Edward Slingerland

Edward Slingerland
Edward Slingerland
Professor of Asian Studies, Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition, University of British Columbia; Author, Trying Not to Try

EDWARD SLINGERLAND is Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia.

He earned his B.A. with Distinction from Stanford University in Chinese (1991), his M.A. in classical Chinese from UC Berkeley (1994), and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Stanford (1998), where he wrote his dissertation on the topic of wu-wei and the paradox of wu-wei—the first major academic treatment of this topic.

As an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (Depts. of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures), he wrote "Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China" (2003) which won the prestigious “Best First Book” award from the American Academy of Religion.  He published a translation of the Analects of Confucius (2003),  now widely viewed as the new standard English translation of the most important book in the East Asian cultural tradition.

In 2005 he was appointed the Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at University of British Columbia (as well as Associate Professor in Asian Studies and Centre Investigator at the Brain Research Centre).

He is the author of a monograph entitled "What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body & Culture", 2008) which has won high praise from prominent figures from across the intellectual spectrum (from novelist Ian McEwan, who praised its “intellectual brio,” to the philosophers Daniel C. Dennett, Charles Taylor, and Mark Johnson).

In 2008 he co-founded, and now co-directs, UBC’s new Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture.  He also been appointed Associate Member in both the Psychology and Philosophy Departments, and in 2010 his Canada Research Chair was renewed and he was promoted to full Professor of Asian Studies.

He is co-editor of Creating Consilience: Integrating the Sciences and the Humanities, and his work appears in journals of a wide variety of fields, including the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Philosophy East & West, Ethics, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Linguistics, and International Studies Quarterly.

He is the author of Trying Not to Try.

[photo by Paul Joseph]