In Indian philosophies anumana or inference is almost universally recognized as one of the valid means for gaining knowledge. Buddhism and VAISHESHIKA accepted only two valid means—anu-mana and direct perception (PRATYAKSHA). The SAMKHYA school recognized direct perception, inference, and verbal testimony (shabda). NYAYA added a fourth: analogy (upamana). In JAINISM, anumana is admitted as valid under the wider category of “non perceptual” knowledge, which includes other elements such as memory. Only the CHARVAKAs or materialist philosophers denied the validity of anumana, thinking truth could be gained only by direct perception.
   Further reading: S. N. Dasgupta, A History of Indian Phi-losophy, 5 vols. (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975); Karl Potter, Presuppositions of India’s Philosophies (Engle-wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1963).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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