Aesthetic Virtues in the Context of Nirvanic Values

Wilkinson, Robert (2001). Aesthetic Virtues in the Context of Nirvanic Values. In: Marchiano, Grazia and Milani, Raffaele eds. Frontiers of Transculturality in Contemporary Aesthetics. Turin, Italy: Trauben, pp. 91–105.


Aesthetic virtue concepts are rooted in philosophical assumptions of great depth within their host cultures. This thesis is supported by means of an analysis of some of the central aesthetic virtue concepts in Japanese thought, e.g. sabi, wabi, myosho. These concepts presuppose and reflect the presence of nirvana as the goal of life in Japanese culture. Because there is no western equivalent to the concept of nirvana, these terms likewise have no western equivalents.

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