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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Verbal Testimony (Sabda epistemology of Mimamsa)


Verbal Testimony (Sabda epistemology of Mimamsa)
Ø  Sabda-Pramana has got the greatest importance in Mimamsa. Testimony is Verbal authority. It is the knowledge of the meanings of words.
Ø  Kumarila divides testimony into two parts:
1.      Personal (puruseya): it is the testimony of trustworthy persons (aptavakya). It is not valid in itself. Its validity is inferred from the character of the trustworthy person. It may vitiated by doubt and error and may be contradicted afterwards.
2.      Impersonal (apauruseya): it is the testimony of the Veda (vedavakaya). It is valid in itself. It has the intrinsic validity. The veda is eternal and authorless. It is not the work of any person, human or divine. The sages are only the seers and not the authors of the vedas.
Ø  Prabhakara admits only Vedic testimony as real testimony and reduces human testimony to inference because its validity is inferred from the trustworthy character of the person.
Ø  Again, testimony may give us knowledge of the existent objects (Siddhartha-vakya) or may command us to do something (vidhayaka-vakya).
Ø  Kumarila: he admits the distinction between the existential and injunctive propositions and limits the scope of Veda to the latter (abhihitanvayavada). The Veda deals with injunctions.
Ø  The Veda is broadly divided into:
1.      Vidhivada or injunctions
2.      Arthavada or explanations
Ø  The so-called assertive or explanatory propositions in the Veda are authoritative only, when they help persons to perform their duties (anvtitabhidhanavada).
Ø  Testimony is verbal cognition.
Ø  Mimamsakas says that only the sounds and the symbols are created and destroyed, while the real words are eternal.

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