37. The Whole Story: Vaiśeṣika on Complexity and Causation

Posted on 4 March 2017

The Vaiśeṣika response to Buddhist skepticism about wholes made up of parts.

Further Reading

• S. Bhaduri, Studies in Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Metaphysics (Poona: 1975).

• U. Mishra, The Conception of Matter according to Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika (Allahabad: 1936).

• P.K. Sen, “The Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Theory of Variegated Colour (citrarūpa): Some Vexed Problems,” in Epistemology, Logic And Ontology After Matilal (Shimla: 1996), 151–72.


Michael Bench-Capon 5 March 2017

I don't think you've told Lewis's argument about temporal parts right. Lewis was defending the temporal parts view, not attacking it. He thought (pace Dharmakirti) that it would make sense if something being green on Tuesday and red on Wednesday just meant that it had a green part and a red part. But if that wasn't how things managed to be green one day and red the next, then temporary properties would have to be relations to times, rather than intrinsic properties, which was too much of a revision of common sense for Lewis's taste.

Oh, you're probably right - I might have mixed this up while revising what Jonardon wrote in his original draft (he does the proper philosophy, I add the jokes and the mistakes). The point was just that he considers an objection along the same lines. Thanks for picking that up, we will fix it for the book version.

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