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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G109-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

Kokoro is a comprehensive term in Japanese religion, philosophy and aesthetics often translated as ‘heart’, whose range of meanings includes mind, wisdom, aspiration, essence, attention, sincerity and sensibility. In Buddhist texts and in philosophy, kokoro (or shin in its Sino-Japanese reading) denotes mind, heart or inner nature, the site of human sentience or delusion. By extension, in pre-modern theories of art, kokoro signifies simultaneously the emotional capacity of the artist to respond to the natural world, which ideally catalyzes the act of creation; the parallel ability of an audience to respond to such a work of art and thus indirectly to the experience of the artist; and finally the evaluation of such a work as possessing the ‘right conception’, kokoro ari or alternatively ushin.

Citing this article:
Viswanathan, Meera. Kokoro, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G109-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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