Aesthetic Criticism of Transculturality
In his early preoccupation with aesthetic or literary criticism, Wang Guowei was inspired in part by German idealism and in part by the traditions of Chinese art. In Western philosophy, he was especially influenced by Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, and his revaluation of Chinese literature was marked by a preference for ci poetry. His philosophy of aesthetic criticism gave a central role to the value of art. In his theoretical speculations, Wang Guowei hovered over the vast territory of Chinese culture with conceptual wings borrowed from the West. His aesthetic scholarship was grounded in his native heritage, but greatly benefited from his ability to stand astride both Eastern and Western cultures.