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Walker Percy, Philosopher (6)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Diamonds in the Rough: The Peirce-Percy Semiotic in The Second Coming Karey Perkins Karey Perkins makes the case for the view that Percy is more than a novelist with occasional random existential musings or themes. Although Percy begins in existentialism, his coming across semiotics sparked Percy’s interest in language as the uniquely…

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.…

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 184

IF IT IS TRUE that both Anglo-American empiricism and European existentialism contain valid insights, then in respect of the failure to make a unifying effort toward giving an account of all realities, the former is surely the worse offender. For the existentialists do take note of empirical science, if only to demote it to some…

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…

Walker Percy Wednesday 174

A Tertium Quid: The Lady Novelist? Tolstoy once said that a talented lady novelist could spend five minutes looking through the window of a barracks and know all she needed to know about soldiering. If she can see so much in five minutes, how much more must the talented therapist see after, say, a hundred…

Walker Percy Wednesday 172

Peirce believed that there are two kinds of natural phenomena. First there are those events which involve “dyadic relations,” such as obtain in the “physical forces . . . between pairs of particles.” The other kind of event entails “triadic relations”: All dynamical action, or action of brute force, physical or psychical, either takes place…

Walker Percy Wednesday 171

IT IS A MATTER for astonishment, when one comes to think of it, how little use linguistics and other sciences of language are to psychiatrists. When one considers that the psychiatrist spends most of his time listening and talking to patients, one might suppose that there would be such a thing as a basic science of listening-and-talking, as indispensable to…