Anekāntavāda, nayavāda, and syādvāda: The history and significance of the jaina doctrines of relativity

Jeffery D. Long, Elizabethtown College


This chapter outlines the basic import, intellectual history, and contemporary relevance of a complex of three Jaina doctrines: anekāntavāda, the doctrine of the complexity of reality; nayavāda, the doctrine of perspectives; and syādvāda, the doctrine of conditional predication. Their development is traced from the middle of the first millennium to the present, as is their relevance to contemporary issues of interreligious conflict and clashing worldviews.