The Transition from the Intellectual Lineage of Perception to Aesthetic Modernity

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.11, 2014


The Transition from the Intellectual Lineage of Perception to Aesthetic Modernity



Zhang Zhengwen


The conscious awakening of perception in the European Renaissance and the Enlightenment was an important outcome of the historical course of Western modernity. At the same time, it made literature and the arts an indispensable part of modern life. Classical German philosophy made perception logical and systematic, constructing a theoretical form that unified man’s subject status, his conscious activities and his spiritual history and created an aesthetic modernity that complemented the enlightenment modernity centered on reason, thus setting the scene for the high tide of the development of modern Western literature and art at the same time as it enriched man as subject. Starting from the freedom and liberation of man, Marx inherited from classical German philosophy the idea of subjectivized perception and essentialized spirit from the standpoint of sublation in a spirit of criticism and using the method of historical materialism. He made perception take a flying leap to become the subject of man’s historical existence and social practice, presented the true nature of the objective reality of perception, realized the transformation of the intellectual lineage of perception of classical German philosophy, established the inner laws of social existence and historical movement, and provided a new theoretical paradigm and intellectual values for the inner laws and social significance of contemporary literary and artistic activities.