Buddhist tradition; Buddhist philospphy; Buddhist epistemology; metta
This 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.