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Translating HappinessA Cross-Cultural Lexicon of Well-Being$
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Tim Lomas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037488

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037488.001.0001

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(p.37) 2 Feelings
Translating Happiness

Tim Lomas

The MIT Press

This chapter outlines the first of the three meta-categories that together constitute the theory of wellbeing presented in the book. Its focus is feelings (encompassing not only emotions, but qualia more broadly), which constitute the main way in which wellbeing is experienced. This meta-category is formed of two subsidiary categories, positive feelings (i.e., states of pleasure) and ambivalent feelings (i.e., involving a dialectical mixture of light and dark qualities). These in turn are woven together from multiple themes, identified through the analysis of untranslatable words. The category of positive feelings comprises seven broad themes: peace and calm; contentment and satisfaction; savouring and appreciation; cosiness and homeliness; revelry and fun; joy and euphoria; and bliss and nirvāṇa. In addition, wellbeing was found to also involve a range of more ambivalent feelings, featuring five main themes: hope and anticipation; longing; pathos; appreciation of imperfection; and sensitivity to mystery. Together, these categories and themes cover the spectrum of feelings involved in wellbeing.

Keywords:   Feelings, Emotions, Qualia, Positive, Pleasure, Ambivalent, Dialectics

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