1st Edition

Zehou Li and the Aesthetics of Educational Maturity A Transcultural Reading

By Flora Liuying Wei Copyright 2023
    198 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book articulates a unique conception of aesthetic educational philosophy and its relation to the Chinese world, drawing on the works of the prominent contemporary Chinese philosopher Zehou Li.

    The book outlines an aesthetics approach to educational maturity that recognises both the contributions of Western Enlightenment ideals and Chinese traditions, paving the way for an inclusive and post-comparative philosophy. It offers a nuanced discussion of Zehou Li’s thought and how his work can be framed at the border between traditional and modern China, between China and the West. The book combines a discussion of aesthetics with educational theory and considers their combined implications for educational practice (in particular in the first-person perspectives of students, parents and teachers), in both local and global contexts.

    Providing a way of doing philosophy of education that carefully considers interactions and overlaps between Western and Chinese civilisation, the book will be of great interest to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of educational philosophy, educational theory, and Chinese and cross-cultural philosophy.


    PART I Educational Maturity and an ‘Aesthetic’ Proposal

    Chapter 1 The ‘school sloth’ and the educational maturity

    Chapter 2 An ‘aesthetic’ proposal for educational maturity

    PART II The Transcultural Chinese Aesthetics Through Zehou Li’s Lens

    Chapter 3 Aesthetic metaphysics: by analysing the slogan ‘replacement of religion with aesthetics’

    Chapter 4 Aesthetic ethics: juxtaposing two types of morality and moral reasoning

    Chapter 5 The aesthetic theory of subjectivity: ‘subjectality’

    Chapter 6 A summary of Li’s transcultural aesthetics and a transcultural reading of Li’s philosophy as a whole

    PART III The Aesthetics-Education Approach

    Chapter 7 A mature student: student maturity that is both emergent and sedimenting

    Chapter 8 Grown-up parents: through the second-order educational reclamation that fosters ‘a layered self’

    Chapter 9 Mature teachers: teachers’ aesthetic professionalism, practice and policy





    Flora Liuying Wei 魏柳英 is Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at the Beijing Normal University (Zhuhai Campus), China.

    Mainly inspired by the arguments of the Chinese philosopher Zehou Li, this book endeavors to develop an ‘aesthetic’ approach to promote educational maturity, both on the individual and systematic level of education. It makes a substantial contribution to developing powerful philosophic educational theories. I believe it could help us to reconsider the direction of future education reform, locally and globally.

    Zhongying Shi, Professor of Education, Tsinghua University; President of The Philosophy of Education Society in China(PESC)

    The question of maturity is one of the key concerns of modern education. As educators we want our students to grow up, not just physically but particularly with regard to their ways of being in the world. Whereas questions of maturity have been central in Western educational thought at least since the Enlightenment, Flora Liuying Wei gives the scholarship about educational maturity a completely new impetus through a nuanced and detailed discussion of the ideas of Zehou Li. What is particularly striking, and of great importance for contemporary discussions, is the aesthetic ‘turn’ in thinking through educational maturity. This book opens up contemporary Chinese philosophy to the English speaking world and contributes original insights to contemporary philosophy of Education.

    Gert Biesta, University of Edinburgh, UK & Maynooth University, Ireland

    Zehou Li, the best well-recognized Chinese contemporary philosopher, holds that education is to be the foundational discipline in the future society. This is because he conceives education as science for the rounded development of human beings. This insight is based on his ultimate theory of ‘anthropo-historical ontology’, characterized by the renaissance of Qing civilization in the 21st century. Arguably, Li’s thought is illuminating even in the coming AI age. Flora Liuying Wei productively applies Li’s philosophy to examine the key topic of educational maturity, demonstrating effectively how the aesthetics-education approach is globally viable. In particular, her transcultural/post-comparative reading of Li fruitfully reflects how Li works for the whole humanity with potential Chinese wisdom.

    Yuedi Liu, Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences