Artistry as Methodology: Aesthetic Experience and Chinese Philosophy



Although aesthetics has been to some extent marginalized in western philosophy, within the Chinese philosophical tradition aesthetics plays a key role. This article explores Chinese aesthetics as a site of valuable resources for rethinking the ways in which we conceptualize philosophical activity. After introducing a few distinct features of the Chinese aesthetic tradition, the article examines aesthetic distance in terms of guan, he, and ying, Chinese conceptions of artists and participants, and aesthetic suggestiveness or the inexhaustibility of a work of art, in order to suggest that the Chinese philosophical tradition might contribute its sense of connection between style or method of doing philosophy and aesthetics to a contemporary metaphor of philosophy as aesthetic experience.