Therefore (if I am not misunderstanding Kataoka's point), Dharmottara concluded that apoha is neither external nor internal (nāyam āntaro na bāhyaḥ). Does this mean that, since it is unreal, it cannot be external (and since it is not part of the cognition, it is not internal)?
This apoha is, follows Dharmottara, only super-imposed (āropita) and is not real in any sense (neither as absence –as with Dignāga– nor as part of the cognition –as with Dharmakīrti). But since there is no subject and since the apoha is not part of the cognition, how does this super-imposition occur? Because of residual impressions (vāsanās)?
Dharmottara further specifies it as vyāvṛttichāyā ("shadow of exclusion" or "exclusion as shadow") and as dṛṣyachāyā ("shadow of the perceptible entity"). I am not sure about the translation of the first term and about the interpretation of the second one. Whose shadow is it? How can it be without any support (neither external nor internal), but still able to have a practical efficacy (arthakriyā)?