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Visions of CompassionWestern Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human
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Richard J. Davidson and Anne Harrington

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130430.001.0001

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Is Compassion An Emotion? A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Mental Typologies

Is Compassion An Emotion? A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Mental Typologies

(p.31) 3 Is Compassion An Emotion? A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Mental Typologies
Visions of Compassion

Georges Dreyfus

Oxford University Press

It is observed in this chapter that there is no Tibetan term for emotion. This is rather interesting, as emotions are a constant element of human nature. Tibetans have come up with a term that has the same sentiment as emotion, translating into the experience of feeling. But emotion is a word that is hard to describe and analyze as it is more of an intense experience rather than what can be perceived by the senses. It varies from person to person in the levels of intensity and perception. The chapter attempts to see the Tibetan view of this word, whether it integrates into their culture and their religion, as data would show that they refer to mental states such as jealousy and anger, ones that can be interpreted in our view as emotions.

Keywords:   emotion, human nature, feeling, experience, jealousy, culture, mental states, anger

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