Download Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and by Edward Slingerland PDF

By Edward Slingerland

This ebook offers a scientific account of the function of the private religious perfect of wu-wei--literally "no doing," yet larger rendered as "effortless action"--in early chinese language concept. Edward Slingerland's research indicates that wu-wei represents the main common of a collection of conceptual metaphors having to do with a country of easy ease and unself-consciousness. this idea of effortlessness, he contends, serves as a standard perfect for either Daoist and Confucian thinkers. He additionally argues that this idea includes inside of itself a conceptual rigidity that motivates the improvement of early chinese language inspiration: the so-called "paradox of wu-wei," or the query of ways you may consciously "try to not try."

Methodologically, this e-book represents a initial try to observe the modern thought of conceptual metaphor to the research of early chinese language notion. even if the focal point is upon early China, either the subject material and method have wider implications. the topic of wu-wei is correct to someone drawn to later East Asian non secular concept or within the so-called "virtue-ethics" culture within the West. additionally, the means of conceptual metaphor analysis--along with the primary of "embodied realism" upon which it's based--provides an exhilarating new theoretical framework and methodological software for the learn of comparative notion, comparative faith, highbrow background, or even the arts usually. a part of the aim of this paintings is therefore to aid introduce students within the humanities and social sciences to this system, and supply an instance of ways it can be utilized to a selected sub-field.

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Extra info for Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China

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When these two primary metaphor s ar e combine d wit h the simpl e fac t (derive d fro m ou r commo n knowledge of the world ) that a long trip to a series o f destinations constitute s a journey, we hav e the comple x metaphor schema, PURPOSEFU L LIFE AS JOURNEY, which Lakoff and Johnson map as follows: Journey — > Purposefu l Life Traveler — > Perso n Living a Life Destinations — > Lif e Goals Itinerary — > Lif e Plan The PURPOSEFU L LIF E AS JOURNEY metaphor thus arises out o f ou r basi c embod ied experienc e an d give s u s a wa y t o thin k an d reaso n abou t thi s abstrac t "entity," whic h "in itself i s fairly unstructure d and therefore difficult t o reason about.

As w e ca n se e fro m thi s example , a singl e complex , conceptua l metapho r structure ca n infor m a whol e serie s o f specifi c linguisti c expressions , suc h a s being "lost " i n life , workin g a t a "dead-end " job, o r "goin g nowhere. " Thes e "families" o f specifi c metaphorica l expression s (whethe r linguisti c o r material ) are not random or unrelated but are rather all motivated by a common conceptua l schema. This , indeed , is a crucial proposition o f cognitive linguistics : tha t metaphorical expression s ar e not simply fixed, linguistic conventions but rather repre sent th e surfac e manifestation s o f deeper , active , an d largel y unconsciou s conceptual structures .

Whe n th e nove l expressio n "living in the fast lane" was introduced int o American culture, it was immediately comprehensible becaus e i t i s base d upo n th e PURPOSEFU L LIF E A S JOURNEY schema, an d becam e popula r becaus e i t allowe d American s t o dra w upo n a wealth o f reasoning pattern s abou t a concrete sourc e domai n (drivin g in the fas t lane of the freeway, whic h is exciting but potentially dangerous) an d use them to reason abou t lif e (you r frien d wh o i s "livin g i n th e fas t lane " may b e havin g a good tim e a t th e moment , bu t ther e i s a potentia l fo r disaster , s o mayb e sh e should "slow down" before she "crashes and burns").

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