Difference between revisions of "Lakṣaṇa"

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'''Lakṣaṇa''' (Sanskrit; P. ''lakkhaṇa''  T. ''mtshan nyid'') refers to either the defining characteristics or main characterics of something. The term is used in a variety of contexts in Buddhist philosophy. It is commonly translated as "mark", "sign", "characteristics", etc.
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'''Lakṣaṇa''' (Sanskrit; P. ''lakkhaṇa''  T. ''mtshan nyid'') refers to either the defining characteristics or main characterics of something. The term is used in a variety of contexts in Buddhist philosophy. It is commonly translated as "mark", "sign", "characteristics", etc.<ref>{{Buswell inline full|lakṣaṇa}}</ref>
  
==As defining characteristics==
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==As defining characteristics or definition==
When used in the sense of a '''definition''' or '''defining characteristics'''is a very important one in Buddhist philosophy, so much so that the [[sutra vehicle]] is often known as the [[vehicle of characteristics]]. A correct and useful definition must avoid the three faults of being too narrow, too broad or impossible.
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When used in the sense of a '''definition''' or '''defining characteristics''' within Buddhist philosophy, it is said that a correct and useful definition must avoid the three faults of being too narrow, too broad or impossible.
  
==In Pramana==
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===In Pramana===
In [[Pramana]], definition (''mtshan nyid'') is usually discussed in terms of the triad of '''definition''' (''mtshan nyid''), '''name''' (''lakṣya''; ''mtshon bya'') and '''basis of definition''' (''mtshan gzhi'').
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In [[Pramana]], definition (''lakṣaṇa'') is usually discussed in terms of the triad of '''definition''' (''lakṣaṇa''), '''name''' (''lakṣya''; ''mtshon bya'') and '''basis of definition''' (''mtshan gzhi'').<ref name=r1>{{RW citation|Definition}}</ref>
  
For example, in the case of a vase:
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For example, in the case of a vase:<ref name=r1/>
  
 
*the '''definition''' is something like "narrow-necked, bulbous object capable of holding water"
 
*the '''definition''' is something like "narrow-necked, bulbous object capable of holding water"

Latest revision as of 03:09, 9 November 2019

Lakṣaṇa (Sanskrit; P. lakkhaṇa T. mtshan nyid) refers to either the defining characteristics or main characterics of something. The term is used in a variety of contexts in Buddhist philosophy. It is commonly translated as "mark", "sign", "characteristics", etc.[1]

As defining characteristics or definition

When used in the sense of a definition or defining characteristics within Buddhist philosophy, it is said that a correct and useful definition must avoid the three faults of being too narrow, too broad or impossible.

In Pramana

In Pramana, definition (lakṣaṇa) is usually discussed in terms of the triad of definition (lakṣaṇa), name (lakṣya; mtshon bya) and basis of definition (mtshan gzhi).[2]

For example, in the case of a vase:[2]

  • the definition is something like "narrow-necked, bulbous object capable of holding water"
  • the name (or definiendum) is "vase"
  • and the basis of definition (or illustration) is the particular instance, such as the green vase on your table.

References

  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), entry for lakṣaṇa
  2. 2.0 2.1 RW icon height 18px.png Definition