Value Choice and the Theoretical Construction of Ethical Literary Criticism

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.10, 2020


Value Choice and the Theoretical Construction of Ethical Literary Criticism



Nie Zhenzhao


Ethical literary criticism is a critical theory and method that understands the ethical nature and didactic function of literature from an ethical perspective, and reads, understands, analyzes and interprets literature on this basis. Based on natural selection, ethical literary criticism develops a theory of ethical choice and constructs a critical discourse system centering on terms such as ethical choice, ethical identity, ethical environment, free will and rational will, thereby laying a foundation for the application of this critical method. In the theory of ethical literary criticism, the three literary textual forms are brain texts with the brain as the vehicle, written texts with written materials as the vehicle and electronic texts with electronic media as the vehicle. At the same time, ethical literary criticism constructs its own textual theory on the basis of brain texts. With regard to the origin of literature, ethical literary criticism holds that literature originates in the ethical expression of human needs, regards literature as the product of morality, insists on the moral responsibility of literary criticism, emphasizes the didactic function of literature, and has a distinct value standpoint. The aesthetic appreciation of literature is non-functional, being mainly a conduit to and means of realizing the didactic function. The theoretical construction of ethical literary criticism reflects the efforts made by Chinese scholars to put forward original theories and methods of literary criticism, efforts that have a positive significance for expanding the international influence of Chinese literary theory.