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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2008, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 229-253     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-008-0015-9
A transition of Chinese humanism and aesthetics from rationalism to irrationalism —With a focus on the debate between Li Zhi and Geng Dingxiang during the Ming Dynasty
XU Jianping
School of Humanities, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200433, China
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Abstract  Chinese people attach importance to intuition and imagery in ways of thinking that are quite sensible, but the result, i.e. the thoughts that are popularized in virtue of political power, are rather rational. These rational thoughts, which were influenced by Buddhism and continually became introspective, had been growing more irrational factors. Up to the middle and late Ming Dynasty, when the economy was developed, they merged with the growing emphasis on daily needs of food and clothes and the envisagement to the utilitarian circumstances, and finally broke through the threshold of rationalism. Under the attack of Geng Dingxiang, Li Zhi who emphasized these thoughts was forced beyond his previous boundaries and led a whole variation in how he viewed a series of issues including values, humanity, ethics and aesthetics. This indicated a historical change from rationalism to irrationalism in Chinese humanism and aesthetics thoughts.
Issue Date: 05 June 2008
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