Wu-Wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China
By (author) Edward Slingerland
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Effortless Action by Edward Slingerland
Book DescriptionThis book presents a systematic account of the role of the personal spiritual ideal of wu-wei-literally "no doing," but better rendered as "effortless action"-in early Chinese thought. Edward Slingerland's analysis shows that wu-wei represents the most general of a set of conceptual metaphors having to do with a state of effortless ease and unself-consciousness. This concept of effortlessness, he contends, serves as a common ideal for both Daoist and Confucian thinkers. He also argues that this concept contains within itself a conceptual tension that motivates the development of early Chinese thought: the so-called "paradox of wu-wei," or the question of how one can consciously "try not to try." Methodologically, this book represents a preliminary attempt to apply the contemporary theory of conceptual metaphor to the study of early Chinese thought. Although the focus is upon early China, both the subject matter and methodology have wider implications. The subject of wu-wei is relevant to anyone interested in later East Asian religious thought or in the so-called "virtue-ethics" tradition in the West. Moreover, the technique of conceptual metaphor analysis-along with the principle of "embodied realism" upon which it is based-provides an exciting new theoretical framework and methodological tool for the study of comparative thought, comparative religion, intellectual history, and even the humanities in general. Part of the purpose of this work is thus to help introduce scholars in the humanities and social sciences to this methodology, and provide an example of how it may be applied to a particular sub-field.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195314878
(234mm x 157mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 22-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Edward Slingerland
Trying Not to Try, Paperback (January 2015)
A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity - and why it's essential to our wellbeing, both as individuals and as a society
Creating Consilience, Paperback (January 2012)
This volume takes a new approach to bridging the cultures of science and the humanities. The editors and contributors formulate how to develop a new shared framework of consilience beyond mere interdisciplinarity, in a way that both sides can accept.
Essential Analects, Paperback (March 2006)View all books by Edward Slingerland
Meant for a survey course or a course in which the Analects is one of the works studied, this volume provides a representative selection from Slingerland's translation of the work, including passages covering major themes. It contains an appendix of selected traditional commentaries. Also included are an Introduction, bibliography, and notes.
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Author Biography - Edward Slingerland
Edward Slingerland is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Religion at the University of Southern California (homepage: www-rcf.usc.edu/~slingerl).
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