" has a base meaning, that S is P. Inserting eva into the
sentence adds an extra sense to the base meanings: "S eva P" means that S is P and nothing other
than S is P. This interpretation of the role of eva is given explicitly by the Naiyyikas, who argue
that certain particles, eva included, are indeed designating expressions, which make an independent contribution to the truth-conditions of sentences in which they are embedded. The Nyya
position is conveniently summarised in the Nyyakosa (sv. 'eva'):4

vastutas tu anyayogavyavaccheda eva-krrthah / vyavacchedas ctyantbhvah anyony


ca /prthivym eva gandhah itydau prthivym gandhah prthivyanyasmin gandhbhvas c
bodhah/' sankhahpndura eva itydau sankha-tdtniyavnpndurahpndurnyasmin san
nybhvas ca iti bodhah /prtha eva dhanurdharah itydau prtha-tdtyinavn dhanurd
prthnyasmin dhanurdharatvavyavacchedas ca pratiyate iti/
"In actual fact, the meaning of eva is [always] exclusionfromconnection with another. An exclusion is a constant absence or a mutual absence. In a case like 'in earth alone is there smell', the
meaning is that there is smell in earth and absence of smell in what is other-than-earth. In a case
like 'a conch-shell is white indeed', the meaning is that that which is identical to a conch-shell is
white and that there is mutual absencefroma conch-shell in what is other-than-white. In a case
like 'Prtha alone is an archer', it is understood that that which is identical to Prtha is an archer and
that there is exclusionfrombeing an archer in what is other-than-Prtha."
1.3. The distinction between ayoga-vyavaccheda and anyayoga-vyavaccheda
Dharmakirti formulates his theory with a pair of terms which have had a wider currency, and
have acquired a conventional significance, within the philosophical tradition. This is their use to
express the distinction between proof (svapaksasdhana) and refutation (parapaksadwand). The
terms are used to express the distinction between demonstrating the truth of one's own position
and refuting that of one's opponents. For example, Hemacandra entitled a pair of works on the
Jaina system Ayogavyavaccheda-dvtrimsik and Anyayogavyavaccheda-dvtrimsik. Dhruva
comments that "the former [is] a defence of the Jaina system, and the latter an attack on other
systems... . ayogavyavaccheda lit. exclusion of non-possession, i.e. demonstration that truth

The Nyaya view is also discussed by P. Chakravarti [1933: 175-177].

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

105

does not fail to belong to the Jaina system, that it certainly belongs to it: the constructive or
positive part of Hemacandra's work. Anyayogavyavaccheda lit. exclusion of the position that
truth might belong to other rival systems, i.e. the destructive or negative part of the undertaking"
[1933: 8 (notes)]. Dhruva offers another example where the pair of terms are used with this sense
in Syana's commentary on Aitareya Brhmana, and he asserts that the terms "are of common
occurrence in these senses" (p. 8).
Clearly, a great deal of further examples would be needed properly to establish the truth of
this claim. However, the same conclusion as to the import of the terms can be reached on purely
logical grounds. There is a clear connection between the terms and a very well-attested distinction between two kinds of negation, prasajyapratisedha snA paryudsa. For ayoga is a prasajyapratisedha negation, while anyayoga is diparyudasa negation (cf. Kajiyama [1973], especially
the discussion therein of Bhvaviveka). Ayogavyavaccheda and anyayogavyavaccheda exclude
respectively the following two states of affair (Gillon and Hayes [1982: 199-200]):
dhanno dharmin na yunakti the predicate-property does not connect with the subject.
dharmo a-dharmin yunakti the predicate-property connects with non-subjects.
The negative particle a- (or nan) occurs here respectively in its two recognised roles, as
verbally bound {prasajyapratisedha) and as nominally bound (paryudsa). This distinction is
expressed in the well-known verse "exclusion (paryudsa) is to be understood where the negative [is connected] with the next word; prohibition (pratisedha) is to be understood where the
negative [is connected] with the verb(al) ending" (cited in Staal [1988: 116]). Staal argues that,
when verbally bound, the negative particle is the sentential negation "~F(x)" (i.e. it is not the case
that x is F), and, when nominally bound, it is a negative subject-term-forming operator, "F(~x)"
(i.e. it is the case that a thing-other-than-x is F).5 If that is right, then ayogavyavaccheda is the
exclusion of its not being the case that x is connected with F, while anyayogavyavaccheda is the
exclusion of its being the case that things other than x are connected with F. The first of these is
equivalent to the positive assertion that x is connected with F, while the second makes no positive
assertion about x's connection with F, but rejects a connection between things other than x and F.
Thus, there is a strong link between the two sorts of negation and the two kinds of exclusion; it is
less clear which of the two distinctions is logically prior.6
These considerations suggest that ayogavyavaccheda has a broadly affirmative force, linked
with the assertion that the subject and predicate are connected, without making any claim about
the relation between the predicate and things other than the subject. Anyayogavyavaccheda, on
the other hand, is linked with the denial that the predicate is connected with things other than the

It is logically possible for the negative particle to have a third role, as a negative predicate-term-forming
operator "(~F)(x)" (x is non-F). Staal observes that the Mfmmsakas distinguish this as a second sort of paryudsa
negation. The Naiyayikas also recognise the existence of this sort of negation, and indeed use it in their analysis of
eva. When eva follows the predicate, the state of affairs excluded is that:
a-dharmo dharmin yunakti the predicate's negation connects with the subject.
Anyayogavyavaccheda here refers to the exclusion of S's being connected with what is other than P. See 3.2.
6
Kajiyama [1973: 162] interestingly suggests that Bhvaviveka believes that eva should be used to explain the
distinction between the two kinds of negation.

J. Ganeri

106

subject. It makes no explicit assertoric claim about the relation between subject and predicate. I
will now apply the considerations of this section to Dharmakirti's account of the semantics of
eva.
2. The role of eva restricting the subject term: anyayogavyavaccheda
2.1. Dharmakirti's account
Dharmakirti's example of a sentence in which eva restricts the subject term (visesya)1 is:
la. Prtha eva dhanurdharah
b. Prtha alone is an archer.
Dharmaklrti asserts that the content of this sentence is the exclusion (vyavaccheda) of connection (yoga) between the predicate-property (dharma) and what is other than {anya) the subject {dharmin). According to this analysis, sentence lb is to be paraphrased by "nothing other
than Prtha is an archer." The particle eva here behaves as the generalized quantifier "nothing
other than... is..." A point familiar from the recent literature on the term 'only' or 'alone' is that
such a quantifier will in general be subject to contextual restrictions on its scope. If one states at
a dinner party that only Susan smokes, one asserts, not that no thing other than Susan smokes,
nor even that no person other than Susan smokes, but rather that no person at the party other than
Susan smokes. The contextual restriction on the quantifier to some salient class of objects has
indeed been noted in connection with Dharmakirti's example la. Kajiyama remarks that "the
speaker's intention is not that Prtha is one of the archers, but that he is the only excellent archer
(among the five brothers of the Pndava), the word 'archer' metaphorically expressing 'the best
archer'" (p. 163). The sentence thus asserts that no [brother of the Pndava] other than Prtha is
an [excellent] archer. It is not to be read as asserting that Prtha is the unique archer in the entire
world.
It is clear that, in the anyayogavyavaccheda analysis, the contextual restriction enters via the
determination of the extension of the phrase 'S-anya\ What counts as being 'other-than-S'
depends on the linguistic context. For example, the term 'other-than-blue' (anila) has as its
extension colours (or coloured things) other than blue, but not anything at all which is not blue.
The point is that the term-forming paryudsa negation a- generates a contrary but not a contradictory term. Consider Jinendrabuddhi's example as discussed by Staal [1988: 116-7]: a-kartari
as it occurs in Pnini-stra 3.3.19, akartari ca krake samjnym. Staal reports Jinendrabuddhi's
argument thus: "if this negation is interpreted as paryudsa the meaning would be '(the suffix is
applied) to case relationships different from the nominative' . . . [but this] interpretation should
be rejected, for the nominative is a case relationship and the word krake 'case relationship'
would hence be superfluous, which conflicts with a well-known economy criterion." Thus, if the
negation in a-kartari is paryudsa, it would have as its extension case relationships other than

1 agree with Gillon and Hayes [1982: 197] that the terms visesya and visesaiw refer here to syntactic categories, while dharma and dharmin refer to semantic types. In la the visesya is the name "Prtha," while the dharmin
is the person Prtha. Here the dJmrmin is the referent of the visesya. However, the pairs need not correspond in this
way: it is possible for the dharmin to be that which is designated by the visesana. For example, Dharmaklrti defines
a sdhya as the dharma qualified by the dJmrmin. See, for example, Tillemans [1992:455].

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

107

the nominative, and not merely anything other than the nominative.
We can represent Dharmakirti's analysis of the content of sentences having eva restricting
the subject-term in a convenient Venn diagram (adapted from Lycan [1991: 135]).
Here G is the contextually indicated
Figure 1: "S eva P" & [S]-anya-yoga-[?]-vyavaccheda reference class, S is the subject class, P
Q ^
^^^-^
p
is the predicate class, and M is the class
P n (G \ S). According to DharmaMrti,
the content of "S eva P" is [S-anya]yoga-[P]-vyavaccheda: exclusion of P
from connection with what is other than
S. The extension of 'S-anya' is the class
G \ S, and P is excluded from connecG = the contextually determined reference class for "S" and "S- t l o n W l t h G ^ S J u s t m c a s e P ^ (G \ S) =
anyar S + = S n P, the class of S which are also P. S - = S \ P, M is empty. Thus M = 0 . In the limit,
^ . .u
.
, ,
the class of S which are not P. M = (G \ S) n P, the class of S-

anya which are P.

mg case when G is the universal domain,


this is equivalent to asserting that P c S .
The major point of controversy surrounding this analysis is whether the sentence "S eva P"
asserts more than that no G other than S is P. In particular does it in addition carry either an
existential import that some S are P (S+ occupied), or a universal implication that all S are P (Sempty)? For example, does partita eva dlmnurdharah assert merely that no brother of the Pndava
other than Prtha is an archer, or does it also assert that Prtha is indeed an archer? Clearly, that
is the implication of the statement, but what is implied need not be identical with what is explicitly stated. Manorathanandin interestingly remarks that Dharmakirti's view is that the statement
"S eva P" is made when it is well-known (prasiddha) that S is P, but there is a doubt about
whether things other than S are P as well.8 This suggests that the fact that S is P is a presupposition for asserting "S eva P." I am using the term 'presupposition' here in its technical sense. A
statement presupposes a state of affairs iff the statement only has a truth-value if the state of
affairs obtains. Given that the presupposition is a precondition for the statement to assert anything, it is generally held that that statement does not literally assert that the presupposition
obtains. However, that the presupposition obtains will usually be conversationally implicated by
the statement. In this way, one might deny that S is P is literally stated by "S eva P," although it
is presupposed and implicated. This is rather like the sentence "No non-members will be admitted," which, although it does not state that members will be admitted, clearly implicates that this
is so.
If we are to assess the correctness of Dharmakirti's analysis, we must therefore ask two
8

PVV 402: prthe dlwnurdJtaratoam prasiddlmm eva /kin tu tdrsam anyasypi kirn astiti sandehe 'nyayoga
vyavacchedaplwlam visesanam. Tillemans [1992:453 (n. 61)] sates that "the usual intention in uttering the sentence
caitro dhanurdhamh is simply to assert that Caitra is not a non-archer: there can be other archers too. Thus: "Caitra
is an archer." On the other hand, a speaker will utter prtho dlmnurdharah in order to convey that Prtha is the only
excellent archer among the brothers of the Pndava. Then we would have to translate: "It is Prtha [alone] who is the
archer."

J. Ganeri

108

questions: (i) Does "S eva P" entail that there is some S which is P; and (ii) does "S eva P" entail
that all S are P? There is no general agreement on this issue: indeed, it is the primary focus of the
disagreement between Kajiyama [1973] and Gillon and Hayes [1982]. Kajiyama argues that "S
eva P" does indeed entail that all S are P. He states that "when eva is stated with the qualificand,
it negates the connection of the qualifier and that which is other than the qualificand, i.e. we have
a universal proposition in which the class of qualificand and of qualifier are equal in extension"
(p. 163). In other words, "S eva P" asserts that nothing other than S is P and that all S are P. That
is/'SewP"istrueiffM = 0 & S - = 0 .
Gillon and Hayes take issue with Kajiyama's claim, arguing that Kajiyama is misled by the
fact that la has as its subject a proper name. Since S has just one member, we can deduce from
the fact that S+ is occupied that S- is empty. That deduction is invalid when the subject is a
general term. In particular, they point out that the statement manuso [eva] dhanurdharah is "true
not only in the special case where the class of human beings is equal in extension with the class
of archers; it is also true in case the class of human beings is greater in extension than the class of
archers" (p. 201). Eva is more akin to 'only' than to 'just' or 'exactly'. Note, further, that Gillon
and Hayes do not give "S eva P" an existential implication in their final statement that "S eva P"
asserts that P c S .
2.2. The Nyya account
I believe that both Kajiyama and Gillon and Hayes have been influenced by the Nyya account of the semantics of such sentences, for in that account, there are indeed implications of the
sort they describe. Consider a sentence analysed in the Nyyakosa:
2a. prthivym eva gandhah
b. In earth alone (there is) smell.
The Nyya paraphrase of 2a is that smell is in earth and in nothing other than earth.9 The
second conjunct is the contribution of eva, while the first is the positive assertoric content of the
bare sentence. The positive assertoric content of this sentence seems to be existential (cf. 3.2):
smell occurs in at least some samples of earth. So S+ is occupied and S- is unspecified. The
Nyya analysis agrees with that of Gillon and Hayes in such cases. If, however, one held that the
positive assertoric content is universal (in which case S- would be empty), the Nyya analysis
would agree with Kajiyama's.
Figure 2: The meaning of "S eva P"
^T
*u
^
&
M
S+fc
sWe may summarise the views on ofDharmakirti
0
0
fer in Figure 2:
u
The issue which divides Dhannakfrti
Nyya
0
+
u
and the Naiyyikas is the positive existen?
0
0
Kajiyama
tial force of sentences containing eva: does
?
0
Gillon-Hayes
u
the sentence state that some/all S are P or
(0

stands for empty, + for occupied and U for not specified)


9

presuppose it? It is most interesting to note

It is interesting to compare this analysis with a remark by Locke (Essay III, VII "Particles") on the English
particle but: "I saw BUT two Planets: Here it shews, that the Mind limits the sense to what is expressed, with a
negation of all other."

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

109

that exactly the same issue is the major source of dispute about the semantics of the English
quantifier 'only'. Horn [1989: 248] notes that "the essential issue is: is only a negative in meaning and positive only by presupposition or implicature, or does it abbreviate a conjunction (only
a = 'aand nothing {other/more} than a')?" Horn observes that this same issue was even discussed by the medievals Thomas Aquinas, Peter of Spain and William of Sherwood.
3. The role of eva attached to the predicate term
3.1. Dharmakirti's account
Dharmakirti's example of a sentence in which eva is attached to the predicate term (visesana)
is:
3a. Caitro dhanurdhara eva
b. Caitra is an archer indeed.
He asserts that the content of this sentence is the exclusion (vyavaccheda) of non-connection
(ayoga) between the predicate-property (dharma) and the subject (dharmin). According to this
analysis, sentence 3b is paraphrased by "it is not the case that Caitra is not an archer." Since the
negative in ayoga is a sentential (prasajyapratisedha) rather than a term (paryudsa) negation,
there is no contextual indication of a reference class here. Again, we can depict the analysis in a
Venn diagram:
According to Dharmakirti, the content
o f t h e s e n t e n c e S P eva i s
Figure 3: "S P eva" & [S]-ayoga-[P]-vyavaccheda
"
"
[^^-[P]vyavaccheda, P's exclusion from non-connection with S. This certainly implies at
least that S+ is occupied (some S is P). Does
it imply further that S- is empty (i.e. that
all S are P)? Once again, the example has a
proper name as its subject term, and although in that special case we can deduce
S + = S n P, the class of S which are also P. S - = S \ P, the that S- is empty if S+ is occupied, this declass of S which are not P.
d u c o n ^ ^ yaM w h e n ^ u b j e c t t e r m

is general.
Both Kajiyama and Gillon and Hayes offer arguments that "S P eva" entails that all S are P,
i.e. that S-is empty. Kajiyama says of ayogavyavaccheda:
"it negates the non-connection of the qualifier and the qualificand. That is to say, it affirms the
connection between the two, and indicates that the qualifier is an attribute of the qualificand. Thus,
we obtain a universal proposition in which the class of the qualifier is greater in extension than the
class of the qualificand. The proposition does not mean that there is no archer other than Caitra,
but that Caitra is one of the members of the class of archer" (p. 163).
There is indeed an emphasis here on the affirmative quality of ayogavyavaccheda, which we
have stressed above, but there is also a non sequitur: why should affirming a connection between
qualifier and qualificand imply a universal proposition rather than an existential one? It is consistent with the facts to assume that Dharmakirti's analysis leaves the occupancy of S- unspecified.
Gillon and Hayes have a different argument that S- is empty. They say that the state of

110

J. Ganeri

affairs excluded here is that expressed by (retaining their labelling):


S 1.2 na dharmo [dharmini] vartate
E1.2 [The property-possessor] does not have the property.
This, they claim, can be expressed formally as (3x)( Sx & -i Px), some S-possessor is a nonP-possessor. The possibility excluded in ayogavyavaccheda, according to Gillon and Hayes, is
precisely that S- is occupied.
This seems wrong on two accounts. First, the statement S 1.2 is not well paraphrased as (3x)(
Sx & -n Px). We have seen that the negation in S 1.2 is a sentential negation not a term-negation.
So a better paraphrase would be either (3x)( Sx & Px) or else (V)( Sx > Px)the quantity
of "dharminr is not specified. The second reading is indeed logically equivalent to that of
Gillon and Hayes, but the construction is at best ambiguous between the two. If the first reading
is taken, the possibility excluded is that S+ is empty. Second, the Gillon-and-Hayes reading gives
the sentence "S P eva" no existential implication, for it will not in general follow that S+ is
occupied from the fact that S- is empty (proper name subject terms being a special case, as we
have seen). Yet we have already seen that ayogavyavaccheda should be construed as having a
generally positive sense.
I believe that Dharmaklrti's own example has proved misleading. When the subject term is
a proper name, the occupancy of S+ entails the vacancy of S-. So his example Priho dhanurdhara
eva does not discriminate between the two analyses. Let us consider another example from
Dharmakirti: sabdah anityah "sound is impermanent." This is the thesis in a standard proof (see
PVIV 37-38; Tillemans [1992: 454]). An opponent objects that this statement implies that
impermanence occurs only in sound, and hence cannot occur in the inferential example (sapaksa).
To this, Dharmakirti replies that the opponent mistakes the type of vyavaccheda implicitly involved: he takes it to be anyayogavyavaccheda while in fact it is ayogavyavaccheda. What is
excluded is the non-connection of impermanence with sound, and not the connection of impermanence with things other than sound.
But now we have another possible motivation for the Gillon & Hayes reading of "S P eva"
For sabdah anityah eva surely states that impermanence is connected with all sounds, and not
just some sounds. Again, however, we must note that the subject term here is again singular not
general. In this sentence, as in many other similar cases, we have a mass noun, denoting the
entirety of a certain sort of stuff. For example, the sentence "gold is a metal" is grammatically
singular: I am speaking of the entire mass of gold stuff, and only derivatively of each bit of gold.
So, just as in the previous case, the reason why "sound is impermanent [indeed]" entails that all
sounds are impermanent is that the subject term is singular. It is not because eva as attached to
the predicate is a universal quantifier.
Dharmaklrti's view, then, is that what "S P eva" literally states is just that S and P are connected. As Manorathanandin observes, a statement in this form is made when there is a doubt as
to whether S is P.10 It removes the doubt by denying that they are not connected, which is

P W 402: caitre dlwnurdlwratvasandehd visesanenyogamatram vyavacchidyate.

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

111

equivalent to asserting that they are connected. This 'connection' between S and P entails that all
S are P only when 'S' is singular.
Thus far we have three hypotheses concerning the correct analysis of "S P eva":
Figure 4: The meaning of "S P eva"
S-

s+

Dharmaklrti

Kajiyama

Gillon-Hayes

3.2. The Nyya account


Where are the Nyya situated? In fact, the Nyya analysis of such constructions is quite
different. The contribution to content of eva in "S P eva" is said to be an anyayogavyavaccheda,
not ayogavyavaccheda. Specifically, it is [P]-anyayoga-[S]-vyavaccheda, S's exclusion from
connection with what is other than P (note the reversal of S and P here, as compared with the
analysis of "S eva P"). Now, the phrase "P-anya" again introduces a contextually determined
reference class. So the Venn diagram for the Nyya analysis will be:
Figure 5: "S P eva" as [P]-anyayoga-[S]-vyavaccheda

G = the contextually determined reference class for "P" and


"P-anya" P+ = PnS, the class of P which are also S. P- =
P \ S, the class of P which are not S. M = (G \ P) n S , the
class of P-anya which are S.

Once again, the contribution made by eva is that M = 0 . What does the Nyya consider to
be positive assertoric content of "S P eva"? Consider another example analysed in the Nyyakosa:
4a. sankah pndura eva
b. a conch is white indeed.
According to the Nyya analysis, what 4a states is that which is identical to a conch is white
and that mutual absence of conch is in that which is other than white. The first conjunct, which
describes the positive assertoric content of the bare sentence, appears to state that PA S is empty
(all S are P), while the second conjunct, which is the contribution made by eva, states that M is
empty.

J. Ganeri

112

The curious feature of this analysis is that the insertion of eva adds nothing to the assertoric
content, since M c S . Indeed, if G is the class of coloured objects, and if there are no colourless
conches, S = M and the two clauses are equivalent. This suggests that the actual assertoric
content of the sentence might be weaker than 'all S are P\ Suppose we are discussing whether
fruits of different sorts are sweet or bitter, and I say:
4c. mraphalam madhuram eva
d. a mango is sweet indeed.
This does not imply that all mangoes are sweet: there can be tasteless ones. The implication
is that any mango which has a taste is sweet. This is an example where M is empty but not S. The
assertoric content is rather that P+ is occupied: there are sweet mangoes. In general, it seems
plausible to conjecture that the assertoric content of a bare sentence "S is P," with a subject term
in the singular and non-verbal predicate in apposition, is existential rather than universal. Compare this with the analysis of indefinite or bare plural subjects in English. A widespread view is
that the content of "An S is P" is existential, even if there are cases where what is conveyed
pragmatically is universal (e.g. "a cat meows"). Likewise, it is sometimes maintained that "Men
are mortal" literally states just that some men are mortal, even if there is an implicature that all
men are mortal.
4. A comparison of the accounts
Let us restrict our attention to the limiting case where G is the universal domain. The
situation in this limiting case is as in Figure 6 (S AP stands for S n P ^ 0):
Can we decide in favour of one of
these accounts over the others? One conFigure 6: The meaning of eva
sideration concerns the attribution to eva
"SPeva"
"SevaP"
of a univocal semantic role indepenPcS
SAP
Dharmakirti
dently of its position as restricting subPcS&SAP SCP&SAP
Nyya
ject or predicate. Both the Nyya and
the Gillon-Hayes accounts give eva a
ScP&SAP
S=P
Kajiyama
univocal role: namely, that the term to
PcS
ScP
Gillon-Hayes
which it is attached has a wider extension than the other term (and, at least for
the Nyya, that there are objects in the intersection). On Dharmakirti's account, sentences containing eva have one of two quite distinct logical forms, one based on anyayogavyavaccheda and
the other on ayogavyavaccheda.
Clearly, the particle eva ought not be treated as an ambiguous expression. This, however,
would only be an argument against Dharmakirti if he regarded eva as a designator, for then we
would have to say that it was ambiguous. However, Dharmakirti's view is that the function of eva
is to make manifest which of two distinct possible logical forms a sentence has. From this
perspective, it is not a criticism to say that eva does not have a univocal semantic role in the two
cases, since it does not have an independent semantic role at all. Any device whose function is to
disambiguate between two readings must mark the two readings differently.

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

113

Another consideration has to do with the interdef inability of the two sorts of sentence involving eva. If the Nyya, or the Gillon-Hayes, semantics is correct, the two uses are virtually interchangeable, for both semantics validate the following syntactic rules:
5a. SevP h PS eva
b. SPeva (- PevaS
Gillon and Hayes appeal to these transitions as part of their objection to Kajiyama (p. 202).
The argument they give for the validity of the transitions is, however, fallacious. They argue that
5a must be valid, as it involves a mere reversal of the word-order of "S eva" and "P," and in
Sanskrit word-order does not supervene on the underlying logical form. Likewise for 5b. The
fallacy in this argument is the claim that the transition involved in 5a is just a change in word
order. This is not correct, since we are using word-order in our notation, to indicate which term
is the subject (yisesya) and which is the predicate (visesana), and again to indicate whether eva is
attaching to the subject or the predicate. Thus, in "P S eva" "P" is now the subject, "S" the
predicate, and eva is predicative not subjective. The point is clearer if we introduce a notation
which does not depend on word-order. Suppose we parse each sentence into an ordered triple
<subject, predicate, type of eva>. Then the transition in 5a is from <S, P, subjective> to <P, S,
predicative>. This is not a mere transposition of word-order at all, but a combination of two
substantive changes. The rules in 5 assert a non-trivial thesis, that the transposition of subject
and predicate is the inverse of the transposition of the subjective and predicative uses of eva.
Suppose that gaur eva ssndimn and ssndimn gaur eva differ only in word-order.
Then in our notion, both would be written in the same form, either "S eva P" or "S P eva" as in
both cases either 'gaur' is the subject and 'ssndimn' the predicate, or vice versa. So the
transition involved here would be the trivial one:
6a. S eva P f~ S eva P
b. S P eva \- S P eva
If, however, we construe the second of these sentences to have 'ssndimn9 as its subject
and 'gauK as its predicate, then indeed it would be written as "P S eva" but would not arise from
a mere word-order reversal. Gillon and Hayes' argument relies on an equivocation between these
two readings. Indeed, if they were right that the transitions involve a mere word-order switch,
they could have no consequences at all for the semantics of eva, as the transition would not be
between two sentences with different logical forms!
Although their argument for the syntactic implications in 5 is faulty, those implications may
nevertheless be valid. Indeed, finding a set of syntactically permissible transitions may well be
the right way to decide on the correct semantics for eva. One transition we have already considered concerns the deletion of eva from the sentence containing it:
7a. SevcP h SP
b. S P eva \~ S P
In fact, both parties will claim these transitions to be valid. For DharmakM, it is the move
from an unambiguous sentence to an ambiguous sentence, one which has as one of its meanings
the meaning of thefirstsentence. For the Nyya, the transition is valid because the sentence on
the right expresses the existential implication of the sentence on the left. Indeed, the same ques-

J. Ganeri

114

tion arises in the analysis of 'only'. Lycan remarks that "for convenience, I have fallen in with the
common view that Only S is P noncancellably implies S is P, but that claim is highly questionable" [1991: 135 n. 12]. Perhaps the implication holds in some cases but not in others; the
problem is to give a criterion, and to build that criterion into the semantics.
An interesting pair of transitions which are validated by DharmakErti's semantics but not the
Nyya semantics is this one:
8a. S eva P h not (S-anya P eva)
b. S P eva h not {S-anya eva P)
This pair reflects the logical relationship between eva and the prasajyapratisedha- and
paryudasa- negations. It also corresponds to the mterdefinability of the existential and universal
quantifiers. For "S eva P" states that all P are S, which is equivalent to the proposition that it is
not the case that some non-S is P.
Modern discussions of generalised quantification introduce the important notion of monotonicity. Barwise and Cooper [1981: 184] give the following tests for monotonicity. Suppose Vx c
P2, and QS is a quantifier (e.g. some men). Then QS is monotone increasing if: QS Vx > QS P2,
and QS is monotone decreasing if: QS P2 -> QS Vx. If it is neither, QS is nonmonotone. For
example, some men is monotone increasing, as shown by the validity of the inference from 'some
men are running' to 'some men are moving', while no men is monotone decreasing. Horn [1989:
248] observes that if only is negative in meaning and positive only by presupposition, then it will
be monotone decreasing, while if it has a conjunctive meaning, then it will be nonmonotone.
Clearly, an inference like "Socrates alone is running \- Socrates alone is moving" is invalid; so
only is not monotone increasing. The question is whether the inference "Socrates alone is moving \- Socrates alone is running" is valid. The inference is invalid on the conjunctive account,
since it does not follow that Socrates is running from his moving. However, it is valid on the
purely negative account, since if no-one other than Socrates is moving, then no-one other than
Socrates is running.
Returning to the particle eva, Dharmakirti's position is that eva is a monotone decreasing
quantifier. The Naiyyikas treat it as being nonmonotone. The salient inference is:
9. SevaP2 h Seva F{
Given that there is no widespread agreement among linguists about what natural language
intuitions say about the monotonicity of 'only', it is hardly surprising that there is no general
concensus about the Sanskrit particle eva. It is, however, remarkable how clearly the issue was
formulated by Dharmakirti and other Indian logicians. Only with further study of examples in
natural Sanskrit transitions following the pattern of 5, 8 or 9, will we be in a position to decide
which semantics best fits the actual use of eva. For it is ultimately the actual use of an expression
that is the tribunal in which its semantics are to be judged.

Dharmakirti's Semantics for the Particle eva

115

Abbreviations and Literature

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