Nyāya (Sanskrit: न्याय, nyā-yá), literally meaning "justice", "rules", "method" or "judgment", is one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hinduism. This school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology.
- The first of the “Brahmanical” systems in the logical order of Indian thought (for their chronological order is uncertain, and they are in all essentials contemporary) is a body of logical theory extending over two millenniums. Nyaya means an argument, a way of leading the mind to a conclusion.
- Like another Aristotle, [Gautama] seeks the structure of reasoning in the syllogism, and finds the crux of argument in the middle term;VI like another James or Dewey he looks upon knowledge and thought as pragmatic tools and organs of human need and will, to be tested by their ability to lead to successful action.64 He is a realist, and will have nothing to do with the sublime idea that the world ceases to exist when no one takes the precaution to perceive it. Gautama’s predecessors in Nyaya were apparently atheists; his successors became epistemologists. His achievement was to give India an organon of investigation and thought, and a rich vocabulary of philosophical terms.