> Publications > China Social Science Review > 2021 > no.3(September 2021)

Constructing the Anthropology of the Good Society: A Discussion of the Cosmopolitan Value of Fei Xiaotong’s Si Mei Ju (Four Sentences on Beauty)

| 2021-11-02 | Hits:

China Social Science Review

No.3, 2021

 

Constructing the Anthropology of the Good Society: A Discussion of the Cosmopolitan Value of Fei Xiaotong’s Si Mei Ju (Four Sentences on Beauty)

(Abstract)

 

Zhao Xudong

 

The cosmopolitan character of Fei Xiaotong’s thinking is twofold: endogenous and exogenous. The former included the Chinese world view of tianxia (all under heaven), the cosmological view of the unity of heaven and man, the life view of harmony and coexistence, and the view of advancing oneself and others; the latter included China’s response to the impact of the West, the dramatic changes in earthbound China caused by industrialization, the developmental trend of the union of the global community, and the diverse and multi-polar world of harmony in difference amid the clash of civilizations. As the international order changes, we must once again turn to Fei Xiaotong’s “four sentences on beauty,” asking ourselves what each signifies. Ge mei qi mei (各美其美), or each appreciating its own beauty, refers to the growth of subjective consciousness, manifest as individual, group or cultural consciousness; mei ren zhi mei (美人之美), or appreciating the beauty of others, means inclusive concern for the Other; mei mei yu gong (美美与共), or sharing beauty with everyone, refers to the construction of a true world community; and tianxia da tong (天下大同), or great harmony under heaven, is about mutuality and inseparability and “togetherness,” which is the most basic form of great harmony. Thus in Fei Xiaotong’s eyes, “the anthropology of the good society” was coming into being, as a society that required cultural consciousness, tolerance, harmony and coexistence, and common wellbeing.