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Citation: Where Will Aesthetics Go: Thomas Munro’s Way of Cross-civilization Comparative Aesthetics[J]. Academic Monthly, 2018, 50(04) :108-117. shu

Where Will Aesthetics Go: Thomas Munro’s Way of Cross-civilization Comparative Aesthetics

  • With the influence of natural science, it has been an important trend to scientize the research of aesthetics in modern Western countries. When the scientific aesthetics, represented by the Gustav Theodor Fechner’s experimental aesthetics, is in trouble, Thomas Munro keenly focuses on the emerging comparative aesthetics, he believesthat this is another feasible way which is more suitablefor the development law of aesthetic itself. This is not only a natural extension of an approach to “from below” approach of scientific aesthetics, but also the idea makes Munro become the pioneer of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics in Western countries. Munro himself does not use the formulation of “cross-civilization comparative aesthetics”, he uses the term of “comparative aesthetics”, and does not make a strict distinction between civilization and culture. The terminology of “cross-civilization comparative aesthetics” is more accurate and closer to Munro’s intention. Munro intends to break through occidental centrism, and regards the East and the West aesthetics as the core of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics.According to Munro, cross-civilization comparative aesthetics can be traced back to G. W. F. Hegel, the aestheticians of United States consciously develop the approach in 1940s. Munro reveals the basic connotation of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics, and puts forward the specific ways to find out the commonality shared by different civilizations to establish the universal aesthetic theory. After in around half a century, the cross-civilization comparative aesthetics has become an important research paradigm that has been widely accepted by the international mainstream academia
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          Where Will Aesthetics Go: Thomas Munro’s Way of Cross-civilization Comparative Aesthetics

          Abstract: With the influence of natural science, it has been an important trend to scientize the research of aesthetics in modern Western countries. When the scientific aesthetics, represented by the Gustav Theodor Fechner’s experimental aesthetics, is in trouble, Thomas Munro keenly focuses on the emerging comparative aesthetics, he believesthat this is another feasible way which is more suitablefor the development law of aesthetic itself. This is not only a natural extension of an approach to “from below” approach of scientific aesthetics, but also the idea makes Munro become the pioneer of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics in Western countries. Munro himself does not use the formulation of “cross-civilization comparative aesthetics”, he uses the term of “comparative aesthetics”, and does not make a strict distinction between civilization and culture. The terminology of “cross-civilization comparative aesthetics” is more accurate and closer to Munro’s intention. Munro intends to break through occidental centrism, and regards the East and the West aesthetics as the core of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics.According to Munro, cross-civilization comparative aesthetics can be traced back to G. W. F. Hegel, the aestheticians of United States consciously develop the approach in 1940s. Munro reveals the basic connotation of cross-civilization comparative aesthetics, and puts forward the specific ways to find out the commonality shared by different civilizations to establish the universal aesthetic theory. After in around half a century, the cross-civilization comparative aesthetics has become an important research paradigm that has been widely accepted by the international mainstream academia

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