Effortless Action and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $47.95
  • Save: $3.97 (8%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Effortless Action: Wu-wei... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Wordery USA
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: International shipping available. This fine copy is in our depot and should be with you within 11-12 working days via Air Mail. Please note this title is print on demand.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $10.19
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China Paperback – May 24, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0195314878 ISBN-10: 0195314875 Edition: First Edition

Buy New
Price: $43.98
32 New from $23.91 14 Used from $24.18
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$43.98
$23.91 $24.18
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China + Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity + Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Price for all three: $75.24

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (May 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195314875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195314878
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"This provocative work is the most ambitious general study of pre-Qin thought to appear in more than a decade. ...a rich, stimulating work, full of interpretive insights that shed light on conceptions of ethical perfection in early Chinese thought."--Philosophy East and West


"The scope of Slingerland's discussion and his mastery of the relevant scholarship make the book a useful and learned introduction to early Chinese thought."--Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies


"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, University of California, Berkeley


"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 traditional China."--Philip Ivanhoe, author of Confucian Moral Self Cultivation and Ethics in the Confucian Tradition


About the Author


Edward Slingerland is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures and Religion at the University of Southern California (homepage: www-rcf.usc.edu/~slingerl).

More About the Author

I'm Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia, and was educated at Princeton, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. My areas of specialty include Chinese thought, comparative religion, cognitive science, and the relationship between the sciences and the humanities. In addition to over twenty academic journal articles in a range of fields, I've written several scholarly books, including What Science Offers the Humanities and a translation of the Analects of Confucius. My first book for a popular audience, Trying Not to Try, comes out from Crown (Random House) in March 2014.

After living most of my life in the States (New Jersey, then California for 16 years), I'm now a U.S.-Canada dual citizen and live in Vancouver with my wife and daughter.

You can find out more about my work and the various research projects that I'm involved in at my UBC homepage: http://eslingerland.arts.ubc.ca/

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Edward Slingerland on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[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.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on January 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alex Stewart on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?