“You are like you are, because you tell yourself that you are that way.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Nyaya – Preventing Error



Discussion is the adoption of one of two opposing sides. What is adopted is analyzed in the form of the five members and defended by the aid of any of the means of right knowledge, while its opposite is assailed by confutation, without deviation from the established tenets.

Controversy (Polemics)

Controversy is aimed at victory, it is the defense or attack of a proposition.

A polemist is on who engages in an argument for the sole purpose of victory. He has no desire to gain further knowledge of Truth, and therefore, will employ any device (usually of negative character) of debate in order to win.

Frequently the students will encounter objectionable personalities who have not attained true knowledge but who are overcome with their intellectual attainments in the field of philosophical thoughts. These people violate all rules of propriety, having no consideration for the beliefs of another. Under such circumstances the student is urged to make use of these devices in order to protect his growing mind in the same way that nature uses thorns on some plants to safeguard the growth of its fruits.

Fallacies of Reason

Fallacies of reason are the erratic, the contradictory, the equal to the question, the unproved and the mistimed:

  • The erratic is defined as the reason which leads to more conclusions than one.
  • The contradictory is defined as the reason whicih opposes what is to be esablished.
  • Equal to the question is defined as the reason which provokes the very question for the solution of which it was employed.
  • The unproved is defined as the reason which stands in need of proof, in the same way as the proposition does.
  • The mistimed is defined as the reason which is adduced when the time is passwed in which it might hold good.


Equivocation is the opposition offered to a proposition by the assumption of an alternative meaning. These are (2) playing upon words, (2) generalizations nd (3) metaphors.


Futility consists of offering objections founded on mere similarity or dissimilarity. The reply is said to be futile if it does not take into consideration the universal connection between the middle term and the major term. There are 24 kinds of futility.

Disagreement in Principle

There is no purpose in arguing with one who reveals his utter lack of understanding of the subject of investigation; therefore one is privileged to stop the argument. There are 22 occasions of disagreement.

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