Epistemology of the “Six Causes” (六因) in Medieval Chinese Buddhist Logic Based on Kuiji’s Commentary
Weijen Teng

     This is a study of the concept of the "six causes" developed from the Indian Buddhist tradition of Logic and later elaborated by the Chinese Buddhist scholar monks in the Tang dynasty. This study focuses in particular on Kuiji's elaboration of the "six causes" found in his Great Commentary (因明大疏), a commentary to Xuanzang's translation of Sankarasvamin's Nyayapravesa (因明入正理論). In addition to introducing these understudied "six causes", this study attempts to call for a reconsideration of the view that epistemology was overlooked in Chinese Buddhist scholarly works in general and in the Medieval Chinese Buddhist logical studies in particular. In this study, I hope to show that Kuiji's elaboration of the "six causes" exhibits a sophisticated etymology that illustrates how linguistic and spiritual knowledge are complimentary for spiritual cultivation and intellectual learning.