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Dharmakirti (circa 7th century), was an Indian scholar and one of the Buddhist founders of Indian philosophical logic.

He asserted that inference and direct perception are the only valid kinds of knowledge and that, in the processes of the mind, cognition and the cognized belong to distinct moments. According to him, the object of inference, either analytical or synthetic, is the universal (sāmānyalakṣaṇa) and the object of perception—which may be perceived by the five senses, by the mind, by self-consciousness, or by the practice of Yoga—is the pure particular (svalakṣaṇa).

Dharmakīrti claimed that every person is a transitory being and, in his turn, assumes the continuous existence of an individual. The individual is a continuation of moments, compiled by imaginative and discriminative thinking.



  • The “Seven Treatises on Valid Cognition”
    • Saṃbandhaparikṣhāvrtti (Analysis of Relations)
    • Pramāṇavinishchaya (Ascertainment of Valid Cognition)
    • Pramāṇavarttikakārika (Commentary on Dignaga’s ‘Compendium of Valid Cognition’)
    • Nyāyabinduprakaraṇa (Drop of Reasoning)
    • Hetubindunāmaprakaraṇa (Drop of Reasons)
    • Saṃtānātarasiddhināmaprakaraṇa (Proof of Others’ Continuums)
    • Vādanyāyanāmaprakaraṇa (Reasoning for Debate)


  • An early work is Buddhist Logic (1932) by Fyodor Shcherbatskoy, although this is now extremely dated in the light of more recent research.

A more contemporary work is:

“Foundations of Dharmakirti’s Philosophy” John D. Dunne, Wisdom Publications, 2004

There is also extensive discussion of the Dharmakirti’s Tibetan reception in:

Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti’s Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations (S U N Y Series in Buddhist Studies), Goerges Dreyfus, State University of New York Press, 1996

Dharmakirti Dharmakirti Дхармакирти Pháp Xứng

buddha monk

buddha monk