anaikāntika

(‘inconclusive’)

The Nyāya system of philosophy describes five kinds of ‘hetvābhāsas’ or fallacies in logic, one of which is ‘anaikāntika,’ also called ‘savyabhicāra.’ This fallacy occurs when the ostensible middle-term violates the general rule of inference, namely, that it must be universally related to the major term or that the major term must be present in all cases in which the middle is present. For instance, consider the statement: ‘All knowable objects are fiery. The hill is knowable. Therefore the hill is fiery.’ Here the middle term ‘knowable’ is indifferently related to both fiery objects like the kitchen and fireless objects like the lake. All knowable objects being thus not fiery, we cannot argue that a hill is fiery because it is knowable.

See also HETVĀBHĀSA.