Western Theory’s Chinese Transformation


German classical aesthetics, featuring a systematic analysis of concepts and theories, plays a fundamental role in the founding of Chinese modern aesthetics. From the 1980s, when the spread of Western theories began to flourish, Chinese scholars assimilated deconstructionist thought (for example, that of Deleuze) and started to reflect on German classical aesthetics as represented by Kant and Hegel. Chinese aesthetics presents various characteristics in the confrontation between German classical aesthetics and French deconstructionist thought. From the perspective of German classical aesthetics, China has no philosophy, tragedy, or system. The Chinese culture became a thinking resource for criticizing essentialism and dualism in the West in deconstructionist thought. With the change of frame of reference, our evaluation of traditional Chinese aesthetics has been reshaped, implying that modern Chinese aesthetics should be firmly rooted in local concerns, accept classical Western ideas critically, and secure knowledge production and creation in an open vision.