Walker Percy, Philosopher (5)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher.

That Mystery Category “Fourthness” and Its Relationship to the Work of C. S. Peirce

by Stacey Ake

C. S. Peirce posits that the self is known only through negation—by the knower finding out that he or she is wrong. Even more importantly he considers a man to be nothing more than a sign. This is existentially inadequate. In this chapter, Stacey Ake shows the shortcomings of Peirce’s Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness in creating human identity by utilizing and developing Walker Percy’s notion of Fourthness in order to show that there is a positive way to create identity and, more importantly, community.

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