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Sāmānyalakṣaṇa (T. spyi mtshan, སྤྱི་མཚན་; C. gongxian), or "generally characterized thing" is defined as "the conceptual superimposition of that which appears as a universal."[1]

In Buddhist logic and epistemology, this term is contrasted with svalakṣaṇa (a particularly characterized thing).

Alternative Translations

  • Generally characterized phenomena[2]
  • Universal (Dunne)
  • general characteristic, general quality, shared mark (Buswell)


  1. ཐུན་མོང་བར་སྣང་བའི་སྒྲོ་བཏགས་
  2. Dunne has objected to the use of the word 'phenomenon' here. See Dunne (2004), p. 83, n. 46

Further Reading

  • John D. Dunne, Foundations of Dharmakirti's Philosophy, Wisdom Publications, 2004
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