Walker Percy, Philosopher (in press)

For Walker Percy, philosophy and fiction were both tools for diagnosing the human condition, just as his medical training had taught him about tools for diagnosing the human body. His aim was nothing less than trying to understand how we fit into the cosmos. This collection of essays is a fascinating and worthy exploration of how philosophy informed his novels and the religious and existential quest that he called “the search.” I can imagine him reading this book, with his wry smile and lightly worn grace, nodding appreciatively. — Walter Isaacson, professor of history at Tulane and biographer of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin.


  1. Foreword: Percy: The Wondering Physician-Philosopher by Richard Gunderman
  2. Introducing Walker Percy: Philosopher of Precision and Soul by Leslie Marsh
  3. Percy, Peirce and Parsifal: Intuition’s Farther Shore by Stephen Utz
  4. Walker Percy, Phenomenology, and the Mystery of Language by Carolyn Culbertson
  5. That Mystery Category “Fourthness” and Its Relationship to the Work of C. S. Peirce by Stacey E. Ake
  6. Diamonds in the Rough: The Peirce-Percy Semiotic in The Second Coming by Karey Perkins
  7. Walker Percy’s Intersubjectivity: An Existential Semiotic or 3+3=4 by Rhonda McDonnell
  8. A Hard Fact of Life: A Commentary on Percy’s “Peirce and Modern Semiotic” by Kenneth Laine Ketner
  9. An Attempt Toward A Natural/UnNatural History of The Lay-Scientific Interface or How Walker Percy Got on the Way to Becoming a Radical (Anthropologist) by Scott Cunningham
  10. Percy’s Poetics of Dwelling: The Dialogical Self and the Ethics of Reentry in The Last Gentleman and Lost in the Cosmos by Christopher Yates
  11. “There Must Be a Place”: Walker Percy and the Philosophy of Place by Patrick Connelly
  12. On Being Jaded: Walker Percy’s Philosophical Contributions by Nathan Carson
  13. Percy on the Allure of Violence and Destruction by Brian A. Smith