The Confucian Revival in Taiwan: Xu Fuguan and His Theory of Chinese Aesthetics
Téa Sernelj, Author

Xu Fuguan (1904-1982) is one of the central representatives of the second generation of Taiwanese Modern Confucianism. This book focuses primarily on his fundamental contributions to the philosophy of this intellectual current, particularly his reinterpretations and reevaluations of the basic axiological concepts of the original Confucian and Daoist aesthetics. It also addresses issues related to his attempts to preserve, systematize, and modernize traditional Chinese aesthetics. Xu Fuguan's theory of the Chinese ideational tradition is defined by the paradigm of the traditional link between ethics and aesthetics. The book highlights the importance of the complementary interaction between Confucianism and Daoism in Xu's theory. In his interpretation of Chinese aesthetics, Xu also incorporated a comparative perspective and contrasted it with Western aesthetics. However, the book shows that his analysis of Western aesthetics is too generalized and therefore problematic. These difficulties are also manifested in Xu's superficial understanding of modern Western art and culture. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the great relevance of his studies of traditional Chinese aesthetics. Xu Fuguan's central theoretical contributions, such as the concept of concerned consciousness, the concept of qiyun shengdong, and the systematic explanation of the axiological foundations of Chinese aesthetics presented and analyzed in this book, are among the most important philosophical innovations elaborated by Modern Confucian theory. These novel approaches are also interesting from the perspective of global theoretical discourses, as they reveal important, culturally conditioned differences between traditional Western and traditional Chinese philosophy in terms of their respective ways of perceiving and interpreting reality.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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