Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Aesthetics

On the Aesthetic Transcendence

Author CaoQiuYue
Tutor LiLuNing
School Shandong University
Course Literature and Art
Keywords post-practical aesthetics Aesthetic transcendence western contemporary philosophical aesthetics
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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Germinating in the later 1970s and taking its shape in the 1990s, the "post-practical aesthetics" is a Chinese contemporary aesthetics and aesthetic thought in literature and art which is rised from reflecting and animadverting on Chinese main aesthetic school named Practical Aesthetics. Mainly it covers Yang Chunshi’s Super-aesthetics and Pan Zhichang’s Life-Aesthetics. With its criticizing goal aiming at philosophical foundation: practice, post-practical aesthetics claims that practical noumenon should be replaced by new one: being or life, and according to this re-explain what aesthetics is so as to establish a new aesthetic system. It obviously bases its philosophical and theories on western contemporary philosophies and continues to keep aesthetic as its philosophical orientation, consciously constructing metaphysical shape. Aesthetic transcendence, as a core category and key concept in post-practical aesthetic theory, explaining its meaning, contributes us to understanding drawing on experience of post-practical aesthetics for western contemporary philosophical aesthetics and to surveying its meaning and reflecting on its limitations, thus putting forward constructive ideas for constructingChinese contemporary aesthetics.Starting with combing categories of "transcendence" and "aesthetic transcendence", we explain the meaning of aesthetic transcendence in Post-practical aesthetic theory. And then through making them connected with western philosophical aesthetics, we can investigate the aesthetic transcendence theory’s drawing on western philosophical aesthetic theory.In the course of historical development of Chinese and western language and literature, "transcendence" has gradually formed its meaning of exceeding certain limit and of achieving certain extent, pointing at free yearning for spiritual freedom in nature. While the category of "aesthetic transcendence" in the comparison with scientific and religion transcendences shows its meaning out, that is, it places itself in real life and pursues internal unlimited freeness by opening being existent by itself.The thesis, firstly by introducing the different understanding of aesthetic transcendence in practical aesthetics and in new practical aesthetics, explains some issues concerning aesthetic transcendence in post-practical aesthetics, which establishes "aesthetic transcendence theory" in logical starting point and on philosophical basis. The meaning of aesthetic transcendence points at negation, criticism and sublimation of reality, which advocates individuality, being instant and experience of beauty appreciation and yearns for its freeness and idealness and has the characteristics of being metaphysical and super-transcendent, finally pointing at ultimate man’s pursuit.Chapter two mainly discuss, in post-practical aesthetics, Aesthetic transcendence theory’s using and drawing on experience of western contemporary philosophical aesthetics for references. Aesthetic transcendence theory, which uses the concept of "inter-subjectivity" in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and changes subject-object relation into relation between two life substance, and accordingly explains freeness being deal and experience of beauty appreciation and beauty’s negation, criticism and sublimation for reality. And getting inspiration from existentialism master Martin Heidegger and Martin Buber, it explains being metaphysical、transcendent and experience. By using "visual threshold integration" in Hermeneutic, subject and object develop toward new visual threshold in integration, and aesthetic transcendence seeks life meaning through experience. Aesthetic transcendence uses Frankfurt School’s socially critical theory and maintain man’s existence and life meaning by negating and criticizing society. It draws on experiences of Bergson’s "experience" theory and "intuitiveness" theory, and therefore finds philosophical foundation for being experience and individuality of aesthetic transcendence theory. It endows transcendence which aesthetic activities own with ultimate pursuit by eliminating theological notions in Paul Tillich’s philosophy.Chapter there discusses meanings and limitations of aesthetic transcendence theory. Its meaning is explained from aspects of aesthetics itself, art and social life, while its limitations is shown from its vanity historically potential meaning, individual inclination of beauty appreciation, misinterpreting of Marx and unclearness of concepts. In chapter four, we probe into aesthetic transcendence theory’s final destination by discussing the practical view of Marx. My conclusion is that Marx connects beauty with man’s liberation history, while man’s historical liberation is practical activities achieved historically, that is, develops the useful and discard the useless of practical dissimilation. Only then aesthetic transcendence is likely. Aesthetic transcendence theory shows its shortage because of its abstract and extensive about philosophical basis and logical starting point.

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