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Should this entry still be labeled as a stub or has it covered enough? -- itistoday (Talk) 04:53, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Symbolisation of 4th line?[edit]

"~(x & ~x)" doesn't symbolise "neither", I think the fourth line of the tetralemma would have to be changed to, "~(x v ~x)". -- AJ3D (talk) 21:37, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merger: Catuskoti into Tetralemma[edit]

Proposition: Whatever can be salvaged from 'Catuskoti' should be merged into the Tetralemma article; noting the use/meaning of the term in the Buddhist and Indian logical context.

Formal opinion (i.e., !vote)[edit]

  • Support merge, suggest rename of article to 'Logics of four alternatives'. See note in discussion below. — Charles Stewart (talk) 08:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)


I disagree to a merger of Catuskoti and Tetralemma articles at present. A bridging article of comparative investigation and analysis would be valuable in the future, but unsound until the Greek tradition of Tetralemma is actualized and clearly represented in its own Wikipedia article. Until the Tetralemma Wikipedia article is developed from within the Greek tradition, merging the Catuskoti and Tetralemma articles is demonstrably: acculturation, misattribution and conflation of distinct traditions. These three charges may be tallied against much Western scholarship of the fourfold pure negation that has not clearly differentiated between the two. Hence, the profound, protracted confusion that is clearly evident upon investigation. Wayman (1977) proffers that the Catuskoti may be employed in different ways and often these are not clearly stated in discussion nor the tradition. This may or may not hold for the Tetralemma. Wayman (1977) holds that the fourfold negation of the catuskoti may be applied in suite, that is all lineal negation are applicable to a given topic forming a paradoxical matrix; or they may be applied like trains running on tracks, where individual lineal arguments are applicable to given situations and contexts. This may or may not be evident and true for the Tetralemma. These differences in particular establish contrast, texture and distinction with the Greek tradition and Dharmic Tradition of the Tetralemma and Catuskoti, respectively. Also, predicate logic has been applied to the Dharmic Tradition of Catuskoti, or stated differently, the Catuskoti has been viewed through the Greek tradition of Tetralemma, rather than as a distinct tradition in its own right. Though this acculturation and comparative analysis in some quarters has established interesting correlates and extension of the logico-mathematical traditions of the Greeks, it has also obscured the logico-grammatical traditions of the Dharmic Traditions of Catuskoti within modern English discourse.
B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 02:25, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
B9 fails to make a case against a merge. It is precisely the point of a broader article that in can put the differences between phenomena in perspective and explain them properly. The case against a merge would be that treatment of one would be distracting and annoying for readers who are seeking information on the other. I would be surprised if that were the case for this proposed article.— Charles Stewart (talk) 08:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Read again. Your comprehension is flawed. I am neither for nor against, but hold that a merger is not yet timely. I propose a stay on the merger until all articles are sufficiently progressed. In addition, why may there not be distinct articles and an article showing historical interaction and iteration of the traditions and current perspectives? The traditions did, do and continue to dialogue. Each article may potentially be rich in its own right, yes? B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 07:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I apologise, I had misunderstood. My general experience is that it is better to grow articles together, and then break up articles as they grow, which makes for broader articles with richer interconnections. But given the trivial content the tertalemma article has at present, perhaps we should wait until at least there is enough structure to compare the articles more substantially, side by side. — Charles Stewart (talk) 08:55, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I think that it would make sense to have an article that covers tetralemma, Catuṣkoṭi, and Belnaps four truth values for relevance logic. I've just put the following footnote up at the logic article:

The four Catuṣkoṭi logical divisions are formally very close to the four opposed propositions of the Greek tetralemma, which in turn are analogous to the four truth values of modern relevance logic Cf. Belnap (1977); Jayatilleke, K. N., (1967, The logic of four alternatives, in Philosophy East and West, University of Hawaii Press).

I propose that the merged article should be called Logics of four alternatives, following Jayatilleke (1967). — Charles Stewart (talk) 08:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm having a tough time deciding whether the above discussion is consious self-parody on the part of the participants. High point (remembering the topic under discussion): I am neither for nor against... Added bonus: use of dialogue as a verb. EEng (talk) 15:01, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I have no opinion on Catuskoti but I would like Tetralemma to be preserved as it is the commonly accepted reference to Nagarjuna's work, even though the word is Greek. Sorry, but Catuskoti is obscure and "modern logic" is only a microbe when compared to Nagarjuna -- so why co-opt Narguna's work under this heading? Meaning that people who are looking for clear and simple explanations such as Nagarjuna's should not be led into the confused rhetoric of the modern writers who borrowed his stuff and and likely claimed his work as their own. Just one man's opinion. Steve Harnish (talk) 21:20, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Reject The tetralemma was posited as part of an formal axiomatic system. It represents the advance of scientific logic. For poetic waxing about A, not A, and not not A there is a presocratic Greek tradition with thinkers like Thales. The importance of the tetralemma is that it is a self-conscious, algorithmic and syllogistic structure for logical evaluation that is defined in terms of actual (not interpretted) propositional variables, such as 'A', which all readers understood as representing any possible proposition. In contrast, the higher level structure of the Catuskoti appears confusing and absent in the article (as it currently stands). Any attempt to relate the Catuski to a recognizable formal system of propositional logic appears to require expert examination and reinterpretation so that similar terms as the tetralemma can be identified. Mrdthree (talk) 13:37, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Reject I do not think that the articles should be merged because the Catuṣkoṭi specifically is: refutation-of-proposition-itself, which enumerates itself as 'four possibilities'. The Tetralemma specifically is: assumption-of-proposition-itself, which enumerates itself as 'four possibilities'. The 'four possibilities' which enumerate are solely due to proposition-itself. Grim Nexus (talk) 05:12, 22 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Which greek logicians used tetralemma?[edit]

I've been trying to find out which of the greeks used this but having no luck. Are we so certain this is used by the greeks?

Edit: Also, from the google searches I've done, all references to tetralemma seems to come from the Buddhist catuskoti. From general usage to academic papers, the mention of tetralemma explicitly seems to reference the Buddhist notion of catuskoti. The only Greek reference seems to be from this article. Thus I believe the statement "tetralemma is a figure that features prominently in the classical logic of the Greeks" is an inaccurate statement. If there are research on the greek side, let me know. Otherwise, I'm tempted to remove the statement and replace it as a prominent Indian logic term. (talk) 07:02, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Second proposed merger[edit]

A quick search for "tetralemma" "greek" on Google Books brings up a couple interesting results:

Although it has been argued that Pyrrho's use of the tetralemma reveals that his thought derives from Buddhism, this has been shown to be an untenable view because the tetralemma already occurs in earlier Greek philosophical texts. Plato (428-347 BC) quotes a tetralemma in the Republic spoken by Glaucon and responded to by "Socrates", and Aristotle too quotes a tetralemma in his discussion of those who deny the Law of Non-Contradiction. (See Bett's (2000: 12-131, 135-137) excellent discussion of their usage of the tetralemma, bearing in mind his view of Pyrrho as a dogmatic metaphysician; see Appendix A for discussion and citations.)[1]
and For a recent discussion of these issues see Beckwith (2015). He notes that the tetralemma is a figure that features even in classical Greek discussions of logic by Plato and Aristotle in their critique of the skeptics, but is largely rejected by them. See pp. 203-205. However, Kuzminski (2008) argues that the Greek tetralemma may have been influenced by the Buddhist catuskoti. It is also important to keep in mind the Buddhist catuskoti is a denial of the four positions expressed in the tetralemma. See also Jayatilleke (1967).[2].

In its current state the article is totally redundant with Catuṣkoṭi, but it looks like there's enough material out there for Tetralemma to stand on its own. - (talk) 17:01, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Actually, I just realized that the suggestion from 2009 was to bring catuskoti into this article. After looking at the way the catuskoti article is written that might actually be a good idea: scrap that article entirely, write a brand new section in this one, spin it off again if it grows large enough. - (talk) 17:16, 23 December 2016 (UTC)