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Walker Percy, philosopher (3)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Percy, Peirce, and Parsifal: Intuition’s Farther Shore by Stephen Utz Walker Percy’s unusual aspirations set his novels apart from most literary attempts to understand profound human problems. He gave meaning to the category of art as inquiry. In the novels, his characters’ eccentric quests treat everyday things as evidence for abstract and…

Walker Percy, philosopher (2)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Philosopher of Precision and Soul by Leslie Marsh The theme of abstraction operates in a twofold way in Percy – abstraction in the sense of being alienated from ones true or more authentic way of being/self and abstraction in a methodological sense, the inherent abstraction of scientific method and the more vulgar…

Walker Percy Wednesday 185

What has this to do with existentialism? We will pass over the epistemological consequences of symbolic knowing, the possession of the thing by the symbol rather than adaptation by signal-a knowing which is indeed existential in the broad sense of knowing something by being something-and go at once to the more typical existentialia. The recognition…

Walker Percy Wednesday 183

SYMBOL AND CONSCIOUSNESS The selective and intentional character of consciousness has been stressed by empiricists and phenomenologists alike. The conscious act is always intentional: One is never simply conscious, but conscious of this or that. Consciousness is, in fact, defined by the phenomenologist as noematic intentionality in general. But quite as essential to the act…

Why Philosophers Are Obsessed With Brains in Jars

An old philosophical chestnut discussed in The Atlantic. Words and concepts used by a brain in a vat can’t be meaningfully applied to real objects outside of the brain’s experience, because the ability to have causal interaction with the specific things that words name is inherently how such words acquire meaning, Putnam argued. Artificial intelligenceCognitive…