I am grateful to Martin Cortazzi for pointing out that a unitive
presentation of heart- mind has a long history. He tells me that
heart-mind corresponds to ‘xin’ in Chinese, (sometimes transcribed as
‘hsin’). (Peter Harvey also points out that ‘citta’ in Sanskrit, as
used in Indian Buddhism, has the same meaning)
Hansen (1989 p. 97) explains that ‘We use ‘heart-mind’ to translate
xin. This is because the philosophical psychology of ancient China did
not use a cognitive/affective contrast in their talk of well-honed
He also points out (1992 p. 20) that ‘The common translation of xin
as heart-mind reflects the blending of belief and desire (thought and
feeling, ideas and emotions) into a single complex dispositional
Tu ( 1985 p. 32) provides further evidence in saying:
…the Confucian hsin [xin] must be glossed as ‘heart-mind’ because it
involves both cognitive and affective dimensions of human relations.
This ‘fruitful ambiguity’ is perhaps the result of a deliberate
refusal rather than an unintended failure to make a sharp distinction
between conscience and consciousness. To Yang-Ming [Wang Yang-Ming,
neo-Confucian philosopher 1477-1529] consciousness as cognition and
conscience as affection are not two separable functions of the mind.
Rather, they are integral aspects of a dynamic process whereby man
becomes aware of himself as a moral being. Indeed, the source of
morality depends on their inseparability in a pre-reflective faculty.