ABSTRACT. This paper argues for a kind of aesthetic education from the perspective of Michel Foucault’s aesthetics of existence. It starts from an interesting and common scene in Chinese schools. To narrate this phenomenon, this paper aims to reveal that schooling actually cultivates heteronomic students rather than self-governed individuals. Cultivating self-governed individuals leads us to Foucault’s “self-caring ethics” and aesthetics of existence. Therefore, this paper explains the theory of “taking care of the self”, which is the key part of Foucault’s aesthetics. In the third part, this paper reveals the kind of aesthetics that requires everyone to care about their own lives and makes them artistic. Finally, this paper attempts to propose a new meaning of aesthetic education, which will open students’ imaginations to life’s possibilities and encourage them to shape their lives in spite of social norms. pp. 7–13

Keywords: self-government; care of the self; aesthetics of existence; aesthetic education


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Department of Education,
East China Normal University

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