Hsi K'ang. Music Has Neither Grief Nor Joy
1983, In Philosophy and Argumentation in Third-Century China. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Added by: Meilin Chinn
Summary: The controversial essay in which Xi Kang offered a distinct counterargument to the orthodox Confucian view that music contains and transfers emotions between musicians and listeners. Xi Kang crafts a series of arguments against the presence of emotions and images in music and contends that the widespread belief to the contrary leads to the misuse of music for political and moral agendas.
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Comment: This text is best used in a course on aesthetics (especially philosophy of music) and/or Chinese philosophy. A basic understanding of Daoism is helpful.