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Is compassion an emotion? A cross-cultural exploration of mental typologies
Author Davidson, Richard J. ; Harrington, Anne ; Dreyfus, Georges
Source Visions of compassion: Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature
Pages31 - 45
PublisherOxford University Press
Publisher Url
LocationLondon, England, UK [倫敦, 英格蘭, 英國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
KeywordBuddhist tradition; Buddhist philospphy; Buddhist epistemology; metta
AbstractThis chapter explores whether or not compassion is an emotion,using a cross-cultural comparison of the mental typologies used by both speakers of modern English and Buddhist traditions. To analyze these mental typologies, the author focuses on Tibetan views of the Abidharma, complemented by ideas taken from Tibetan interpretations of Buddhist epistemology,which includes mind and mental factors and positive and negative factors. The author concludes that there are positive emotions in Buddhist tradition,and compassion,at least in certain forms, is an emotion. This is so despite the fact that Buddhists do not recognize emotion as a category and that no Buddhist category can be mapped onto emotion. Although many negative mental factors are emotions, not all are. Similarly,not all positive mental factors are emotions, for example,wisdom. Moreover,although Buddhist loving-kindness and compassion can be emotions, they are not necessarily so,or at least not immediately so. The author elaborates this point,which goes to the heart of whether compassion is an emotion. He concludes while the mental typologies used by both sides are incommensurable,the experiences of traditional Buddhist practitioners can be translated through "our" modern English categories.
Created date2003.09.19
Modified date2019.08.26

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