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Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China
 
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Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China [Format Kindle]

Edward Slingerland

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

As a survey of the concept of wuwei, the text is very successful ... No other book-length project of which I am aware delves into the topic in such a comprehensive and substantive way. (The Journal of Asian Studies)

... recommended ... well written and scholarly and deals with an inexplicably overlooked area ... will be of interest to scholars of Chinese thought but also to linguists and others interested in literary theory. It would also work well as a textbook for an upper-level class on Chinese thought. (The Journal of Asian Studies)

Présentation de l'éditeur

This 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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1902 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 380 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0195138996
  • Editeur : Oxford University Press, USA (19 mars 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0054WFH02
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 5.0 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
46 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Actual book description and back cover blurbs 9 juillet 2003
Par Edward Slingerland - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
[We've been trying for 4 months to get Amazon to update the book description (which is several years out of date), to no avail, so direct action (as opposed to effortless action) seemed called for. Below is the actual book jacket description and back cover blurbs. The automated system forced me to rate the book in order to post this, so please ignore the 5 stars....]
This 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.
"Slingerland shows that wu-wei is a much richer and more pervasive notion than anyone has ever imagined. His work will convince even the most entrenched skeptic that it is an important and often neglected concern of just about every major religious thinker in early China." -Philip J. Ivanhoe, author of Confucian Moral Self Cultivation and Ethics in the Confucian Tradition
"Edward Slingerland is one of a group of exciting and creative young scholars revolutionizing the study of Chinese history, culture, and religion by applying the recently developed tools of cognitive analysis, especially conceptual metaphor analysis. Effortless Action is a remarkable work that explores the meaning of the crucial concept of wu-wei in a depth never before achievable, showing how Chinese metaphorical thought forms a nexus around this most central of ideas. If you care about China, about its culture, history, and religion, you will find this book extremely enlightening. And if you are a humanist seeking a deeper understanding of culture and history, this book will open up new worlds to you." -George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A wonderful journey through ancient Chinese thought 3 janvier 2004
Par Thomas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
As a non-specialist, I found this a very readable journey through ancient Chinese philosophy: from the Analects to Xunzi via the Daoists, following the thread of wu-wei or comparable metaphors of relaxed states. I found this book comparable in scope and quality to Chad Hansen's "Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought", although Edward Slingerland does not define himself as a Daoist. His use of the new field of "conceptual metaphor" is remarkable: it says that the basic metaphors in various cultures arise from the body and its movements; like walking, moving (effortlessly, on a Way...) or through simple actions of daily life, like filling a container with water, that triggers the metaphor of the true Self as a container, that is filled with an artificial social self of desires (ego) that to a Daoist must be emptied to allow the Dao to fill the true Self. Incidentally, this also could provide a solid basis for C.G. Jung's cross-cultural archetypes, that are in fact such metaphors; I'm thinking of his studies of metaphors in the I Ching for example (although E. Slingerland does not discuss Jung in his book.)
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Readable scholarship on early Chinese spiritual thinking 22 janvier 2005
Par Alex Stewart - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Slingerland is one of several scholars (R. T. Ames, S. Cook, PJ Ivanhoe, E. Molgaard, J. Paper, V. Mair among others) reinvigorating Western scholarship on early Chinese thought. Readers of New Age interpretations steer aware from genuine scholarship, but perhaps they - and other general readers - should take a look at this book as a pathway to expertise on the field. The early texts in question, such as Kongzi's (Confucius') "Analects" and the Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) are hard to read and interepret. One reason that Slingerland manages to make them accessible is his focus on their central (spiritual) metaphors. As he argues, there is much that is universal in the structure of metaphors from any time or place. As an overview from a spiritual perspective, I strongly recommend this well-organized, thoughtful book.
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