A Monstrous Inference called Mahāvidyānumāna and Cantor’s Diagonal Argument

Nirmalya Guha

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A mahāvidyā inference is used for establishing another inference. Its Reason (hetu) is normally an omnipresent (kevalānvayin) property. Its Target (sādhya) is defined in terms of a general feature that is satisfied by different properties in different cases. It assumes that there is no (relevant) case that has the absence of its Target. The main defect of a mahāvidyā inference μ is a counterbalancing inference (satpratipakṣa) that can be formed by a little modification of μ. The discovery of its counterbalancing inference can invalidate such an inference. This paper will argue that Cantor’s diagonal argument too shares some features of the mahāvidyā inference. A diagonal argument has a counterbalanced statement. Its main defect is its counterbalancing inference. Apart from presenting an epistemological perspective that explains the disquiet over Cantor’s proof, this paper would show that both the mahāvidyā and diagonal argument formally contain their own invalidators.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)557-579
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of Indian Philosophy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Cultural Studies
    • Philosophy


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