Philosophy and Aesthetic: To Begin with the Case of Western Postmodern Art


Philosophy is, generally speaking, divorced from real life, and therefore, monotonous and rigid. But the author maintains that philosophy must be poetic. He advocates philosophy with beautiful features. Western postmodern art is closely related to real life, so art becomes life-oriented and vitalized. Philosophy may be inspired by Western postmodern art as follows: It should philosophize about life; philosophers may use reason to argue for an art-oriented realm of life and achieve a philosophy featuring beauty. Traditional Western philosophy is typical of pursuit of abstract concepts and ideals and an estrangement from the sensible world and life. To make philosophy achieve artistic beauty, we must bring to an end traditional Western philosophy. With the end of old philosophy, a new philosophy came into being with the name of “post-philosophy”. One of the features of “post-philosophy” is the union of philosophy and poetry, which is no other than making philosophy achieve artistic beauty. The union of philosophy and poetry is also an important feature of most of traditional Chinese philosophy. Traditional Chinese philosophy ,especially, that of Daoism is similar to Western post-modern art. Both of them stress the realm of life and uphold the beauty of life, mind and spirit. Since the middle of the last century, under the influence of traditional Western philosophy, Chinese philosophy lost its traditional beauty. To keep this beauty, we need to go further and understand philosophy as a discipline to upgrade the realm of life. The beauty of life realm comes before the beauty of philosophy. Therefore, Chinese philosophy needs to become life-oriented like postmodern art. Inheriting and developing Daoism philosophy while absorbing the philosophy of life shown through postmodern art, seems to be a good way for us to enhance the realm of life and pursue the beauty of philosophy.

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Zhang, S. (2012) Philosophy and Aesthetic: To Begin with the Case of Western Postmodern Art. Open Journal of Philosophy, 2, 136-142. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2012.22022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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