Nietzsche ascribes to Herder's views on aesthetics and further develops upon the connection between aesthetics and freedom. He advocates an aesthetic realization of a “nature human being,” echoing Rousseau's call for getting “back to nature.” The concept of nature in Nietzsche’s aesthetics leads us towards a non-moralism that goes beyond good and evil, its purpose being to liberate the body from Christian asceticism. This project shall also explain how Zhuangzi views self-transformation and self-understanding from the aesthetic perspective of the internal other. Paradoxically, action from within life’s constraints is the result of the inaction following the acknowledgement of such constraints. Inaction is not passively doing nothing; rather, it is acknowledging the limitations before us and achieving self-liberation. By shifting our perspective, life’s external limitations can be internalized such that the external other becomes the fundamental criterion for self-understanding, namely the internal other. Zhuangzi’s “fasting of the heart” is the technique which enables this shift in perspective. This project takes the relationship between aesthetics and freedom as a lens through which to explore the following questions: Is the power of artistic liberation manifested in the formation of subjectivity or in its deconstruction? If artistic activities involve individual liberation, is there any political freedom? What is the relationship between aesthetics and freedom in the thoughts of Nietzsche and Zhuangzi?
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2019/07/31|
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