Arthapatti recognizes not all information is immediately accessible; thus, to use postulation and presumption is considered one method of gaining proper insight and knowledge. It supposes a fact in order to support a well-established fact. However, some scholars consider this a weaker method of gaining knowledge than other pranamas. Certain schools of philosophy do not accept information gained through arthapatti.
Particular examples of knowledge derived through arthapatti include using data on sunrise times to determine the time the sun will rise tomorrow, or observing someone’s weight and eating patterns, and postulating about their dietary habits.
Arthapatti is the fifth of the six pranamas, with the other five being:
- Pratyaksha - perception
- Anumana - inference
- Sabda - testimony
- Upamana - comparison
- Anupalabdhi - non-perception