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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the paradoxical relationship between wisdom and emotions. Whereas a wise philosopher is considered knowledgeable but dispassionate, an Eastern sage cares deeply about others and exudes positive emotions. However, since emotions are vital signals to ourselves and others, both types of wisdom necessarily involve emotion. Specific emotions depend on specific cognitive scenarios and how they implicate us in our own personal projects, whether they are emotional reactions that urge immediate change or long-term emotional sentiments that sustain our positive and negative commitments to others. Emotions make experience memorable and also invite reflection on the commitments they imply. The chapter’s findings agree with Blanchard-Fields and Norris who, in 1995, pointed out that wisdom necessitates the integration of emotion and cognition to develop toward self-awareness, self-transcendence, and wholeness—leading wise people to promote a good life for themselves and their communities.

Keywords: wisdom, emotions, cognition, reflection, mindfulness, compassion, emotion regulation, narrative, self-transcendence, personal identity

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