(Last Updated on : 27/11/2010)
Hetu in Buddhist philosophy
means a direct cause. When we infer the presence of fire on a mountain from the observation of smoke, smoke is the reason. A seed, for example, is a direct cause of a plant. A dual instance is called `invariable concomitance that is supported by agreement and difference. The reason is `only agreeing` in a conclusion such as, `the pot is nameable because it is knowable`. There can be no negative instance since every entity is predictable and nameable.
The reason is disagreeing in an inference such as, `Living bodies have souls, since they are animate`. Svabhava-hetu is a type of hetu. It is a form of inference developed by the Buddhist Dharmakirti
in which the logical reason shares the nature of the property to be proved. Trairupya-hetu is the other type which means threefold logical reason. According Dignaga
, in a valid inference, there must be an inseparable connection between the logical reason and what is to be proved (sadhya). Wherever the reason occurs, there the sadhya occurs also.
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