He Jinli is an assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Trinity University, where she teaches Chinese art history, Chinese philosophy, Chinese civilization, Chinese language and literature. Her research interests include Chinese aesthetic modernity and comparative aesthetics, Sinicization of Buddhist art as well as the issue of continuity in traditional and contemporary Chinese art.
Wang Guowei (1887-1927) was a late Qing scholar who assumed a pioneer role in introducing Western philosophy and is regarded as the founder of Chinese ideas about philosophical and literary-aesthetic modernity. His introduction and interpretation not only has been inspiring later scholars to be interested in European philosophy but also being a “showcase” of the “localness” of a cultural interpretation. This paper focuses on Kant’s influence on Wang Guowei, especially Wang’s use of Kant’s epistemological, ethical and aesthetic theories to reconstruct the important Chinese philosophical conceptions, such as, xing性, li理, ming命, ya雅 and what he called as Confucius’ meiyuzhuyi美育主義(aesthetic educational-ism) and aims to achieve a better grasp of the continuity and revolution that accompany the emergence of Chinese modernity as well as a better understanding of comparative culture (philosophy) in its “primitive” phase.