APOHA (Sanskrit—exclusion; properly speaking, anyapoha—exclusion of another [meaning] or anyapohavada—the doctrine of the exclusion of another)—a technical term of Buddhist philosophy to designate a theory of meaning.
Buddhist logicians rejected the possibility of any general concepts arising which would grasp external reality which changes from moment to moment (ksanikatva) and is unrepeatable (lacking similarities).
Generalization (the creation of a universal) is a process that makes mental images distant from perceptions (which grasp individual beings) and which leads to non-reality; concepts are therefore illusory.
Words refer to concepts and have no real relation to things, nor do they carry any content that could apply to things. A universal (a general concept) arises by a distinction of an object from among objects different from it.
Shantaraksita (725–788) emphasized the positive aspect (the meaning of a word is a positive but illusory mental image), and Dharmottara (c. 750–810) emphasized the negative aspect (the meaning of a word is a negative, and a universal is a negative designation of a difference).
The law of the double negative held only when there were two negations of the same type, while apoha applied at the same time to both types.
The thesis that the individual is the objection of verbal cognition is also rejected, as is the thesis that the conditions of truth can be formulated in terms of the immediate relations between a word and a thing.
Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, Le 1932; A. Kunst, Probleme der Buddhistischen Logik in der Darstellung des Tattvasamgraha (Zagadnienia logiki buddyjskiej wg Tattvasagrahy-Siatnerakszty [Problems of Buddhist logic according to Tattvasagraha-Shatnerakshti], Kr 1939;
A. Akamatsu, Évolution de la théorie de l’apoha: L’Apohaprakarana de Jnanaśrimitra, P 1979; Analytical Philosophy in Comparative Perspective, Dor 1985; Buddhist Logic and Epistemology, Dor 1986; M. St. Zięba,
Teoria znaczenia jako wykluczenia innych znaczeń (anyapohavada) w ujęciu Śantaraksity i Kamalaśili [[[Wikipedia:Theory|Theory]] of meaning as the exclusion of other meanings ((anyapohavada) in the thought of Shantaraksita i Kamalashila, Lb 1987 (mpsKUL).