Some reflections on Confucian aesthetics and its feminist modalities

Eva K W MAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


It is claimed that the important reasons why Confucianism has such a profound influence on Chinese society and culture are that the central principles of Confucianism preserve traditional Chinese family values, which conformed to the core of the patriarchal religion. This model, while being practiced at the social level, has reinforced strong domination and suppression. However, contemporary and open reading of the philosophical perspectives of Confucianism suggest ideals which could have led to practices very different from those of the patriarchal paradigm carried out in social relations. The reading of Confucian aesthetics, in particular, suggests a harmonious world view which is different from the dualistic and dichotomous model in traditional Western thoughts that feminist scholars critize. This investigation will check out useful resources or references built upon Confucian aesthetics for feminist aestheticians who are looking for aesthetics models other than the traditional Western ones. The discussion will first identify the feminist critiques of the Western traditional aesthetics using the Kantian aesthetics as a representing case. It will then sort out the basic principles of new aesthetics agenda. It will explore some key concepts in Confucian aesthetics and the valuable ideas within. Finally, a careful comparative study at the philosophical level will be conducted to point out the restrictions or limitations for the cross references.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-180
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of the Humanities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Confucian aesthetics
  • Feminist criticism
  • Western traditional aesthetics


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