Li Yu's Theory of Drama: A Moderate Moralism

Philosophy East and West 66 (1):73-91 (2016)
Feng Peng
Peking University
Chinese drama was developed in the thirteenth century, but its roots can be traced back to music, one of the six arts, the main subjects in the Confucian curriculum. Yue is not only a synthesis of instrumental music, song, poetry, and dance as aspects of the fine arts, but also a method to promote moral education. In Confucianism, moral implications trump all other considerations in the discussion and evaluation of yue. This is what makes Confucianism the radical moralism that dominated Chinese aesthetics before the Han dynasty. But Confucian moralism was attacked by Ji Kang 嵇康, a great scholar, musician, and Daoist philosopher who argued for the radical autonomism of music in his..
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2016.0020
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