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WHAT, IF ANYTHING, IS MAHĀYĀNA BUDDHISM? PROBLEMS OF DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS

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This study investigates some problems regarding the definition of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Tracing the history of the notion in modern scholarship, it pays particular attention to the question of the relation between Mahāyāna and so-called Hīnayāna or Sectarian Buddhism. Finding the commonly used methods of classification which rely on necessary and sufficient conditions to be inadequate to the task, it suggests the alternative employment of polythetic classification, a method which permits a constantly variable set of questions and data to be taken into account in the most flexible and accommodating manner.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156852702760559705
2002-11-01
2016-12-07

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