The Second and Third Modes

So far, we have briefly looked at the arguments that establish just the first mode, showing that the sign is a property of the subject. An exhaustive assesment of all possible objections would require more space than we have. It will not be possible to do more than establish the basic proofs of the pervasion and counter-pervasion, leaving the thorough evaluation of possible inconsistencies aside. Once these premises are described, we will have an adequate basis for comparison of Svatantrika and Prasangika differences regarding selflessness.

Once again Jang-gya, as the voice of Tibetan logic, explains the requirements for our proof. In order for the pervasions to be established, two more things are necessary: 1) a valid cognizer that refutes that there is a common locus of the sign (lack of one or many) and the object of negation (true existence), and 2) a valid cognizer that ascertains that the predicate of the probandum (non-inherent existence) and the object of negation are a dichotomy (12). While this sounds complicated, the short explanation is that there is a dichotomy of existence and non-existence, which are mutually exclusive, and do not allow for a third possibility. This answers the second part of the requirements. To refute that "lack of one or many" and true existence have a common locus (which would violate the rule of counterpervasion, which states that the sign cannot exist in the dissimilar class of the predicate), Jang-gya points out that that there is no common locus that both truly exists and lacks being a truly existent unity or plurality.

So finally, the hypothesis regarding one and many, by satisfying the three modes, becomes a plank in the Madhyamika platform. Like a mirror image, things seem to exist but they do not truly exist. Santaraksita's syllogism about the true nature of phenomena is accepted by Prasangika and Svatantrika alike; it is the nature of the reflection that they dispute.

Further -->

Back to the Index

End Notes and Works Cited

Copyright © 2005 Dan Haig