"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).