Abstract: Many early Chinese thinkers had as their spiritual ideal the state of wu-wei, or effortless action. By advocating spontaneity as an explicit moral and religious goal, they inevitably involved themselves in the paradox of wu-wei—the problem of how one can try not to try—which later became one of the central tensions in East Asian religious thought. In this talk, I will look at the paradox from both an early Chinese and a contemporary perspective, drawing upon work in social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and evolutionary theory to argue that this paradox is a real one, and is moreover intimately tied up with problems surrounding cooperation in large-scale societies and concerns about moral hypocrisy.
Talk by Ted Slingerland (Professor of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia)
“Trying Not to Try: Cooperation, Trust and the Paradox of Spontaneity”
Friday, 10 October 2014
101 Jacqua Academic Center
This event is cosponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center, the Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences (especially the Scientific Study of Values Group), the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Psychology.
Two recent Philosophy PhD graduates, Aaron Rodriguez and Lucy Schultz, are featured in the Oregon Humanities Center’s 2014 Summer Report, http://ohc.uoregon.edu/news.html.
Aaron Rodriguez, who accepted a position in March as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, was an Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellow in the fall of 2013. His dissertation was titled “The Echo of God’s Laughter: Aesthetic Experience and the Virtue of Openness within a Pragmatist Ethics.” Read the OHC feature on Aaron here: http://ohc.uoregon.edu/SR_2014-Rodriguez.html.
Lucy Schultz, who was a 2012-2013 Oregon Humanities Center Graduate Research Support Fellow, accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her dissertation, completed in 2014, was titled “Creative Climate: East-West Perspectives on Art, Nature, and the Expressive Body.” Read the OHC feature on Lucy here: http://ohc.uoregon.edu/SR_2014-Schultz.html.
According to a new report on philosophy department job placements from 2011-2014, the University of Oregon is one of 28 schools with a placement rate above 50% for tenure-track jobs and one of 45 schools with a placement rate above 50% for a combination of tenure-track, postdoctoral, VAP, and instructor jobs.
The report, by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, is posted on New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science:
Megan Burke has been selected as one of two recipients of the 2014 Donald and Darel Stein Graduate Student Teaching Award. This award is administered by the University of Oregon Graduate School and is designed to recognize outstanding teaching performances by experienced graduate teaching fellows (GTFs) who have demonstrated a commitment to developing their instructional skills, while at the same time excelling in their academic degree program.
The Donald and Darel Stein Graduate Student Teaching Award acknowledges a GTF’s investment in professional development. Nominees for this award have at least 5 terms of experience as an instructor (sole instructor, lab or discussion leader), a record of excellence in their instructional duties, and an exemplary academic record.
Light Traces, by John Sallis, features paintings and drawings by Alejandro Vallega.
From the publisher’s website:
“Beautifully conceived and written. Sallis engages the elemental interplay of earth and sky, translucence and obscurity, airiness and density, height and depth, wet and dry, gods and mortals, storms and clouds, rivers and fog, plains and mountains–nature in its expansive, indefinable materiality and ephemeral intangiblity.” —Charles E. Scott, Vanderbilt University
What is the effect of light as it measures the seasons? How does light leave different traces on the terrain—on a Pacific Island, in the Aegean Sea, high in the Alps, or in the forest? John Sallis considers the expansiveness of nature and the range of human vision in essays about the effect of light and luminosity on place. Sallis writes movingly of nature and the elements, employing an enormous range of philosophical, geographical, and historical knowledge. Paintings and drawings by Alejandro A. Vallega illuminate the text, accentuating the interaction between light and environment.
Studies in Continental Thought
168 pp., 24 color illus.
paper 978-0-253-01282-1 $28.00
ebook 978-0-253-01303-3 $23.99
More information at:
From the publisher’s website:
“Vallega engages with current debates among those seeking a decolonial approach to concepts of identity, history, and liberation without unhelpful baggage from European colonial modernity. He impressively remaps and advances the debate. Many have been anticipating this book with some excitement; it will exceed their expectations.” —Linda Martín Alcoff, Hunter College
“Vallega’s wonderful book demonstrates that the question ‘Is there Latin American philosophy?’ has outlived its rhetorical usefulness. Instead, it announces that the task before us is to engage with a vast canon that is as dispersed and buried as it is unsuspecting and challenging.” —Eduardo Mendieta, Stony Brook University
“No other contemporary philosopher is more engaged with the meaning and sense of philosophy in Latin America than Alejandro A. Vallega.” —Omar Rivera, Southwestern University
While recognizing its origins and scope, Alejandro A. Vallega offers a new interpretation of Latin American philosophy by looking at its radical and transformative roots. Placing it in dialogue with Western philosophical traditions, Vallega examines developments in gender studies, race theory, postcolonial theory, and the legacy of cultural dependency in light of the Latin American experience. He explores Latin America’s engagement with contemporary problems in Western philosophy and describes the transformative impact of this encounter on contemporary thought.
cloth 978-0-253-01248-7 $90.00
paper 978-0-253-01257-9 $35.00
ebook 978-0-253-01265-4 $29.99
More information at:
If you are interested in adopting this book for course use, please see the Indiana University Press exam copy policy:
Doctoral student Dana Rognlie was selected as one of the recipients of the 2014 Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award. The award is designed to support outstanding master’s and doctoral students pursuing academic, professional development, or training enrichment opportunities during Summer 2014, and carries with it a stipend of up to $3,000.
The I3 awards are “designed to build capacity and support development of large-scale projects and programs that strategically enhance the UO’s research excellence by targeting specific, large-scale external funding opportunities.”
Colin is a participant in “Tackling Internet Privacy from Technical, Social, Economical and Legal Perspectives,” described in the award announcement as follows:
This interdisciplinary team of researchers is focused on the growing issue of internet privacy. The proposed research aims to not only identify new research questions and develop techniques, but also to build an interdisciplinary program at UO with a critical mass of faculty members and graduate students focused on researching internet privacy. I3 funds will be used in part to hold a workshop, purchase equipment and support graduate students. This team plans to pursue external funding opportunities for both research and training from the National Science Foundation.
Doctoral candidate Aaron Rodriguez has accepted an appointment as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Morgan State University, where, among other duties, he will be developing their public philosophy program.
See related article in 2014 Summer Report from the Oregon Humanities Center: