Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism claim that some human emotions are inherently good, and others almost always afflictive, destructive, and bad. Compassion is in the first category, whereas anger is in the second. This chapter examines arguments from Korean neo-Confucianism and Buddhism for classifying moral emotions as wholesome and unwholesome, non-afflictive and its relevance to contemporary ethics and moral psychology. Taxonomies of emotions from Paul Ekman, P.F. Strawson, Buddhism, and neo-Confucianism are critically discussed in relation to the “four-seven debate” in Korean neo-Confucianism and in relation to Buddhist debates about poisons in human nature.
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