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Contemporary Chinese Aesthetics

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Edited By Zhu Liyuan and Gene Blocker

This book is a collection of translations of recent work by contemporary Chinese aestheticians. Because of the relative isolation of China until recently, little is known of this rich and ongoing aesthetics tradition in China. Although some of the articles are concerned with the traditional ancient Chinese theories of art and beauty, many are inspired by Western aesthetics, including Marxism, and all are involved in cross-cultural comparisons of Chinese and Western aesthetic traditions.

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Modern Chinese Aesthetics: Yie Lang 239

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Modem Chinese Aesthetics Yie Lang The study of the history of Chinese aesthetics is significant in many ways, but in this paper I want to discuss its significance in one important respect-the place of Chinese aesthetics in the development of a modem international system of aesthetics. In the new historical period of socialist construction of the "four modernizations," an important task confronting Chinese aesthetics is to construct a modem aesthetic system. This is important for the construction of both the socialist spiritual and the socialist material civilization. In my view this modem aesthetics system should include the following: 1. a grounding of contemporary aesthetics on the foundation of traditional classical aesthetics; 2. the integration of Chinese with Western aesthetics; 3. the interaction with both social and natural sciences; 4. a combination of theoretical with practical aesthetics. Of these four, I want to concentrate in this paper on the second, the integration of Chinese and Western aesthetics. In the past most discussions of aesthetics, within the international community, took place basically from within the scope of Western culture and did not include contributions from China and other Eastern cultures. This is clearly unilateral and cannot be regarded as a genuinely international, cross-cultural aesthetics, as it claims to be. Today more and more people are recognizing that a genuinely international modem aesthetics must be cross-cultural and therefore 240 Contemporary Chinese Aesthetics must incorporate Eastern, including Chinese, aesthetics. Thus, there is a widely recognized need to somehow integrate Western and Chinese aesthetics. The...

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